two potato rosemary tart + multisensory eating

This tart is a perfect hearty fall meal. It combines sweet potatoes and purple potatoes and lots of fresh rosemary. Despite how freaking fancy it looks, it is surprisingly easy and quick to make. If you aren't comfortable making your own crust, you really should give it a try, a couple of attempts and you'll be a pro in no time at all. 

...drumroll I give you.... my two potato tart. A little reminder of the simple joy of cooking and creating something beautiful. 

the whole experience of eating   

What is going on around you when you eat plays a huge role in how you experience the taste and satisfaction of a meal. I've always been a little obsessive about setting the table for dinner, dimming the lights, putting on some music, lighting a candle. Wow, now that I write that down it's strangely similar to the steps one might take in say seduction ... interesting.... But seriously, paying a little attention to your surroundings and presentation honors the food, the work of many who've made your meal possible, and it shows respect for yourself to slow down and appreciate the beauty of mealtime. I'm going to give you a quote from an article I read this week that I'm about to recommend: 

"Alongside sex, eating is one of the most multisensory of our activities .....In most cases at least half of our experience of food and drink is determined by the forgotten flavor senses of vision, sound, and touch"

If you are trying to eat more mindfully I recommend taking a few steps to bring a little extra pizazz to your table.  Do this especially if you are eating alone, bring in a flower or greenery from outside, light a candle, these simple notions can remind you to savor the beauty around you.

what is she reading 

I have to recommend you read this article: Accounting For Taste from the New Yorker's Food Issue this last week.  The article profiles Charles Spence a researcher investigating what he calls multisensory integration in eating, which is basically the interplay between taste and your other senses, touch, sound, smell and sight. A couple of findings from his research: 

"a strawberry-flavored mousse tastes ten per cent sweeter when served from a white container rather than a black one...adding two and a half ounces to the weight of a plastic yogurt container makes the yogurt seem about twenty-five per cent more filling"

To my disappointment, so far this research has mostly been used by packaged goods companies to sell more processed foods. However, the applications are potentially broad and the research itself is a valuable appreciation for the multisensory experience of eating. Enjoy! Here is the link: Accounting For Taste

two potato tart sweet potato purple
rosemary
two potato tart
potatoes

two potato rosemary tart

This has been adapted from: smitten kitchen Thanks Deb, your rule.

ingredients
servings: 4
time:  1.5-2 hours (mostly waiting for the tart to bake)

2 medium sweet potatoes  
2 medium purple potatoes (red potatoes will do here if you can't find purple)
1/2 cup plain yogurt or heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1/4 pound gruyere shredded (or cheddar or mozzarella will do)
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

Tart Crust
6 tablespoons cold butter, diced into small pieces
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

directions

savory tart crust
Combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender in very tiny pieces. If you don't have this tool you can use two knives to cut the butter. Next, add the egg to your flour and mix everything with a fork until a dough forms. If you are having trouble mixing, a little kneading on your counter should do the trick.  

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan and press to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Now you can add your filling

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

First you need to pre-cook the potatoes slightly before baking them in the tart. You can do this in one of two ways, the tastier way is to bring a pot of water to boil and simmer them whole for about 10 mins, and then pat dry. Or if you're in a pinch for time, you could microwave the potatoes for about 3-5mins per potato until just tender (but not mushy!)  After the potatoes are soft, slice them into thin (about 1/4-inch) rounds, I like to use my mandolin for this to get them nice and thin.

Arrange the potatoes in the tart shell into a fantastic design of your choosing, here you can see I alternated the purple/sweet potatoes into two big circles. Mix the yogurt or heavy cream with the egg and pour into tart shell. Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes. Add the herbs about 30 mins into baking.  In total bake 45-50 minutes, until bubbly and brown.

 
 

brussel sprout mini galettes w/balsamic caramelized leeks

These mini galettes are a flavor battleground between balsamic caramelized leeks, mushrooms, crunchy roasted beets, and tangy blue cheese.  Of course I added in an obscene amount of rosemary because its fresh, growing abundantly around Portland and smells so freaking good in my hands, kitchen, and galette.  

brussel mini galette

what kind of hungry are you?

In my own experience eating well is not about militantly avoiding certain foods. It is about respecting your true biological hunger. It's about taking the time for yourself, when you eat to really ask, how hungry am I? 

Getting in touch with your true physical hunger is probably both the hardest, and the most transformative part of mindful eating. Jan Chozen Bays argues there are actually seven different types of hunger. In her book “Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food”:  eye hunger, nose hunger, mouth hunger, stomach hunger, mind hunger, cellular hunger, and heart hunger.  

If you just read all seven of those types of hunger, and you are like me, you might be thinking:  wow I have not paid nearly enough attention, and what the heck is eye hunger. I encourage you to check out her book, she gives great advice about how to really listen to your body and your emotions to achieve a very nuanced awareness of what is motivating you to eat. But, in the meantime while you wait for your Amazon prime delivery, I'll explain the short version of why this is important.

 Most people have a desire to eat and therefore think, "I am hungry" which is not always true. You could be nervous, excited, bored, enticed by a smell or picture, but when you actually take a moment to become aware of your physical signs of hunger, you may discover that you are not hungry at all or even really full. In order to eat the types of food and quantity that your body truly needs, paying attention to your hunger before you eat is paramount.

You can start thinking more deeply about your hunger with this zinger of a mini brussell galette. I guarantee you that you'll enjoy it more if you bite in when you're body actually needs fuel!

Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces butter, very cold
1⁄2 cup ice cold water

Filling
3 small leeks
6-8 mushrooms
4 cups brussel sprouts (diced into 1/4 wedges)
1/2 cup of blue cheese
2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar  
1-2 springs fresh rosemary
salt
basil to garnish

1. Make the galette crust by first combining the flour and salt. (Pro-tip: keeping the flour and bowl very cold can help with the crust end-result). Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal - work as quickly as you can so that the butter does not warm up. Add the ice water and form the dough gently until it comes together - DON'T OVERMIX (#1 pasty rule) Wrap the dough ball in plastic and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes (or you can be like me and make multiple batches to freeze up to three months)

2. Preheat the oven to 375. Bake the brussel sprouts w/a little coconut oil for about 15-20 mins until they brown on top.  In the meantime dice the leeks into small disks and the slice the mushrooms into similar sized pieces. Saute the leeks in coconut oil and balsamic on medium heat for about 5 mins until soft, then add in the mushrooms and a few pinches of salt.  Saute from about 10 min longer, drain excess liquid (you don't want your galette to get watery!) Then add in the blue cheese to your leek/mushroom mix. 

3. To make the pastry, cut the dough into 6-8 equal pieces and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. I have these fun pastry pans, but you can make a galette right on a baking sheet as well. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled baking surface or parchment paper. Add in the leeks mixture, then the brussel sprout and top with the fresh rosemary. Bake for about 20-30min until the crust is turning golden brown. 

Optional: Use a pizza stone, this helps the galette crust stay firm and crispy on the bottom.