Garlic breath that’s worth it
|September 28, 2010||Posted by Guest under Recipes, What's for Dinner|
While Emily is settling into her new apartment in Portland, Ore., she asked friend Emery Paine to fill in for her. Here, he describes his first experience with garlic torta, a filling dish with pork belly, creamy cheese and a mix of spices.
“It’s never too early for garlic breath,” the young woman said as she began her breakfast with a slice of garlic torta. While somewhat unconventional as a breakfast choice, I had tried the garlic torta for the first time as dinner the night before and enjoyed it thoroughly.
The flavors of the garlic, cheese, spice, pork and raisins conspired to create a delicious ensemble, which I successfully recreated later at home. About the only thing I would change for next time is that I might use a simpler dough for the torta, such as one that I have used in other recipes and found easier to work with than more traditional pastry doughs.
From The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy.
For the pâte brisée
NOTE: This delicate, fragile, and crisp pastry has infinite uses. It is suitable for all pies, tarts, and pâtés, rolled thicker or thinner as the recipe specifies. The basic proportions given here may vary from recipe to recipe.
- 1 1/4 cup flour (250g)
- 9 tablespoons butter (125g)
- 1/3 cup water, approximately
- 1 scant teaspoon salt
For the filling
- 5 heads garlic
- 7 ounces fresh (or salt) pork belly (200g)
- 6 ounces whole-milk farmer’s cheese (165g)
- 5 ounces cream cheese (135g)
- 3 eggs
- scant 1/2 cup raisins (80g)
- 12 threads saffron
For the spice mixture
- 1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/3 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the pastry: Cut the butter into small pieces, and rub or cut it into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of sawdust. Dissolve the salt in half of the water, and add to the flour mixture. Combine quickly with your fingertips, without overworking, just until the dough comes together. If necessary, add more water as required. Form into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and leave to rest in the refrigerator at least two hours before using.
Bring a pot of water to the boil. Meanwhile, break the garlic into cloves. Peel the garlic and add it to the boiling water; lower the heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of cold water.
Grind the pork in a food processor or meat grinder, or chop it finely with a knife. Do not trim away the fat.
Preheat the over to 400°. Drain the garlic thoroughly and puree it in a food processor or mortar and pestle. In a mixing bowl, add the cheeses, the ground pork, the spice mixture (crushed between your fingers), the eggs, and the raisins. Add salt to taste and stir the mixture until smooth. If you are using salt pork belly, be very sparing with the salt.
Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and line a deep 9-inch (22 cm.) tart pan. Add the filling, roll out the remaining pastry, and cover the pie, pressing the seams tightly shut. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
(Redon, Odile; Sabban, Franҫoise; Serventi, Silvano; authors and Schneider, Edward; translator. (1998) The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy. University of Chicago Press. Chicago, IL. pp. 134-135, 225)