Sunday, 9 September 2012

Cherry Tomato Tart


Thank you so much for those of you who commented on my previous post, it really means a lot to me and moreso that I do still have loyal readers of this much neglected blog.

I would like to say it is because I am busy at the cafe with customers and trade is doing well.  The truth is, yes I am busy but not necessarily because of customers.  I am literally, literally doing everything at the cafeteria myself: the cooking from scratch, the making of fresh salads for the chiller cabinet; and the baking.  Afterall I have to have something to sell if I want people through the door.  Then after that there is the cleaning, the management, stock-taking, ordering, shopping,..  I have a couple of part-time staff who are employed only for front of house during business hours, but when they are gone I am still working away clearing up and cleaning up and then preparing for the following day.  Its like being on a permanent conveyor belt.  The bums on seats part is still way off, I find Fridays for a few hours the busiest of days, even Saturdays are a bit of a slump.  Saying all this, I am enjoying it and I have learned so much in such a short space of time, but there have been and are some downs that I will share with you maybe later when they have been sorted out.  I found August a month of anxiety and September has begun with some stress and its only the start of it, so feel a little disheartened. 

Okay before I go and enjoy the rest of my Sunday, I thought I would share a recipe I made a little while ago for a Summers evening.  Its just a simple Cherry Tomato Tart.
I would love to say that these are made with my home made tomatoes, but sadly not.  Regardless this still tasted pretty good.

Cherry Tomato Tart
Serves 4 –6 with accompaniments
Ingredients
For cheddar crust pastry
175g plain flour
85g butter
85g cheddar, grated
1 teaspoon thyme
1 egg, beaten
For the filling
400g –500g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
200ml milk
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprig of thyme
 
Method
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 3. Blitz the flour, butter and cheddar in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the egg and blitz until it forms a ball.
Lightly dust a cool surface with flour and roll out the pastry. Line a 20cm- 24cm loose-bottom tart tin with the pastry, then chill for 10 minutes. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 15 minutess. Remove the paper and baking beans and continue to cook for a further 10 minutess, then remove from the oven.
Arrange the tomato halves in the pastry case.   Sprinkle the thyme over and season with ground black pepper. Mix together the grainy  mustard, milk and eggs and pour over the pastry base. Return the tart to the middle of the oven and cook for 30 minutes.  
Serve warm or at room temperature.

22 comments:

  1. Shaheen, your hard work will pay off. Word of mouth will build and the bums on seats will come. Keep looking forward xx

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    1. Thanks Kath. Word is mouth is what I am relying on at the moment as I have no dosh for promotional material as of yet.

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  2. Hi Shaheen, it's sounding a lot more hard work than I imagined and I did try to imagine how tough it would be if you are preparing all the food, cleaning, planning, ordering, goodness my hat goes off to you. I was only talking to a cafe owner friend of mine in York last friday who has been at it for about 5 years and he said there's very little money to be made when you're selling the best artisan foods & coffees but he's passionate about local produce, meets nice people and seems to do it for the love of it. I don't know whether that comment will make you feel better or worse. I just feel frustrated that I'm not near enough to try your cafe. See how it goes, it's been a really big step to take and you're doing a brilliant job. All the best, Sally x

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    1. Thanks Sally. Its worth knowing that est. businesses are struggling too. I know the time I have set up a business is the worst time economically ever with the recession etc. Thanks for your support Saly albeit afar, it is appreciated x

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  3. There are times when I have fantasies about having a small restaurant where hordes of people would try to get tables so as to sample my incredible preparations. They will remain fantasies, in part because I am too old to do it and, further, I don't have the experience. If I could I would come to your cafe to learn what goes on. Nice tart.

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    1. Thanks Stephen, I have to be honest and say this just happened, it was not planned at all. I will share how I came into running this vegetarian cafe in the very near future. PS Your never to old to start something new!

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  4. Chin up Shaheen. You are a fabulous and talented cook who has taken on a huge project that would daunt anybody nowadays. The food you serve in Hunky Dorys is imaginative and delicious-and I shall be visiting very soon to sample some more!!

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    1. Thank you so much Green Dragonette, your support has been most appreciated and your custom. I hope not to disappoint you.

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  5. That sounds delicious, I'll definitely be trying that!
    I hope the rest of September isn't so stressful - sounds like you are working your socks off.

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    1. Thanks Helen, def. working my socks off :)

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  6. These look fantastic. And I'm glad you're still blogging, even if it's not as regularly :-)

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  7. What a beautiful tart. Even though it isn't vegan, it still looks really good. ;-)

    I'm sorry you're feel disheartened, but I think your cafe looks really cool, and I wish I could pay it a visit. It is exactly the kind of funky place that I would love. If I ever am in Wales, it will definitely be on my "must visit" list.

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    1. Thanks Miss Rachel. Its not the cafe that's disheartening me, its the red tape around it and added nonsense from external agencies that spoil the mood. It is a lovely place that I have truly put my stamp on. I do hope you visit, let me know if you head in this direction.

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  8. I will for sure make this as soon as I actually get some tomatoes in our garden. Terribly hot summer in America.

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  9. Just keep breathing and hang in there! Can't you get your staff to do a little bit of clean up? Here September starts out to be a beautiful month. Wishing you well!

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    1. Thank you Karen. Yes, stop and take a deep breath. I will hang in on there, after all early days :) I have begun to give my staff some additional work re cleanign up, esp. when its quite - which is lot of the times :) I hope September turns out to be a good month too.

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  10. lovely tart and nice to hear a bit about hunky dories - sounds tough but I hope it is not taking away your love of food because these photos show you are still making amazing stuff (as do the reviews on the HDs website)

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    1. Thank you Johanna. No, I still love cooking creative dishes, its not the cooking that is getting to me, its external agencies. Its a good lesson, just feels hard right now.

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  11. I wish your cafe was nearby, I'd be there in 60 seconds and a regular customer, I can imagine your food is fab.

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  12. Good to hear from you every now and then :)
    I think the first two years are probably the worst ones when being self-employed (that's what my husband told me - he more than often thought to just drop everything; now his little company is doing actually quite well).
    But I know you have the strength to go against all odds!
    I just wish I was in Wales :( I would eat and work with you :D

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If you’ve tried one of my recipes, Please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me social media with @SeasonalShaheen.

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