Thursday, 1 March 2012

Green Tart with Prawns



Alright, the carnival’s over and Lent has come upon us once again. Not that I fast during Lent, I’m a totally un-inhibited and unreligious person. But to prepare a nice, light ‘n’ tasty Lent recipe for you is always a pleasure. That’s why I’ve decided to show you how to make a Green Tart with Prawns. If you don’t like vegetables, do not worry: the tart will be green because we’ll use lots of herbs. You can use deep-frozen herbs.

Let’s start with the first step of our recipe: the shortcrust pastry. You can either buy it ready-to-use or prepare it yourself (it’s not too difficult). Here’s how:

What you need: 
  • 300 g of flour 
  • 150 g of softened butter 
  • ½ teaspoonful of salt 
  • 8 cl of warm water 
How to proceed: 
  • Attention: The butter must be soft but not melted! Thus do not forget to take it out of the fridge at least 3 hours before you start cooking (or put in it the microwave-oven for 1 minute at minimum power). 
  • Mix flour and salt. 
  • Add butter and knead it in. 
  • Within 2-3 minutes, you should have something that looks like semolina. 
  • Knead in the water, which should help your dough to form a nice, smooth ball. 
  • Spread it out on a sheet of baking paper. This will make it easier to put it in the pie dish. 
  • Don’t keep this pastry in your fridge because it will get hard very fast. 
Now the second step: the Tart

What you need: 
  • A shortcrust pastry 
  • 400 g of pealed prawns 
  • 500 g of cottage cheese or curd cheese 
  • 5 eggs 
  • 2 shallots 
  • 1 spoonful of chopped dill 
  • 1 spoonful of chopped chive 
  • 1 spoonful of chopped tarragon 
  • 1 spoonful of chopped parsley 
  • Salt, pepper 
  • Ground nutmeg (optional) 
  • A drizzle of olive oil 
How to proceed: 
  • Make sure you dry off excess water from your prawns, otherwise the tart might come out of the oven in a slightly sloppy-soppy state! 
  • Spread the pastry in a pie dish, prick it with a fork. 
  • Chop your shallots. 
  • Deep-fry them with some drops of olive oil until golden. 
  • Let them cool down. Do not forget them (I did, just remembered them the second before I put the tart in the oven. That’s why I added them on the tart instead of putting them in the tart. And yes, mine were reddish, so that’s the red colour spots on top of the tart: forgotten red shallots).
  • Preheat your oven, 200-210°C. 
  • In two bowls, separate yolks from whites. 
  • Beat the yolks, add salt and pepper. 
  • Beat the whites until stiff. 
  • Mix the cottage cheese or curd cheese into the yolks. 
  • Add dill, chive, tarragon and parsley and the shallots you’ve just fried. Yeah, remember them darn shallots, okay?
  • Delicately mix in your stiff whites. 
  • You can add some ground nutmeg if you want (don’t add too much as you will want to taste all those fabulous herbs, after all). 
  • Spread the pealed prawns on the pastry. 
  • Pour the preparation egg-cheese-herbs over them. 
  • Put in the oven, bake for 20 minutes. 
You can serve this tart with a nice little salad; if you have bought fresh herbs, why not add some chive and parsley to your Sauce Vinaigrette, too? Anyway, this dish is absolutely delicious, fresh and yummy and hardly contains a single calorie (well, I’m perhaps a little bit exaggerating, but only a little bit). If you love herbs the way I do, you can add more of each to the mixture than indicated; yet the taste of tarragon will tend to “override” that of the other herbs so be careful not to add too much! 
Bon appétit!

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