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SEAFOOD TARTLETS

Evelyn's Kitchen By Evelyn S. BunoanThese seafood tartlets can be served as an elegant appetizer. Once you know how to make the shortcrust, you can fill your tartlet shells with almost any savory dishes, like seafood, meat, vegetables and fruits. Shortcrust is flaky dough and is very simple to make. If fruits or dessert will be used to fill the tartlet shells, sugar (3 tablespoons for this recipe) has to be added to the shortcrust, using the same method.

Short crust pastry:

Ingredients:

Makes approximately 20 tartlets

3 cups all-purpose flour, shifted
1 teaspoon salt
6 oz. butter (smart balance can be substituted)
1 egg
2 teaspoons water

Methods:

Mix flour and salt together with a whisk or fork. Rub butter in with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.

Make a well in the center. Lightly beat the egg in a separate bowl and then pour the egg mixture into the well. Work the mixture with a pastry scraper, adding water as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough begins to hold together.

Bring the dough together with your hands, and then put it on the work surface and shape into a rough ball. Do this method quickly, as overworking the dough will make the pastry tough.

Refrigerate the dough for half hour to allow it to relax – this helps prevent shrinkage during baking.

Seafood filling:

Ingredients:

3 pieces mushrooms, finely chopped
10 large shrimps, shelled, deveined and coarsely chopped
3 pieces large scallops, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced celery
1 tablespoon finely chopped carrots
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch, diluted into 2 tablespoons water
fresh parsley for garnishing

Methods:

Sauté mushrooms for a minute. Then add shrimps and scallops and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove some juice if the seafood is too watery. (Save juice for other uses, if desired.) Add the mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper.

Thicken sauce with cornstarch and cook for another minute. Let it cool.

Making the tartlets:

Cut a portion of the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a 1/8 inch thick sheet.

Line a tartlet mold with dough. Trim. Place another mold inside and press gently to secure. Repeat this process for the remaining mixture, or for the quantity you wish to make.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Remove top mold and bake the tartlet shells for another 5 minutes until lightly brown.

Unmold the tartlet shells and allow to cool on a wire rack. Spoon seafood filling and drop into the tartlet shells, pressing gently to level. Repeat process with the remaining filling. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm or cold.

Note: Freeze any leftover tartlet shells for future use. This can be reheated in the oven when needed.

Household Hints:

1. A much better way to dispose of your trash is to wait till morning, if you possibly can, to put
out your trash to curbside for collection. Strong winds, aggressive animals or vandalism are
good reasons to do so.

2. After emptying the trash from your trash bin inside the house, sprinkle baking soda or apply
Lysol spray to the interior of the trash can to kill bacteria and to control odor.

3. Keep trash cans tightly covered during spring and summer months to minimize on the
infestation of flies around the house.

4. Periodically, give your trash can a good washing with 10% bleach solution (nine parts warm
water to one part chlorine bleach).

Editor’s note: Mrs. Evelyn S. Bunoan is Owner/Master Chef, Philippine Oriental Market & Deli (with more than 29 years of service to the Filipino-American community) – 3610 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia; (703)528-0300; Master Chef (French cuisine), Le Cordon Bleu, London, UK; recipe creator, improviser, food stylist, cake designer, and culinary writer; kitchen-tested and mastered more than 400 recipes, and counting. Member of International Cake Exploration Societe. Host of the cooking show – “Evelyn’s Kitchen – Cooking with Friends”.

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