I have always had reliable chefs in my life who I can call up for a tried-and-true recipe, cooking tips, kitchen-work-arounds, etc. Even though I have my late mother’s 200+ page family recipe cookbook to lean on, there are two other role models in my life who I strive to mimic for numerous reasons: Monique Hooker (my mom’s very dear friend and professional chef) and Heidi Krattiger (my co-worker’s wife and very dear friend of my own)!
These two talented ladies exemplify important cooking rules I‘ve adopted into my own style: cook with what’s in season, incorporate what I like to eat into new recipes whenever I can, and while recipes are a great base from which to start–always use my instincts, eyes, nose, and ears when working with food! They have been kind enough to let me share their recipes here with you. Here's a recipe from Heidi.
Heidi’s Beet & Feta TartServes: 4-6 * Recipe by Heidi Krattiger
1 sheet of Monique’s Simple Pie Crust
- Line tart pan with pastry dough.
- Line with foil paper & fill with pie weight.
- Partially bake at 400°F for ~30 mins., or until cookie colored.
- Remove pie weight & foil paper.
- 1 onion, 1 leek or 3-6 ramps, properly cleaned & finely sliced
- 1 Tbsp oil or butter
- 3 beets, coarsely grated
- 1 cup cream
- 1 egg
- 8 oz. feta, to taste
- Fresh or dried thyme, to taste
- Salt & pepper
- Spread grated beets around 9”x13” pan & roast at 350°F for ~30mins. or until soft.
- Ensure onion, leeks or ramps are properly cleaned, then finely sliced. Sauté in oil/butter until translucent, ~2 mins.
- Combine sautéed onion/leek/ramps with roasted beets & cream. Thoroughly mix, then cool.
- Add 1 egg, 4 oz. feta, salt & pepper to taste, then mix & pour onto partially baked crust.
- Top with additional 4 oz. feta crumbled on top, then bake at 350°F for ~30mins., or until set in the middle. Garnish with fresh/dried thyme.
About 5 mins. before finished, garnish with other favorites such as crushed walnuts or even sautéed asparagus or morel mushrooms!