Thursday, March 5th – SnowDough Day
Hard to believe this was just five days ago in NYC…
It was a black & white day this snowy Thursday I ventured down to the lower east side to finally make my pilgrimage to the Doughnut Plant.
I had a few appointments that forced my out so when in Rome…
This much snow just astounded me as I made my way through it. I didn’t gripe just easily accepted it because what else could I do? As I carefully walked across Grand Street I noticed the snowfall did not stop others from venturing out. So not only did I have to walk slowly to keep from falling down I also had to try to keep from bumping into people who were out and about as the heavy snowfall obscured our vision. A woman plopped down right at my feet and as I helped her up she tried to warn me not to walk where she did so I wouldn’t fall. Nice!
These images in the snow were taken with frozen fingers but it was years since I’d been making plans to come down here and I wasn’t leaving without proof.
I had such a pleasant time here at the Doughnut Plant on Grand Street. Not only are the delicious doughnuts, prepared with mostly organic and local ingredients reason to come by but the atmosphere is so cheerful and pleasant.
Look at all the unique flavors (fingers still frozen and glasses fogged).
I ordered their lemon poppy-seed yeast doughnut and a regular coffee. I got my coffee but no doughnut and wondered if they were frying one up as I waited. After drinking half of my coffee I finally inquired and the counter person was surprised and immediately presented me with not only my lemon poppy-seed but a chocolate doughnut too. He said this one’s for you as a courtesy. Okay, I’m not one to turn down a doughnut (ever) but being that it was chocolate (and I need to track my calories as well ;-)), I graciously refused. However he wrapped up one of the Plant’s most popular flavors, Dulce de Leche, and offered it to me which I did accept. Nice!
Of course I had to take just one more home with me for later because they had so many flavors to choose from and when would I get over here again, right?
I took home their coconut, cream-filled doughnut. I can’t say which of the three I’ve tried I liked best; honestly they were all so memorable.
If you need a place to meet up for coffee during the week (I hear weekends this place is packed), make it the Doughnut Plant on Grand Street. It’s my new favorite place.
While the ground is frozen, my oven stays warm.
I’ve been perfecting my pie dough crust. Okay, I haven’t been actually making pies I guess you can say I’ve been taking the easy route with these super easy rustic (and so delish) tarts.
Since I couldn’t decide whether to go sweet or savory, and while I have made many sweet tarts or crostatas or galettes, I was uncertain about the ingredients to use in a savory tart. (Why so many names? Crostata is Italian and galette is French.)
I looked for some recipes starring my all-time favorite vegetable, leafy green spinach and got some ideas from those. I prepared the spinach using very similar ingredients that I would use when not including in a pastry dough – with sautéed onions and garlic for great flavor and I added grated gruyere cheese then added to the dough. Pretty simple, right? You got it!
You give it a try and let me know whether you agree or not.
Spinach Gruyere Tart
Easy Rustic Tarts Recipe
Pastry Dough for Tart
2 C flour
1 ½ t salt
1 t baking powder
6 T butter, cold
4 T vegetable shortening
½ C (or less) ice water
Process: mix flour, salt, baking powder together; add the butter and shortening using a cheese grater (or your preferred method); combine until mixture is the texture of small peas; add ice water a little at a time; roll out onto a floured surface and make 2 small discs; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until filling is ready.
Spinach Gruyere Tart
6-7 C organic spinach
½ C Gruyere cheese, grated
2 T olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ t salt
½ t thyme
Process: Sautee onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until golden; add garlic and cook until fragrant, careful not to burn; remove from pan and add remaining olive oil; add spinach, salt, thyme and pepper; cover with lid and cook for 3 minutes; let cool. Squeeze all liquid from the cooled spinach then combine with the cheese; add this mixture to the tart dough and wrap the edges over the filling to enclose; bake at 400 F degrees for about 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Red Grape Tart
Red Grape Tart
1 C red grapes, thoroughly washed
1 t potato starch
½ C water
1 T sugar (adjust here according to natural sweetness of fruit used)
1 t lemon juice
½ t lemon zest
pinch of salt
Process: cook grapes in the 1/2 cup of water; bring to a boil. In a separate bowl mix the potato starch, lemon juice, sugar, zest and salt; add this mixture to the boiling grapes and stir constantly; let simmer for about 2 minutes and remove from heat; let cool. Add this mixture to the chilled and rolled out dough. Fold up the edges to “hug” the red grape mixture; bake in a preheated oven at 400 F degrees for about 25 minutes until crust is golden. Let cool before serving.