Here we are again. New Year’s Eve!
This year’s plans are very different from last year. This year we are have a semi-quiet evening. We are heading out to dinner with some good friends.
Last year we were almost in New York. It’s one of those bucket list things. I tell you, I would never do it again. 2 things were wrong with that trip. Number one, I’m too old to be standing around outside waiting for a countdown, New York or not. Number 2, we were not informed. We totally didn’t do any research.
I did get a hotel near the square, but no one told us we had to line up at like 6 am to get anywhere near the centre of the action.
We spent an hour standing in a crowd of people, 4 blocks away, in a barricaded area. We finally gave up at 10 pm and went back to the hotel, until 11pm. Then we made our way down to central park, took a buggy ride, chatted up a cop and waited for the countdown and fireworks.
It wasn’t a complete loss, the next day, everything was open. We had a good look around, ate a coal oven pizza, tried to go and see ground zero, (you need tickets!) and headed home. It gave us a nice glimpse of the city and how to plan better next time. Maybe in the spring time.
If I was , say hosting a party this year, I would defiantly server these. I made them for a poker game Mr. PBandO had, and they were awesome.
On a side note; Its starting to feel like this blog is more about me blabbing on about life and ending with a recipe. Sorry about that. More food talk in the future!
[Adapted from http://www.marthastewart.com/948287/pate-brisee]
2 ½ Cups of Flour
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of Cold Butter, Cut into Small Pieces
½ Cup of Ice Water
2-4 Slices of Bacon
4 Leeks, Chopped
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Mustard
½ Teaspoon Each, Salt, Pepper and Thyme
1 Package of Spinach, Thawed and Drained of Water
1 Cup Of Gruyere Cheese, Shredded
For the pate brisee; Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour, until it resembles coarse crumbs, (you may have some bigger pieces, that’s ok.) Pour the ice water into the flour, butter mixtures. Using your hands, mix until you can form two balls of dough. Flatten the dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling; In a medium pan, cook bacon until crispy. Place bacon on paper towel, and set aside. In the same pan, cook, onions and leeks until tender. Add balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and thyme. Add thawed and dried spinach. Set Aside.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
Remove the pastry from the fridge, one at a time. Roll-out the pastry, and using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut into 4inch squares. (I used the Mr. ‘s Tape measure)
Place each pastry square into muffin tin. Fill each pastry cup with 2 tablespoons of onion/spinach mixture, and top with cheese. Fold in all four sides, pressing gently in the centre.
Mix egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the tarts with the egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, server warm.