Springer's Kitchen

Vegetarian. High-Altitude. Mormon. Food.

Asparagus Tart

Ingredients

  • Flour, for work surface
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Havarti cheese, shredded or sliced*
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium or thin asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle.  Trim uneven edges.  Place pastry on a baking sheet.  With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle.  Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals.  Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with cheese.  Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over cheese, alternating ends and tips.  Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

*You can use just about any cheese you like.

Adapted slightly from Asparagus Gruyere Tart by Martha Stewart.

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Springer’s Favorite Mac & Cheese

I love the delightful creaminess created by the blending of cheeses in this recipe.  I went searching for the perfect homemade mac & cheese recipe, and I found it!

I like to serve this with a large side of steamed broccoli, in a pathetic attempt to balance out all the cheesy goodness!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 8 ounces shredded Swiss
  • 4 ounces Havarti
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 small tomatoes, but only if good quality and in-season
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (or panko crumbs)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it.  Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk.  While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth.  Off the heat, add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the top.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is golden brown on the top.

Adapted from Mac and Cheese by Ina Garten.

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