Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another puff pastry goodness

Asparagus and pumpkin tart

She unlocks the front door and stepped into the cold and silent house. "Honey, I'm home.." she muttered sarcastically.

As she closes the door behind her a series of continuous and annoying beeps breaks the silence. It was the burglar alarm beeping away, greeting the unknown presence in the house.

With a huge sigh, she turns around and entered a series of combinations onto the key pad and just like that, the beeps died and the sound of silence returns to the household.

For what seemed like an eternity she stood at the front of the house and stared past the living and dining room into the kitchen and the back yard. "Ahh.. paradise...pfft", she knows it won't be for long as she looked at the clock on the wall. It was 12:30pm on a Saturday afternoon. The boy's off at on another skiing adventure in Hotham and his mum was due back at 7:30 that night. That left her 6 hours to get the house back in order under his mum's standards.

She heaved another big sigh and headed straight for her room. The handbag was dumped on the floor next to the door and a few strides later, she was by her bedside plugging the power pack back into the laptop as she flipped it on.

Might as well get started now, she thought. The sooner I finish the cleaning the more time I'll get to soak up the nice weather outside.

As soon as Vista was up and running, she loaded up iTunes, clicked on the play button and cranked up the volume to Victory by Bond.

How ironic,
she snickered and headed into the laundry to load up the washing machine and get the wash underway.

Before long, the house was filled with the sound of violin+upbeat+sometimes technoey music blaring away, the washing machine chugging along on its various cycles and the sound of water being squeezed out of the mop and splattered onto the floor. She worked away until her stomach started growling. When she finally looked up at the clock on the wall, it was 2pm. No wonder she was hungry, the last meal she had was breakfast at 9am. It was time to feed.

The fridge was almost bare. The boy's mum had emptied it the week before she left for Perth and they had only shopped enough for 3 meals during the week. The boy has been at the mountains since Friday and since she was by herself, she had spent Friday night at the cousin's. Boozing and drowning the week's sorrows away with beers, pimms (and lemonades) and baileys (on rocks).

A few minutes of rummaging later, a small bowl of roasted pumpkin (left over from Wednesday night's dinner), a bunch of asparagus and a packet of shaved parmesan ended up on the kitchen counter. A slab of puff pastry was removed from the freezer and was parked next to the rest of the ingredients.

asparagus & chilli oil

Hmm... she thought as an idea quickly formed in her head. She remembered a recipe she came across a while ago on Tami's blog and decide that she'd put her own spin on it with the left over pumpkin. She opened up the pantry for the bottle of chilli oil when STELLAAAA cried up to her. She picked Stella up along with the bottle of chilli olive oil, closed the pantry door and parked Stella in the freezer whilst she got to work on lunch.

In went the pumpkin in the microwave for about 7mins and then mashed with a fork. The oven was set to preheat at 180 degrees C and the asparagus was snapped off the bases, washed and dried.

She took 1 sheet of puff pastry from the slab and returned the rest into the freezer. Folded the puff pastry sheet in 1/2, halved it again and started cutting and slicing away until she ended up with what looked like a square photo frame on puff pastry.

The photo frame like pastries were basted generously with egg wash and baked for about 5-7mins in the oven just to get the puffs rising, then removed from the oven.

The mashed pumpkin was spread inside the "frame" and topped with the asparagus, basted with the garlic and chilli oil and placed into the oven again for another 10mins (or so). Once the time was up, it was removed from the oven and topped with the parmesan cheese, cracked salt and pepper and placed under the grill until the cheese started melting and the frames of the pastry started to brown.

"WoohoO! Lunch is served!" She declared. On the way out to the backyard, she picked up the tart and Stella from the freezer and sat outside under the sun with her laptop, still blaring away - on Linkin Park now, accompanied by some nice and light reading material.

She took one large gulp of Stella and said to herself, "AHhh... now this is paradise.."

Ahh paradise....

Ed - 28/9: Just discovered that its HHDD time again. The theme this round is "tarts" of all sorts of flavours hosted by Sarini of TriniGourmet . Don't forget to head over to TriniGourmet and check out the rest of the entries next week.


Ginger said...

Love this entry! I have satisfied my daily need for readings today!

That's an amazing food you put together!

Anh said...

OMG, you know what... I was just 'day dreaming' about pastry with asparagus. You speak my mind! This looks wonderful!

K & S said...

that tart looks wonderful, will have to try this some time.

ilingc said...

Ginger: Thanks Ginger :) It was really simple. I just love what you can do with puff pastries.

Anh: Hehe great minds think alike Anh!

Kat: Thanks Kat. The pumpkin and the asparagus went really well together, surprisingly. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to try it :)

Truffle said...

I adore all things puff pastry so unsurprisingly love the sound of this. Looks beautiful too!

ilingc said...

Truffle: Thanks! I love the versatility of puff pastry, how you can use it on both sweet and savoury ingredients. :)

TriniGourmet said...

Thanks so much for taking part in this month's round of Hay Hay it's Donna Day :) The roundup should be posted later today or tomorrow :D Stay Tuned!

Barbara said...

Thanks for joining us at HHDD Ilingc. I love the asparagus version.