Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Jamie Oliver's Asparagus and Potato Tart

Last week's brunch party began in the early AM with Karen baking a delicious coffee cake that included chocolate chips, orange zest, and two layers of crusty pecan streusel. In fact, this link to the coffee cake recipe is my main reason for posting today. Work and fatherhood have gotten me behind in my blogging. Fulfilling my promise to a coworker to share this recipe compelled me to follow through despite a lack of pictures or, frankly, motivation. Luckily, the two dishes featured here are worth reading about and trying yourself.

When we saw the asparagus episode of Jamie at Home on the Food Network, we knew we had to try and make this beautiful brunch item. The asparagus and potato tart involved a couple items that we didn't have and couldn't find, so we substituted. The recipe called for lancashire cheese (why all the specifically English ingredients?). River City Cellars didn't carry it, but their cheese bible recommended l'etivas, a very sharp and crumbly swiss variety. Also, Jamie showed off the tart's crispy filo dough crust by cooking his in a tart pan with a removable rim. We didn't have the right size tart pan, so we went with a standard Pyrex baking dish. It had to be rectangular to showcase the asparagus pinstripes properly.

On TV, the yellow and green striped tart was absolutely beautiful with its golden brown accents. However, after reading over the mixed reviews of the recipe, I started to have second thoughts. People said it was basically a fancy serving of mashed potatoes, that it needed more cheese and eggs, and that it was prettier than it was tasty. So, I added one more egg and a 1/2 cup more cheese. However, I didn't accurately measure out 1 lb of potatoes, so I think it all balanced out. Next time, heap the cheese and double the eggs. How many potatoes makes a pound, anyhow?

The end result was a really pretty pan of cheesy fluffy potatoes wrapped with fillo and embedded with asparagus (again, I'm sorry I was too distracted to take pictures). The l'etivas cheese imparted a sharpness that stayed with you after each bite, but it was mellowed out by the fresh ground nutmeg. The asparagus on top seemed like they were mostly for visual effect. Maybe some of the attendees of our brunch party can chime in about this. I think the best addition were the four organic eggs that came from our friends' chickens. They intensified the yellowness and the fluffiness.

Lessons learned:
  • Try at least one dish from each episode of Jamie at Home on the Food Network.
  • Push extra sweets off on the guests before they leave, otherwise, I'm stuck eating it and getting fatter.
  • Limit Jaser's social opportunities to smaller groups. The dude got a little overstimulated and his screaming may have permanently damaged my eardrums.
  • Frankie-poo Bubbas will not be upstaged. Five out of six visitors to our house leave wanting a pug (picture soon to be uploaded).


  1. Renbrook2:46 PM

    That tart sure was tasty! And the coffee cake, so yummy. My "girls" thank you for the compliment.

  2. the tart sounds rocking. I am having some house guests in town for a friends wedding so I may have to whip these up for breakfast instead of my famous blueberry pancakes.

    see ya

  3. Coworkers: Here are the cookies I brought in today:

  4. Thanks for the recipe link Jason. By the way, that pic of Frankie makes him look so regal :)

  5. sketchy11:48 AM

    here's a warning about the Jamie at home episode recipes. make sure they are listed on the food tv website or the J.O. website. I attempted to make a recipe based off the episode, and it totally bombed. I scoured the JO forums, and EVERYBODY bombed on the recipe.

    It turns out that the recipe that was given on the show was not what he cooked. The final recipe kept getting changes, and the real on ewill be published in his cookbook.


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