Friday, April 8, 2011

I've Crossed Over To The Dark Side, Frozen Pie Dough and Swiss Chard

Rustic and Delicious and Full of Vegetables

Dear Friends,

I've finally succumbed to the food demons that whispered in my ear every time I cruised the frozen food aisles at the grocery store and bought pre-made pie dough (Pappy's).   I didn't want to do it but, I was tired and running late and I wanted to try out a new recipe for a vegetable tart I saw on PBS, Lydia's Italy  I always loved the process of making any kind of dough, the rising, the kneading, the rolling and the inevitable cussing whenever it stuck to the counter and the final result, the smooth as satin ball of carbohydrate goodness that I created with my own hands, just like a potter at their wheel. So, it wasn't easy to take that first step and cross over to the dark side and purchase another's albeit, a corporation's, creation.  It felt like an illicit affair as I glanced over my shoulder to make sure no one was looking and opened the freezer door and quickly grabbed the forbidden package and tossed it into my cart, covering it with bags of fresh produce and scurried away before I changed my mind.     


Pretty in a Bowl

Like always I never do what I'm told and switched the recipe around to suit my taste (the beauty of cooking) this is what I used:

One bunch of steamed and chopped chard 
Hand-full of shredded carrots
Half of orange bell pepper or any color you like
Ten or so sauteed shiitake mushrooms, 
Half a bunch of chopped green onions
Two or more tablespoons of toasted pine nuts 

Fold into a creamy mixture of whole-milk ricotta cheese (why worry about calories at this stage), grated Romano cheese, an beaten egg or two and cream or milk.  Spread mixture on rolled out pie crust (I used two to make a reasonable facsimile of a rectangle) and leave an inch border, brush the edges with a beaten egg wash.  Fold the edges towards the center and pop into a 375 degree oven and bake 35-40 minutes. 

Just like my other recipes figure out the measurements yourself.  How else are you going to learn how to season and how to judge proportions by eye or touch (baking is my exception to the rule but, you already know that)?

The golden result

Eat your vegetables,


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