I am very excited about the post for today! Whoo Hoo! I have Chef Dennis from A Culinary Journey here and he has created a beautiful vegetarian main dish. Before I present him to you I’d like to say a few things about this wonderful man. When I first started blogging and I really can’t call it blogging, let’s just say I had a blogspot web site called Cheers To Lunch. I was putting recipes up for my daughter and posting them on my personal Facebook page and one day there was a comment, my first comment ever. It was from Chef Dennis. I had no idea what this whole foodie world was all about. I had registered on Foodbuzz but never uploaded photos or had any friends. When Chef Dennis left a comment, at first I did nothing, zip, nada. It was some time later when I created Cooking’s Good and started to have a feel for what was going on that I e-mailed him to thank him for that comment and introduce myself and he invited me to do a guest post for him. That was last year sometime. Long story short, Dennis has become a mentor for me in the foodie world. Thank you Dennis for all your encouraging words over the course of our friendship and for agreeing to guest post here today. You’ve got it all going on and you are too cool.
Did you know that Chef Dennis once played in a band? Yep, he played bass and guitar and sang back up haromonies. Those were the days. We all played in rock bands back then (me too) and then most of us grew out of it. Except for my husband, who still plays, arranges and composes music.
I am truly honored to present to you this very talented and kind-hearted man. Thank you my friend.
WELCOME CHEF DENNIS
SF Foodbuzz Festival 2010 – Courtesy Chef Dennis
To all of you that don’t know me, I’m Chef Dennis and it’s my great pleasure to be here today guest posting on Cooking’s Good Vegetarian Cafe! I don’t get to do too many guest posts because of the time constraints of my job, my blog and life in general, and things just keep getting crazier!
So when Suzi asked me about guest posting and told me the date, I was happy to hear that it was after my school year had ended, and I could say yes. It was a quite a rough year for me, but now that it’s over I can finally breathe a sigh of relief, and get to enjoying my time off!
When thinking about what to make for my guest post, I thought a dessert would be the easiest thing to make for a vegetarian blog, but I didn’t want to just make something because it was easy, or just for the sake of making something. When I have guest bloggers on my site, it’s really easy to tell when someone’s put thought and time into their post, or when they just threw something together out of obligation. That’s not good for either of you when you do that, and I wasn’t about to do that to a friend!
I had this crazy idea about making a crust out of Ritz crackers ( I do love Ritz crackers) and thought it would be the same as making a graham cracker pie crust (well, I really didn’t think it was the same, but I was hoping for the best). While the flavors and texture of my savory tart were amazing, I learned a very valuable lesson with the Ritz crackers……while everything does sit better on a Ritz, they weren’t talking about pie crusts….sigh
Now it wasn’t awful, it was just too crumbly and didn’t add to the deliciousness of my savory tart. So in hindsight, next time I make it (and I certainly will), I will make a regular pie crust for the base, perhaps making it just a tad savory as well.
I hope you enjoy it as much as Lisa and I did, and thanks once again to Suzi for allowing me to share her blog with her today!
Spinach – Tomato Tart
4 cups baby spinach leaves
4 roma tomatoes – sliced ¼ inch thick
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup 2% plain greek yogurt
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, and 1 large egg yolk
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp grated romano cheese
1 tbsp chopped basil
2 sleeves ritz crackers
¼ lb unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Pulse ritz crackers in your food processor to make fine crumbs
Melt one stick of butter and mix with ritz crackers.
Press mixture into 8-9 inch tart pan
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees
Place spinach in sauté pan with heavy cream and cook over medium heat until for 2-3 minutes
Reduce heat and season with sea salt and pepper
Press one tablespoon of butter into flour making a beurre manie, add this to the spinach mixture, this will help thicken up the mixture.
As mixture thickens remove from the heat and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes.
When mixture is cool to the touch, add in egg, egg yolk and greek yogurt
Return mixture to the heat and let it gently simmer for 2 minutes
Top tart crust with spinach mixture, then gently add tomato slices on top of mixture (don’t press them down)
Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes
Remove from oven and sprinkle grated romano cheese on top of tomatoes and return to oven, continue baking for 10 more minutes
Remove tart from oven and allow to cool.
Before serving top with chopped fresh basil
You should serve this tart warm or at room temperature.
Prep time: 10 min Cook time : 40 min Serves: 6
Thank you so much Chef, this was a real treat and your tart is a beauty. Isn’t that a beauty? I love that you included my favorite veggie - spinach.
Please stop by and see more of Chef Dennis fantastic recipes and also check out his Ask Chef Dennis pages, there is a wealth of information for food bloggers. Questions you might not know the answer to can probably be found there including helpful hints on photography and lots of social media tips. You can also attend his cooking classes at the ChefHangout.com on Google+. Check em’ out.Tweet