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Downing cherry tomatoes


It?s an eerie feeling. Booking for a gown hire, imagining what a silky black cloak with blue and yellow hoods would feel like sitting on my shoulders, practising posing with a champagne glass in front of my Mother?s full-length mirrored wall. And wondering if ever the looming shadow of ?packing and moving? would cease to cast itself over me without any signs of fatigue, while I munch on my early dinner of chicken sausages with sour mustard accompanied by crusty toast with cheddar.

Everywhere I have been going in the last few days, I only come across the sympathetic drawl, ?So….,? followed by the question, ?When are you heading back to England?? The sympathy in everyone?s eyes is evident, expected and to a certain extent satisfying.

Private air-travel companies offer me discounts as a frequent-flier and I?m one of those few who know the workings of an intricately woven network of house brokers and estate agents. Proof is in my cell-phone which contains numbers of all the above mentioned entities. In spite of being an enthusiastic room-decorator during my teens, I have somehow given up on the habit, knowing well that all my loving decorations wouldn?t adorn the room more than 6 months. And the daunting task of hauling novelty photo-frames, butterfly lights, magazine cut-outs and sticky photographs around with me wherever I go, is not one that I?m much attracted to.

My kitchenware collection is an ever-growing one that does not exactly make it friendly with international baggage allowance rules. But somehow they make me strong. I take immense comfort in knowing that they will follow me wherever I go and help me make food that remind me of home.

Yesterday?s thought-provoking breakfast was made up of crunchy lettuce, shredded grapefruit and cherry tomatoes. The amount of vinaigrette unfortunately had been too much for my taste, and I eventually had to finish the entire salad with one eye clenched close and cheeks sucked in. Which brings me to today?s recipe— a couple of cherry tomato, thyme and two-cheese tartlets. I had made these as a summer treat quite a few months back, and the photographs had been lurking around on my server since then. The recipe uses two kinds of cheese; chewy and milky mozzarella and parmesan for an extra sharpness. The tart crust recipe is a fairly simple one:

220 gms of all-purpose flour

95 gms of salted butter, chilled and cut in cubes

30ml of chilled water

1 tsp of salt

Pulse the ingredients together at intervals till the mixture looks like coarse sand. The mixture should clump together when you press it between your palm and fingers, but be fairly loose otherwise. Pat and the clump the dough into a circular disc, wrap with cling film and rest in the fridge for about an hour. Take the dough out and press into tartlet moulds making sure the bottom and sides are even. Chill for another 15v minutes before blind-baking for 8-10 minutes. Once the tartlets are cooled, pop in the cherry tomatoes, snip in the mozzarella, add thyme leaves, shaved parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes on 170 C.



Filed under: Baking, Food & Drink, Vegetarian Tagged: baking, cherry tomatoes, mozarella, parmesan, parmiggiano reggiano, tartlets, tarts

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