I was giggling all the way through preparing this post because of the movie ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,’ where everyone screams because there’s a leek in the boat. Ever since my family saw that movie, anytime I return from the grocery store with leeks as one of the items, someone inevitably exclaims, “There’s a leek in the car!” or “There’s a leek in that bag!” or “The fridge has a leek!”
Another reason for my giddiness is due to an old Friends episode featuring John Lovitz where he has a marijuana-induced case of the munchies for a batch of tartlets Monica prepares, and he repeats the word tartlet over and over and over in classic Lovitz-style. It still cracks me up thinking about it!
But there’s nothing funny about these tartlets. They’re a seriously great appetizer with a filling of smoky/cheesy/custardy/oniony goodness, and a flaky phyllo cup that melts in your mouth as you chew. Pair the tartlets with a bottle of your favorite chilled French Vouvray Chenin Blanc or buttery Chardonnay.
16 prepared phyllo tart cups
4 leeks, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup half and half
1 cup smoked Gruyere cheese, grated
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1) Melt the butter and olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
2) Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the leeks for 10 – 15 minutes, adding a small amount of water to the pan if needed. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the leeks to cool.
3) Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and place the phyllo cups on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4) Combine the eggs, egg yolk, half and half, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk until blended.
5) Spoon a small amount of the cooked leeks into each phyllo cup, and then fill the cups the rest of the way with the egg mixture, followed by a sprinkle the Gruyere cheese.
6) Place the pan in the oven and bake the tartlets 20-25 minutes until the custard has set and the cheese has melted.
7) Serve immediately.