Here’s an elegant way to serve potatoes and tomatoes in a tart with with a crust that adds the flavor overtones of Parmesan and chili. “Tart” is, for me, a special word. It always seems to denote something special, something personal, something with a twist that will make me smile. This tart is exactly that lovely treat. There is a dash of richness from the creme fraiche, overtones from sea salt, and a chile hit.
This tart consists of a tomato base topped with potato slices. You can artfully arrange those slices in different patterns and perhaps top with some additional chili flakes or herbs.
This tart takes a bit of effort, but you’ll truly appreciate the results. It can be a side dish, but has the substance of a main course. Try this on a Sunday afternoon. Let the ballgames play out on television while you focus on something sure to be a success. [This blog was written by a New York Giants fan after three consecutive losses. I need, and deserve, serious comfort food.]
Chile Potato Tart
Yield: Makes 6 servings
- 1 ½ pounds ripe red plum tomatoes halved lengthwise and seeded [or cherry tomatoes]
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 large red chile
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pound waxy potatoes boiled in their skins for 15 minutes then peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 ¼ cups crème fraiche lightly whipped and seasoned with salt and pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purposes flour
- Pinch of salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced,
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 red chile, seeded and very finely chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
To roast the tomatoes, lightly brush a baking tray with some of the olive oil and arrange the tomatoes cut side up. Add the garlic and whole chile and sprinkle with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and sugar evenly over the tomatoes and bake in the preheated oven.
Remove the garlic after 10-15 minutes when soft, and squeeze the flesh into a bowl. Remove the chile after 15-20 minutes when the skin is blistered and slightly charred. Leave the tomatoes for 45-50 minutes until very soft and slightly charred. Cool the chile a little, then peel, seed, chop finely, and add to the garlic. Scoop the tomato flesh into the bowl, discarding skins [with cherry tomatoes, simply mash the skins]. Mash the flesh. Season to taste.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan and chile, if using. Add enough cold water to make firm dough.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a greased, 10-inch fluted art pan. Lightly prick the base with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes, then line with foil and baking beans. Heat a baking tray on the middle shelf of a preheated oven at. 400°. Put the tart shell on the tray, bake for 10-15 minutes, then remove from the oven and remove the foil and beans. Increase the oven heat to 450°.
Spread the tomato mixture evenly over the tart base, then over with concentric circles of potato slices. Pour the crème fraiche over the potato. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the top is golden.
Potatoes: From Mash To Fries by Annie Nichols
From James Peterson’s Meat comes a new level of heat. His interpretation of chili [not chile] uses meat along with beans, but it’s the poblanos that make the difference. This is a hot dish. A beer evoking, tongue singing recipe that will put sweat on your brow. Those are facts, not a complaint. This chili is definitely a meal unto itself.
You can make a full batch of this chili, enjoy what you wish, and then freeze for a rainy day. We ate this just straight from the pot, with none of the adornments you might want: sour cream, onion, or cheese. We wanted to enjoy the flavor of this recipe by itself, and we did just that. The first ingredient listed below is 8 poblano chiles, and Peterson does suggest you have sour cream on the table. You just might want the soothing sour cream ready on the side!
Poblano Chili con Carne
Yield: 8 servings
- 8 poblano chiles
- 3 pounds boneless beef stew meat from the chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 tomatoes, about 5 pounds total weight, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, rinsed, seeded, and chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Sour cream
If you have a gas stove, put the poblano chiles over the flame and turn as needed to blacken evenly. If you don’t have a gas stove, preheat the broiler,
Put the poblano chiles on a sheet pan, slip under the broiler, and broil, turning as needed to blacken evenly. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for about 15 minutes to steam to simplify peeling. Rinse the peppers under cold running water and peel away the skin with your fingertips. Scrape off any stubborn patches with a small knife. Seed the chiles and cut length-wise into ¼ inch-wide strips.
Season the meat all over with salt and pepper. In a heavy sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, working in batches if needed to avoid crowding, add the beef and brown well on all sides. Transfer the beef to a plate. Pour the fat out of the pan.
In a pot just large enough to hold the meat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat them, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the onion and garlic have softened. Add the browned meat, tomatoes, oregano, and cumin to the pot and stir well. Cover, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for about 1½hours, or until the meat is just tender.
Add the poblanos, re-cover, and simmer for 30 minutes longer, or until the meat is easily penetrated with a fork. Add the chipotle chile and cilantro and stir well. Spoon the chili into warmed soup plates and serve. Pass the sour cream at the table.