Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Starter For 12

Our friend Angela had us over for a big birthday lunch day today. And it was lovely. She does the same as me - has a board of bites waiting on the table and glasses ready so you can put something in your mouth the second you get your coat off - that is how it should be done. Doesn't have to be much - I often do a salami ring with a knife or a whole cheese and a dish of chutney or a slab of paté and some gherkins. I can't stand it when you've been there half an hour before anyone gets you a drink or opens the crisps. Or if after an hour they then start peeling the potatoes! I think it should be drink, nibble and then meal on the table all within 45 minutes. The only problem with my get-it-on-the-table method is that people are often late and I end up serving burnt roasties or dried-up dauphinoise .
Anyway, when we got to Angela's she had a giant board with two delicious warm tarts on it already cut into mouth-sized pieces. Good girl!

Angela's Ham & Spinach Tarts
Serves 12 - 18 as a starter
500g plain flour
250g chilled, diced butter
chopped fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks, thinly sliced
2 large onions, thinly sliced
500g spinach, wilted and and drained
8 large slices of cotto or other good, thin ham
500g creme fraiche
6 eggs
150g Comté, grated
handful freshly grated Parmesan

Make up a classic shortcrust pastry with the flour, butter, herbs and a little water. Use to line two standard Swiss-Roll tins. Prick with a fork and bake blind for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and soften the leeks and onions.

Spoon the leeks and onions into the tins, spreading them out to make a thin layer. Cover with the spinach and then the ham.

Beat together the creme fraiche, eggs and both cheeses. Spoon over the ham and bake for 20 minutes until set and golden brown.


BLTP said...

longest wait for food at an ex friends over 3 hours and we only got a tuna melt sandwich :(

Silvana said...

3 hours for a tuna sandwich! That's rubbish!

Rob said...

Tuna melt - be fair! I hate it when you've waited HOURS then the people put the food on the table, sit down, exhale loudly like they've just run a flaming marathon and LIGHT A FAG BEFORE THEY EAT (this happened to us once) :(

BLTP said...

and we had to go to the offy twice

Tony said...

Making your guests have to wait for something to eat and drink is the worst crime in the world.