March 28, 2014

Weekly Obsessions 3.28.2014

Savory Tartlettes

Oh hot damn! Savory salt-free mini tarts. Homemade. Real deal. Let’s talk about it.

If you’re like me you live at coffee shops. And while you love your cup of joe, you eye those golden pastries, nestled in the glass shelves, with longing. Maybe sometimes you sneak in a bite (no judgement – if no one sees you, it doesn’t count). But your low-sodium ways keep you from ordering the puffs and popovers and muffins and glazed thingamajigs. Sigh.

Now if you’ve read this blog for a while, you know what I’m about to say – make them at home! And I know what you’re thinking – yeah right, crazy pants. Pre-made pastry and phyllo dough contains a some added sodium (from 100 to 300 plus mg of sodium per 100g depending). And while yes, I could make all these goodies at home, I’d need butter, flour, and the day to be about ten bajillion hours longer. Plus a reference guide on baking and perhaps Daniel Boulud on stand-by. And the idea of making pastries – PASTRIES! – from scratch is just not realistic for anyone without a rocket science and culinary degree. Especially someone rushing out the door for work very early in the morning.

I hear you. But news alert: I made savory salt-free mini tarts this weekend. WITHOUT A RECIPE (see “GOOD GALLETE” below for the non-recipe). With a little butter, some flour, and leftovers in the fridge. With only an hour or so of my time. And totally without Daniel Boulud by my side. Which means you can too (Daniel Boulud optional).

The crust was soft and flakey (and yes, admittedly buttery). It passed the test of salt-loving friends and family. As well as the test of time – it was just as crispy and scrumptious four days later, reheated in the toaster oven. Which is all to say, take an hour to make some mini savory tarts at home on the weekend and then enjoy them all week long. Those coffee shop buns and quiches will start looking pale in comparison.

And to get you started, this week I give you some pastry inspiration so you can roll up your sleeves, face your fears, and make some baked goods at home.

GOOD GALETTES: Make your own mini tart masterpieces (like the ones above) with this easy to use non-recipe for galette dough. I used  roasted tomatoes and a yogurt broccoli spread for the filling. With a little lemon zest on top. But anything goes.

GREAT DANE-ISH: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. So this apple pastry pie should keep you clear for the year. Just omit the salt and add some extra fun spices of your own.

MUGGING IT: For those without patience or ovens, try one of these microwave cakes. A great solution for last minute dinner parties or sweet tooth fixes.

DO THE DOUGHNUT: Choose to fry ’em or bake ’em. But either way, make em. Just use sodium-free baking powder and baking soda.

PUFF N’ STUFF: Don’t be scared. Give homemade puffed pastry a try. Ashley Rodriguez has your back. And it’s way easier than you ever thought it could be. Just omit the salt.

BETTER BAKING TUTORIAL: So you’ve made your dough. Now here’s how you roll it out.

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