radish and coconut tarts

I had baked the pastry and mixed together the yoghurt. I opened up the drawer to get the okra and found that it had completely rotted away. So, that’s what happened to these okra tarts for Lina’s Creative Ingredient Challenge…they turned into radish tarts. For this challenge Lina assigned each of us a vegetable. I was excited to work with okra (I could tell from the start it would be either a tart or a cake!) but in the end, I didn’t manage to carry it out. I’m not exactly participating for this challenge as a result, but I’m still sharing what I ended up with. “Informal” participation maybe?

Anyways, imagine them how they should be. Take the okra, slice it into rounds and fry it in a generous amount of very hot oil until almost burnt on both sides and crisp. Toss it in a bowl with some salt, paprika, turmeric and mustard seeds. While still hot, put on top of the tarts along with a bit of sliced radish and fresh mint. Eee I think it would work. I think, but it’s hard to tell without actually making it!turmeric rough puff pastrybaked turmeric puff pastryI’ll try again with okra one day to make them properly, and in the meantime, perhaps it’s good that I ended up making these radish tarts first. A couple things could be improved. I found the radish tarts rich enough, and so having crispy and oily okra might be too rich. Secondly, maybe a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle could be used to make the filling a bit more paste-like, and I could probably play around a bit more with the flavours in the filling.

Lina’s challenge, which I’ve already failed one criteria of, asks us to write about a best friend. Quite a few of my friends know I have a food blog, but they don’t actually know what it’s called or seen it…I always put it off, saying “one day when it’s actually good” and sometimes “one day when I actually write something substantial.” While it’s improved since it first began, at the very least, I have a feeling I’ll keep on putting it off for ages…I was already pretty shy and I decided to go to a high school where I didn’t have any pre-exising friends to smooth the transition. For the first couple weeks it was my biggest regret and I berated myself constantly. Now I realize if I had gone to a different school, I would have missed out on some of my favourite people.

The first day was that bizarre tumble of different people and meandering around and feeling lost. Our high school was always a bit overcrowded, and so I found out I was sharing a locker with two other people. I met them both that first day where the three of us stared doubtfully at the skinny metal box, big enough to hold one backpack and maybe a couple books on the shelf. That was the last day I ever saw them, after that it was only their winter coats, which sort of sums of my first few weeks–I would meet people and then never see or speak to them again.So this is about the first lasting friend I made in senior high school, and who made my high school life a lot more fun. She came into our first class of high school, Social Studies, late, and responded in the best possible way–with a slightly apologetic and rueful but cheerful smile. At that moment I thought she looked like the sort of person I wanted to be friends with. And I’m so glad we did become friends.

I don’t really think these tarts are exactly her thing, and they were too perishable and troublesome to transport, so I fed them to my parents instead. That being said, as she is very nice, I’m sure she would still give them a try.

(And, to conclude: to this day, she’s still occasionally late to lectures…though, sometimes I’m worse!)radish and coconut tarts

Makes about 7 small tarts. Pastry is an amalgamation of Chocolate and Zucchini’s rough puff pastry and Chez Pim’s pie dough. I think both methods work well on their own, and seem to work very nicely together as well.

The filling is inspired by the paste from Lina’s curry.

pastry

112 g cold butter

112 g whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/4 tsp paprika

1 tsp black mustard seeds

generous 1/4 tsp salt

~40-50 mL cold water

filling

1/2 c dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tsp poppy seeds

scant 1/2 tsp caraway seeds

1/2 tsp dried crushed red chile

1/4 tsp black mustard seeds

5 green cardamom pods

pinch ground cinnamon, cloves

1/4 tsp salt

1 large slice of ginger

1 small small onion (1/4 c finely chopped)

to top

1/3 c labneh

1/2 c yoghurt (or some other combination of some sort–whatever you need to get the right consistency)

1 thin slice of red onion

a few sprigs of mint

radishes (around one per tart)

black mustard seeds

paprika

To make the pastry, cut the butter into large, thin pieces (big flakes). Mix together the remaining ingredients except the water. Put the flour mixture on the counter, then put the butter pieces on top, turning over to dust completely with flour. Using a metal bench scraper or the heel of your hand, flatten the pieces of butter. Using the bench scrape, sort of fold the pile of butter in flour in half over itself and flatten once more. You will be creating thinner and thinner flakes of butter. Once the butter is flaked throughout thinly, make a well in the centre and mix in the water.

Then bring the dough together. Dust the surface with some additional flour, and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough into an elongate rectangle. Fold up into thirds like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll out into an elongate rectangle again, and the fold up once more. Repeat this 3 or so more times (somewhere in the range of 2-5 more times) such that you will have repeated the folding process 5 times. Wrap in plastic and chill.

To make the filling, dry toast the coconut in a small pan until nicely browned. Remove and set aside. Then toast the seeds, chile and cardamom (crack the pods to remove the cardamom seeds). Place in a small grinder and grind until quite fine and set aside. Mince the ginger and finely chop the onion. Combine everything in a mortar and pestle (perhaps in two batches if need be) to break the coconut until smaller pieces and begin to bring everything together.

To make the tart base, roll out the chilled dough, around 0.5 cm thick, or a bit thicker if desired, onto a floured surface. Cut into seven rounds using the fluted rim of a small tart pan. Place on a parchment lined baking tray and chill.

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Prick the pastry with the tines of a fork and bake for around 10 minutes. Then spread a generous spoonful of the filling over the centre of each partially baked tart. Bake for another 15 or so minutes at 350F or until each tart is baked through. Let cool.

To prepare the topping, Mix together the yoghurt and labneh. I did this to get a desired consistency of quite thick, but use whatever you have on hand to achieve the desired consistency. Finely chop the red onion and thinly slice a handful of mint leaves and mix into the yoghurt.

Slice the radishes in half and then slice thinly. Lightly toast the mustard seeds in a pan. Slice some additional mint leaves. To assemble, spread a generous amount of yoghurt on top of each tart. Arrange a generous amount of sliced radishes on top. Sprinkle with mustard seeds, a bit of paprika and sliced mint. Serve immediately.

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