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Roast Veg 'Tart' and other fiercely good absolute must haves....


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Excerpt: If you own an electic meat slicer, then this can be very delicate and more beautiful than if you cut it on a hand slicer, but either way, this recipe is more of a group of recipes put together, here goes: You will need/want some special equipment for this, thats life. You should have these things if your serious about cooking anyway: an electric meat slicer. You know, like a little one that looks like the pygmie cousin of the one at the deli section of your friendly neighborhood grocer. No

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  1. #1
    Elite Mentor ChefWide's Avatar
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    Roast Veg 'Tart' and other fiercely good absolute must haves....

    If you own an electic meat slicer, then this can be very delicate and more beautiful than if you cut it on a hand slicer, but either way, this recipe is more of a group of recipes put together, here goes:

    You will need/want some special equipment for this, thats life. You should have these things if your serious about cooking anyway: an electric meat slicer. You know, like a little one that looks like the pygmie cousin of the one at the deli section of your friendly neighborhood grocer. No can do the slicer? Get a 'mandolin', most good kitchen stores have them, WilliamsSonoma has them for sure, so does 'Chefs', that will do if you dont have the flow for the electric kind. You will need an electric knife. No, I am not kidding, like the one your folks had years ago that was used on the pot roast or turkey. There is not better tool to cut fragile foods than an elecric knife. You must have one for this, and for my Jack Daniels Truffle Paté, that recipe comes later. You will thank me for open your life to electric knives.

    Part One: Create some 'med oil': great EV Olive oil with the following, purree of garlic confit, purree of roasted shallots, the browner the better, yum, ground toasted corriandre seeds, chiffenade of basil, lemon sage, rough chopped chervil, parsely, fine crosscut chives. Add a full tspoon of vitamin c crystals (ascorbic acid) for every pint of this oil/spread. This will have a pretty thick and chunky consistency, you will want to be able to brush it, so if its too thick, whisk in more EV oil. You can add tarragon, but I dont. Tarragon can be a bit overpowering, I love it, but not with this. I like to let this rest in a cool place for some hours, to let the flavors fornicate, you can do this day ahead or two even, just bring to room temp with a couple of microwave zapps before you use it. Yes, you can freeze it, but because its mostly oil, it will be a bit messy for the the icecube tray method, I use little plastic cups.

    PartTwo:

    Caremlized Onion Threads

    This is a staple in my kitchen, just like the garlic confit recipe I gave up some time back, I ALWAYS have this onhand, fresh or frozen, and when I make it I make it in HUGE batches so you don't kill everyone in the house, you will understand in a minute.

    Very simple, just needs lots of attention, don't get intimidated by the long winded description, ever try to descibe how to kiss? The most simple process, that after you have done it once seems both natural and second nature, could take volumes to describe to the uninitiated. So read, do it once, and even if you fuck up the first one, you will know why and will be fine from there out.


    You will need to peel a mountain of onions, how much? you decide how much you can fit into a large HEAVY bottomed pot. If you don't have a big ass heavy bottomed pot, go buy one, you should have one. You will need to slice the onions paper thin on either an electric slicer or a mandoline or one of those savagely dangerous finger remover/plastic slicer with razorblade japanese thangs, be carefull. One key to this is no onion tops or heels can be used, the success factor here includes the need for uniform slicing of the whole batch of onions, so they cook at the same pace, so NO, you cant do this by hand if you want the product to break the surly bonds of earth and kiss the face of god.

    Whew. That having been said, pour a little light oil in the bottom of the pan, just a tbs or two, get it medium hot, dump in as much onion as can be added . When I do this, I use a 20 qt stock pot, at the restaurant, I had the boys use a 60 qt.

    The whole deal is that you are going to cook, stir, cook, stir for long time. Your onions will go through some very distinct stages from raw to finished: the first stage is soupy. Your onions will expell a lot of water right away, stir every five minutes or so. If you want a another small batch of sliced onions can be added at this time, just stir it up to distribute the raw with the already cooking.

    Barring the addition of more onions, your volume in the pot is now way less than half of what you started with, onions are basicly flavorfull water balloons, the heat bursts the balloons and out comes the water. Next stage will be starting to caramelize, as the sugars in the onions concentrate from cooking off the water, they will start to brown. Remember to stir. After some love and care, you will start to get a dense, gloppy light brown onion mass, that is good, very good. You will also start to notice that the onions are sticking to the bottom of the pan, if not, just keep cooking, this stage only arrives when most of moisture is gone: that is also VERY GOOD. Scrape up all the bits with a good wooden spoon. Now we are getting very sweet and wonderful.

    Here is where it needs constant attention: you will let a pretty good layer of stuck bits form on the bottom of the pot: pull it off the heat and let it rest. Let it sit without stiring for three minutes or so: you THEN stir it and the steam from the onions causes that glorious sweet stuck layer ("fond", it means 'base') to lift right off, stir an put back on the fire to build up another layer. This will go on for a while, until your onions are DARK brown. So sweet you will not know how to sing the praises of the glorious onion. I season the completely finished product with a tiny pinch of cinnamon and two pinches of cayenne powder. No salt, we dont want to leech out the remaining liquid.

    This is something that you will keep in your repetoire for the rest of your life. Add them to a roast port sandwich, add them to soups, spread a good plopping onto a grilled steak, eat it in an omlette, in a burrito with machaca or chorizo and egg... foodgasm.

    StepThree:

    You will thin slice, and I mean just thick enough to hold together, about an 1/8th of an inch thick, the following: zuchini, yellow squash and eggplant. Take a baking dish, brush with olive oil, NOT virgin.

    Spread an overlapping layer of a veg, doesn't matter which one, but zuch will do, like you are doing lazagna with the sliced veg. Brush with med oil*. Do a layer of another veg, brush and season with a tiny bit of salt, do another layer, brush, do another layer, brush and season. Add a single, non-overlapping layer of thin sliced smoked mozz (only if you have really good, not TOO smokey mozz, if that is the case, use some firm fresh unsmoked), then start the process over again.

    You want to to have at least two layers of the mozz and you want to end with a veg layer. Now you spread a half inch thick layer of Onion Threads over the entire thing, and finish it by covering with oven dried tomato slices.

    Into the oven and bake at 375-400 until a knive pierces through easily and the tomatoes on top are getting little dark brown or black specks on them.

    It is now a heavy, scary, napalm like tray of death, so remove it from the oven VERY carefully, let come to room temperature.

    Now cut out individual servings with yoru electric knife, if you DON'T use an electric knife you will butcher this whole thing beyond repare. No joke.

    <ahhh, fuck Chef, I can do this with my wicked cool Offset Serated thats sharp enough for nanosurgery.>

    no. you can't. but you will do as you are so inclined.

    I cut the first inch off all the way around, then cutt lines down the length of the pan about 3-4 inches appart, then cut diagonal lines ('on the bias') to create cool looking little parralelograms (sp?) you can discard the trim if you want, I save it to toss into a pasta or warm salad later in the week.

    Pull up each portion with a nice flexible spat, if the tart isn't room temp, it the layers will slide, so let it cool, Missy Impatient!

    I serve it with a drizzle of the med oil on the plate and a basil sprig.

    A lot of work? Not really, you will have the love, and love is never work.


    .
    'The name is Smoove. Cheffy Smoove....', he said as he confidently strode, groin first, into the weight rack.

    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."
    G.B.Shaw

  2. #2
    Classy Skank vixenbabe's Avatar
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    Re: Roast Veg 'Tart' and other fiercely good absolute must haves....

    Eggplant ya say?

    Eggplant Rolls:

    2 eggplants
    3 T. EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil for you numb nuts out there. :-)
    4 ox. Mozzarella cheese- diced
    2 'maters- peeled
    1 T. Basil- chopped
    fresh pepper taste

    Red Bell Pepper Sauce:
    1 T. EVOO
    1 small onion,chopped
    2 Bell peppers-diced
    3/4 cup veggie stock

    To make Red bell pepper sauce: heat oil in a pan. Add onion and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or til soft. Add bell peppers and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Pour in veggie stock, bring to a boil,reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Transfer to food processor or blender and process til smoooooth. Press through a sieve into a bowl.( You can't live without a good sieve once in awhile) Season with the fresh black pepper- set aside. Cut eggplants lengthwise into 8 1/4 inch slices. Preheat oven to 375F ( 190C for you Euro peeps) Preheat broiler

    Brush eggplants on both sides with EVOO, turning once, until soft and begin, to brown. Mic 2-gether mozz. cheese, 'maters, basil, black peppeedr. Put a little on each eggplant slice and roll 'em up. Put on baking dish seam down. Cook in oven 10-15 minutes. Reheat RED PEPPER SAUCE ABOVE and pour over eggpants and serve.

    ENJOY!

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