Saturday, January 10, 2009

Potato Crusted Savory Tarts

You may remember seeing my tart made from eggs, spinach and onion posted elsewhere, but I will repeat this slight variation along with a potato crust. 

Wash 6 medium to large potatoes.  If they are thin skinned they may be prepared un-peeled. 
Slice the potatoes very thinly, nearly into potato chip slices. 
Grease a 9x12 baking dish or other similar decorative uncovered casserole dish with butter, olive oil or baking spray.
Begin lining the pan with the slices of potato, starting on the sides of the pan overlapping them like fanned cards.  The top of the potato slices should be near the top rim of the pan, and extend down into the corner to the bottom of the pan.  If you are using butter for greasing the pan, it will help to hold the slices in place as you work.  Continue in concentric rectangles around the pan on the bottom. overlapping the first row.  Continue till the entire pan is lined.  You want a neat pattern on the rim, but the bottom will never be seen.  Repeat this again till the entire pan has at least two layers.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with foil.  Bake about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven till the potatoes become slightly tender.  Remove from the oven and pour in the filling posted here, or your favorite quiche recipe made with slightly less milk so it is less likely to seep in between the potato slices. 
Bake 45 minutes uncovered.  Remove from the oven and brush the exposed potato slices along the edge of the pan with olive oil or butter, mixed with seasoned salt and sprinkle the top of the tart with Parmesan or other cheese appropriate for the filling you have used..
Return to the oven for fifteen to 20 minutes or till the potato edges are brown and the filling is set.

My favorite filling:

Cook and squeeze dry, one package of frozen chopped spinach.
Slice two onions about the size of a tennis ball and caramelize in olive oil till thoroughly brown and soft.  Salt and pepper them, and add water a couple of times to hurry the process allowing the water to evaporate and the onions to fry again each time.
Place the spinach and onions into a bowl to cool about five minutes.  Grate in a bit of nutmeg and add garlic powder(you may also use roasted garlic or add sliced garlic to the onions as they cook.) over the vegetables.  Add about 3/4 cup of milk or Half and Half and six eggs.  Beat all together with about half a cup of Parmesan or feta cheese.
Pour into the half baked potato crust.  Top with your choices of sausage, ham, precooked crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes with the liquid squeezed out, black olives, mushrooms, roasted red pepper strips, etc..

Serve a sauce of fresh, pureed tomato pulp (mixed with Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper), marinara, onion bechamel(posted elsewhere), or other favorite on the side.

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