foodie fridays: individual kale, cabbage, and guinness tarts

Ah, St. Paddy’s Day.

A day where you can get away with drinking pints full of green beer at 7am. 
A day where you can pinch someone if they aren’t sporting a shade of green on an article of clothing. 
A day where the whole world is of Irish decent. 
Could there be a better holiday?
Pshh. I think not. 

Besides the green beer and t-shirts that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”, if I had to choose my favorite part of St. Patrick’s Day it would be the food. Okay, that’s probably a given answer considering I am typing this post for Foodie Fridays, but just hear me out for a second. Mmmkay?
There’s the classic corn-beef and cabbage – comfort food to the max. Or, the traditional Irish soda bread, which I have yet to taste. Is that weird? And of course you can’t forget about the famous Guinness floats! An adult milkshake, yes please! 

And speaking of Guinness. Last week I was brainstorming ideas of how to extract this dark lager into a recipe. For some reason, that led to craving cabbage. Random, I know. Which then led me to desiring some kind of bread. I think my 1/20 Irish heritage was trying to talk to me. 
Hmmm…what to do? what to do? 

After looking through hundreds of recipes on Food Network and food blogs, and almost gnawing my arm off, I stumbled upon this recipe from Giada. She took the basic principles of a tart, but deconstructed it. Instead of using a tart pan and making it all fancy like, she made a simple crust, grilled it and topped it with a delicious filling. Bazinga, I told myself. 
I took the basic structure of this recipe, but added a St. Paddy’s flair. 
Green kale, check.
Cabbage, check.
Guinness, check, check. 
The best part of this dish is that you can serve it as a main dish for brunch or use it as an appetizer. And if that doesn’t get you excited, would the fact that this tart is a sweet and savory combination? You betcha! The cheese layer brings it all together just like the magic of St. Paddy’s Day itself. 
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to rummage through my dresser drawer. My “Kiss Me I’m a Wildcat” t-shirt must be found. 
Happy St. Paddy’s Day! 


Individual Kale, Cabbage and Guinness Tarts (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
Serves 4
Prep Time: 1 hour (includes dough rest)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
For the crust:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1/3 cup water
For the filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms

1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed and thinly sliced

1 cup shredded purple cabbage 
1 large shallot, thinly sliced 
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
One 8-ounce bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Guinness 
For the cheese layer:
2/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola 
1/2 cup cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions:
For the crust: 
Combine the flour, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. With the machine running, slowly add 1/3 cup water and mix until a dough forms, adding more water if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Take dough and cut into quarters. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out a quarter of the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick circle. Brush with olive oil. Grill for 4 minutes per side. Let cool slightly. Repeat with remaining quarters. 
For the filling: 
In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, leeks, shallot, cabbage, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 6 minutes. Add Guinness. Bring to a boil and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
For the cheese layer:
In a food processor, combine the gorgonzola, cream cheese, sour cream, honey, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth.
Using a spatula, spread the cheese layer evenly over each individual crusts. Spoon the filling on top and serve with a BIG glass of Guinness.