JUNE 20 2011


That's right, FOUR recipes conquered today! We hosted a little dinner party for some family this evening and picked up an enormous salmon from the farmer's market for the main course. There aren't any salmon recipes in Frankies, so I chose a couple simple sides to accompany the fish.

Since there were going to be eight people and I'm not a huge fan of dessert, I jumped at this chance to get one of the desserts out of the way. After consulting with hubby, who will end up having to eat any leftovers (poor guy), I picked the chocolate tart for tonight. Mostly because it's the most decadent dessert and we will need all the help we can get eating it.

Luckily, I was able to make the tart shell and the roasted carrots last night. The pate brisee came together quite easily, thanks to my handy KitchenAid mixer. Half of the recipe goes into the freezer to be used for the cheesecake recipe. The rest is pressed into a tart pan with removable bottom, baked, cooled and popped into the fridge to wait overnight. Thankfully I was able to borrow said tart shell with removable bottom because I really don't want to buy something I will only use once. Speaking of... where am I going to find a springform pan for the upcoming cheesecake? That is a question for another day.

Moving on! Also easy were the roasted carrots. Simply slicked with olive oil and seasoned with salt and white pepper they went into the oven for 40 - 45 minutes until tender. My plan was to serve them at room temperature, so they were pretty much ready to go at that point.

When I got home from work today, I pulled the carrots out of the fridge to warm up and set my sights on the chocolate tart filling. The recipe is basically cream, sugar, chocolate and butter all melted together then poured into the waiting shell and chilled until firm. Easy peasy!

ready to chill

Next, four sweet potatoes get rubbed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and white pepper. Then, wrapped tightly in foil, into the oven to roast 30 - 35 minutes per the recipe. I had a feeling that wouldn't be long enough, and I was right. They actually ended up taking about an hour before they were cooked through. Meanwhile, I poured myself a glass of wine and put the fish on the grill.

They're here! Offer everyone else a glass of wine then turn them loose in the backyard while I finish getting ready. Unwrap the sweet potatoes and slice them into thick rounds. Hmm... two of them are quite soft, one is perfect and one is undercooked. Dang! They were all about the same size, too. Guess I will try rotating them on the tray about halfway through the roasting time. Oh well, there's plenty without the undercooked one. After a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, they are ready to go

Fish done... let's eat! The roasted veggies are nice. Simple and clean flavor. After eating them as is, I added a dollop harissa to my second helping for a little pizzazz. Yum! I will probably serve the carrots hot out of the oven next time, just to mix things up :)

Finale of chocolate tart and fresh whipped cream. Recipe insisted I sprinkle the thing with powdered sugar before serving. But it basically melted into the chocolate within a few minutes and would have been covered by the whipped cream anyway. Skip that step next time (if there is a next time).

Wow. That is some serious chocolate. Like an injection straight into my veins. Can't quite finish my slice. But, seconds are had by some and a good-size wedge of leftovers are sent off as a treat for later. Success!

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