Arsip Tag: swiss

leek and swiss chard tart – smitten kitchen

What’s on your list? You know, the running one you keep in your head, in a series of Post-It notes spread across all surfaces of your life, or if you are particularly scary kooky, on a spreadsheet? Me, I’ve got several lists. There’s the Apartment Want This list, because, oh, how I covet the home furnishings; the Go Here list, which holds my in- and outside NYC destination dreams; the Read This list, which I pretty much avoid, and the Listen to This list with all of the music I would like to download and shake my booty arrhythmically to were I not fascistly opposed to DRM.

leeks

Then there is the Cook This list, all 300+ items long. This one neither makes me feel bad about my financial limitations (like the Apartment list), vacation time availability (like the Go Here list), my Web-ruined attention span when it comes to content running more than 500 words (like the Read This list), or what happens when you let a bunch of people in board rooms decide how music should be sold (like the Listen list). Sure, I don’t have time to get to all of the items on the Cook This list, but that’s not the point.

swiss chart leek tart

Thus, let me humbly suggest that you add a Leek Swiss Chard Tart to your list or lists, in whatever format they may be. I had bookmarked this for more months than I care to dwell on, and then made it two days before we had a chance to eat it and still, it has absolutely saved us at dinnertime twice this week. To me, a quiche and a few salad greens, perhaps a bit of something pickled and, oh, why not, a decadent slice of cheese in the fridge is all I could ever need or want to subsist on. It is both Brunch and Dinner. It tastes as good the third day as it did the first.

It is one less thing on a list, and this alone is something to celebrate.

leek and swiss chard tart

One year ago: Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans

Leek and Swiss Chard Tart
Bon Appetit, October 1999

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed (I used a basic tartdough instead)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 cups whipping cream (I used whole milk)
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg

Roll out pastry on floured work surface to 12-inch square. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold under; crimp edges. Cover; chill.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add chard; saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Whisk cream and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust.

Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until filling is puffed and just set in center, about 15 minutes longer (this took my oven about 10 minutes longer). Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes.

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swiss easter rice tart – smitten kitchen

I have what some might consider an unhealthy interest in celebrating religious holidays that have nothing to do with my own, yet the fixation is more of a cultural than a devotional one. Growing up in a one-religion household, you miss out on certain foods. In the same way that I’m sure a lot of people who had never tried hamantaschen or latkes before have had their curiosity piqued by mentions of them, I am itching to try one of those yule logs with marzipan mushrooms or one of those mega-hams people bake for Easter, something not one even one of my most bacon-loving Jewish friends has ever tried. I strive to break down culinary cultural barriers! Or, I just like pork. Anyhow

falling rice

The New York Times ran an article last Wednesday about Easter baking that is more traditional than, say, egg-shaped pastel cakes or bunny cookies, and I was captivated by something called a Swiss Easter Rice Tart, with a custard base, ground almonds and lemon zest. It wasn’t just me; within 12 hours of the recipe’s publication, both my mother and a friend had drooled over it to me, imploring me to make it but my only response was “when the heck would I have an excuse to bake an Easter tart?” I mean, between the “Easter” in the name and the article’s note that it is “served only at Easter” (emphasis mine) it seemed like it would be pretty hard to pretend its something I normally bake, just because it’s the second-to-last Sunday in March or something.

boiled rice

But just like that, I was invited to an Easter dinner at the home of a friend from high school, making all of my secular dreams come true–not just Easter ham but a real, fitting excuse to make the rice tart! Sadly, these are what pass for celebrations in my life these days. Except, I’m not sad about it at all.

still warm swiss rice tart

I was imagining the tart as something like a rice pudding, baked in a tart shell, or in other words: impossibly delicious. However, it’s really not quite the same thing. The rice primarily cooked in boiling water, meaning that it doesn’t pick up as much creaminess and near the end, it is pureed, so it bears little resemblance to its pudding counterpart. The flavors were mild enough that I added almond extract to give it a flavor of well, anything. I desperately wanted to make it again with whole raspberries pressed in right before it is baked, or topped with a tart fruit sauce, but then it wouldn’t exactly be a traditional Swiss Easter Rice Tart anymore, would it? So, in the end, though it was delicious in its own way, I just wasn’t head-over-heels for it. Fortunately, the Easter ham–oh right! and the awesome company–far exceeded my expectations.

My next task: One of these fruitcakes I hear can be eaten up to ten years after they’re made! My mind boggles.

swiss easter rice tart

Swiss Easter Rice Tart
Adapted from NickMalgieri.com

8 to 10 servings

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and more for dusting
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, in 11 slices
1/2 cup long-grain rice
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup blanched almonds, finely ground in food processor
3 large eggs
Confectioners’ sugar

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the baking powder in food processor. Pulse to blend. Add 10 tablespoons butter and pulse 3 to 4 times, until butter is in pea-size pieces. Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons cold water. Pulse 4 times. Dough will not come together. Turn dough out on lightly floured work surface and knead gently a few times to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, half fill a 3-quart saucepan with water, bring to a boil, stir in rice, lower heat to medium and cook until rice is soft, about 15 minutes. Drain rice and return it to saucepan. Add milk, remaining butter, 1/2 cup sugar and remaining salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture has thickened almost to a risotto consistency, about 25 minutes.

3. Place saucepan in a large bowl of ice and water 10 minutes, to cool mixture to tepid. Purée in food processor. Pour into a bowl and add lemon zest. Mix ground almonds and extract if using with 1 tablespoon flour and add to bowl. Stir in eggs one at a time.

4. Place oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pastry from refrigerator and place on lightly floured surface. Lightly dust top with flour. Use a rolling pin to press down on dough to soften it. Roll out disk to 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough evenly into pan. Trim edges flush with pan. Pour filling into pastry.

5. Bake about 35 minutes (mine took 45), until filling is set and golden. Cool on a rack. Dust with sifted confectioners’ sugar before serving.

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swiss buttercream – smitten kitchen

[Previous Project Wedding Cake episodes: An Introduction, Mango Curd, The Cake is Baked]

Oh, hi. Are you still out there? Oh, right, it’s the middle of a holiday weekend and you’re probably a) at the beach, b) sleeping on a hammock in a backyard or c) taking one of those media breaks the kids are so into these days. And believe it or not, I had a few days off too.

egg whites

Because of my overly-paranoid baking schedule, I was actually able to not work on the wedding cake for a few days. Once I made a big vat-of-curd, I was pretty much done for a few days, on one of them even making dinner. Like, from ingredients you buy at a store. True story!

egg whites

I made also made a tiny practice batch of Swiss buttercream, frosted it onto an even tinier cake and declared it my new favorite frosting. All of your advice was tremendously helpful in getting me through the oh-my-god-this-isn’t-working-FAIL period after I added the butter to the egg whites and once again ended up with a bowl of curdly soup. But with my laptop on the counter, I read what you all said–in short, “whip, whip, whip!”–and you know what? It worked. In a span of about 2 seconds, this frosting turns from slosh to, well, a mayo consistency which I know sounds revolting but I can assure you is anything but.

egg whites + butter

This is exactly what I’m using on the wedding cake for several reasons: one, it doesn’t crust the way a pure meringue frosting and some shortcut buttercreams do; two, it manages to taste so much less sweet than most frosting, likely because its structure comes from the egg whites and butter, not just sugar; three, it’s a lovely frosting that can be made so much smoother than most, and pipes really well, and four, it held up really well in an unairconditioned room for more than a day, convincing me that it’s totally ready for its closeup.

practice, practice

… Which is good timing, because the wedding is tomorrow! Today was Fill and Frost Day and I had some seriously well-practiced help come over, but I’ll get into all of that later. For now, I just wanted to get a little update out there and let you know I’m alive and miraculously, no longer freaking out over the magnitude of this project. Heck, I might have even entertained the idea of making a high-altitude wedding cake for friends next spring, but uh, I was also entertaining my second glass of wine at the time, so um, we’ll see about that.

a sample

Swiss Buttercream

The recipe comes from wedding cake genius and my unpaid assistant, Torrie.

For a wedding cake (or most of one, depending on the size)
2 cups of egg whites (approx. 12 large)
3 cups sugar
5 cups unsalted butter, softened (2 1/2 pounds, 10 sticks)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For a 9-inch cake (plus filling, or some to spare)
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the tiniest amount, if you’re just practicing (or enough to cover and fill the 4-inch cake pictured)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg white
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. (Here’s a tip: when you transfer to the mixer, make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites. This can keep them from whipping up properly.)

Add the vanilla.

Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip, whip, whip.

Deb note: Do not have a panic attack when this takes a while to come together (though I did every time). One super-large batch took 15 minutes, but it did and will come together. Patience, young Jedis.

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spaghetti with swiss chard and garlic chips – smitten kitchen



spaghetti with swiss chard and garlic chips – smitten kitchen


















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[This recipe got a light refresh in 2019 and some new photos.]

It’s a tough thing, you know, growing up and realizing you might not be exactly what you once thought you might. I am most certainly not the next Susanna Hoffs, Joan Jett or Mrs. Jon Bon Jovi; I’m not a doctor or astronaut but more fitting for this conversation, I always thought I would be an avid ingester of all sorts of greens and here I am, still quite put off by most of them.

what you'll needseparate leaves from stems

I know this is something of a sacrilege in the food-fixated world, but I’ve never gotten into broccoli rabe (too bitter, almost always too tough), kale (tastes “funny”) and collards (ditto). I wish I would and I wish I could, but I’ve also learned that there are bigger fish to fry (so yeah, that too) than to fret over those things that have just never appealed to you.

ready to go

But Swiss chard is my green; it’s my boo. We get along famously. It picks up where cooked spinach in dishes leaves off (too soft, loses flavor too easily); it’s a little tougher but still tender enough to cut with the side of a fork, it holds it own in big soups and stews and quiches and it’s just bursting with all of that iron-y goodness I miss out on, eschewing so many other members of the humble greens family. I not only like it, I look for excuses to cook it and this was one of my favorites yet.

garlic, becoming chipsgarlic chipscook the stemstoss tossspaghetti with swiss chard and garlic chipsspaghetti with swiss chard and garlic chips

One year ago: Cranberry, Caramel and Almond Tart This is the best thing, ever. I am making it again this month. And again.
Two years ago: Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise though I am sure crosswise would work as well
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried currants (we skipped this)
  • 2 pounds green Swiss chard, stems and center ribs finely chopped and leaves coarsely chopped separately
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut into slivers
  • 6 ounces feta, crumbled (1 1/2 cups) or ricotta salata, coarsely grated
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Cook onion in oil remaining in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add currants and cook, stirring, until plumped, about 1 minute.

Stir chard stems into onion mixture with water and 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chard leaves and cook, covered, until stems and leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 5 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water and drain spaghetti.

Toss spaghetti with chard, olives, and 1/2 cup cooking water, adding more cooking water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with feta or ricotta salata and garlic chips.


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swiss chard and sweet potato gratin – smitten kitchen

Surely I’m not alone in this: When I’m eating starchy foods, I think I should be eating more greens. When I’m eating my greens, I wish I had heavier foods to balance them. And pretty much all of the time, I wonder why it has been so long since I made macaroni and cheese.

so much chard!yamsmise, messgreens and yams gratin

And this is what happens when I stewed all of these thoughts together in my head over countless feedings. I love sweet potatoes but I find most preparations of them too heavy and sweet (which is why I stick to spicing, curry-ing and/or spicing, curry-ing and frittering them); I love chard but I find most preparations of it too earnest but when I put these together in a gratin I ended up with the most bubbling, gurgling, cooing delight of a fall comfort there could be.

(Or maybe I’m just talking about the baby.)

gray day

To me, this is the best of all worlds: so rich and cozy, it makes your apartment smell like there’s not a single good reason to leave it, but also chock-full of peak season, straight-from-the-market produce that I’d like to believe could not imagine a more decadent way to go out.

swiss chard and sweet potato gratin

One year ago: Home Fries, Apple Pancakes, Fennel, Proscuitto and Pomegranate Salad, Olive Oil Muffins and Chicken Pot Pie
Two years ago: Apricot and Walnut Vareniki, Chicken with Chanterelles and Pearl Onions and Pumpkin Waffles
Three years ago: Grilled Cheese and Cream of Tomato Soup and Cranberry Sauce, Three Ways

Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin

I won’t lie, Swiss chard can be a real pain to prep, what with the rib-separation and rendering of unfathomable volumes down to a few measly cups of cooked greens. I like to chop, wash and dry mine the day before, but if you’re especially in a rush, I see no reason you can’t swap pre-washed (3 pounds) or even frozen spinach (about 5 to 6 cups). I also don’t see why you can’t swap the sweet potato for thin slices of butternut squash but then you will have less of an exuse to say “yam-yam” to the baby over and over again until he laughs.

Finally, if my gratin looks a little “wet” to you, don’t worry, yours — providing you squeeze your greens out well — should not. I just mindlessly baked mine for half the time covered with foil which is not a bad idea for all-potato gratins, not drying enough for greens.

Serves 12

1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 pounds Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and both cut into 1-inch pieces
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream or whole milk
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) coarsely grated Gruyére cheese

Prep greens: Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a wide 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add chard stems, pinch of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender but not browned, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to moderately high and add chard leaves by large handfuls, stirring, until all greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper then transfer greens to a colander to drain well and press out liquid with back of a large spoon.

Make sauce: Combine cream or milk and garlic in small saucepan; bring to simmer; keep warm. Melt two tablespoons butter in a medium heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, whisking, one minute, then slowly whisk in warm cream/milk and boil, whisking, one minute. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Assemble gratin: Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter deep 9×13 baking dish. Spread half of sweet potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, a quarter of the herbs and a 1/4 cup of the cheese. Distribute half of the greens mixture over the cheese, then sprinkle salt, pepper, a quarter of the herbs and 1/4 cup of the cheese over it. Pour half of bechamel sauce over the first two layers then continue with the remaining sweet potatoes, more salt, pepper, herbs and cheese and then the remaining greens, salt, pepper and herbs. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the gratin, pressing the vegetables slightly to ensure that they are as submerged as possible. Sprinkle with the last 1/4 cup of cheese.

Bake gratin for about 1 hour until golden and bubbly, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Do ahead: You can make the entire gratin but not bake it up to a day in advance and keep it in the fridge. You can also make and bake the gratin and reheat it. Gratins reheat well, but they take almost as much time to gently heat through as they do to bake in the first place, especially deep ones like this. As for reheating, already baked and frozen, I will find out very soon! But I am near-positive it will be fine.

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swiss chard pancakes – smitten kitchen

I read about French farçous pancakes for the first time on Friday morning and by lunchtime I was eating them. As my usual process of funneling the hundreds of recipe ideas swarming around in my head into a single one worth sharing is an exercise in exasperation involving extensive considerations of how I’d like to approach something, ingredient availability, time availability, estimated number of rounds it will take to get said recipe right, scanning my worry meter over all the places I suspect it might flop, number of stores to get to find ingredients, all interspersed with baby feedings, and overdue items on an forever-long to-do list, getting from “yes I want to make this” to “eating it” in a little over an hour alone makes this the best thing I’ve made this year.


what you'll need
into the blender

It also ticked off several other boxes: Lunch? Dinner? Vegetables? Protein? Quick? Forgiving? Flexible? Fun to eat? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check. And a few I hadn’t expected, such as a 6 year-old spying these very green pancakes in the fridge, requesting one, and then another. (I won’t tell him there’s Swiss chard in there if you don’t.) I only poured out about half the batter on Friday, but it keeps just fine in the fridge for a few days, if you’d like to make it over a few days. The pancakes also freeze very well, which is good, as it makes a lot.

chard leaves
pretty batter, bad nailpolish situation
flipped

Unsurprisingly, such a magical, works-the-first-time recipe hails from Dorie Greenspan via her Around My French Table cookbook, which is full additional unfussy French home cooking delights, things like Spur-Of-The-Moment Soup and Hurry-Up-And-Wait Chicken. But this is my new favorite. Farçous hail from Aveyron, France in the southwest and they have the texture of a thick crepe. There’s no melted butter or leavening in them, just a simple batter of eggs, flour, and milk with as much green stuff as you desire to blend into them (a mix of herbs, onion, garlic and greens is the norm). Swiss chard is the usual leafy green, but there’s no reason you can’t do it with spinach or kale. I used scallions in lieu of fresh onion and chives (as my herb garden up and froze on me the night before, sob).

swiss chard pancakes

In France, they’re served as a main course with salad, but around here, we found a dollop of lemony yogurt to be the perfect contrast. Were I planning more than 15 minutes ahead, I’d also make a batch of David Lebovitz’s carrot salad alongside, a longtime favorite of ours. Were I putting the Smitten Kitchen spin on it I was itching to, but for once, chose the least fussy route, I’d have crossed it with the saag paneer I’ve been craving all month, but that would have certainly put off how soon we got to enjoy these. So, here’s to dinner tonight (sorted!) and more straightforward good stuff like this.

swiss chard pancakes

One year ago: Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake
Two years ago: Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mango
Three years ago: Ethereally Smooth Hummus
Four years ago: Apple Sharlotka
Five years ago: Pizza with Bacon, Onions and Cream
Six years ago: Caramel Pudding and Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens
Seven years ago: Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew
Eight years ago: Lemon Bars and Crunch Baked Pork Chops
Nine years ago: Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and World Peace Cookies

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Very Blueberry Scones
1.5 Years Ago: Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
2.5 Years Ago: Grilled Bacon Salad with Arugula and Balsamic
3.5 Years Ago: Bacon Corn Hash
4.5 Years Ago: Flatbreads with Honey, Thyme and Sea Salt

Swiss Chard Pancakes [Farçous]
Adapted, just a little, from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

As mentioned above, this is very flexible recipe. Once you have the milk, flour and egg base in place, you can add the suggested combination of onions, herbs and greens below or one more suited to your tastes/what you have in the fridge right now. We used a most of a bundle of scallions (white and green) instead of onion and chives. I used only one garlic clove.

2 cups (475 ml) whole milk
2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
10 fresh chives, snipped
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
Leaves from 10 parsley sprigs
5 large or 10 small Swiss chard leaves, center ribs removed, roughly chopped
About 1/2 cup (120 ml) grapeseed, peanut, vegetable, or olive oil

To serve: Plain, thick yogurt mixed with a little lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, to taste

If you’d like to keep your finished pancakes warm while you cook them: Heat oven to 250 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.

Make the batter: Put everything except the Swiss chard and oil in a blender or food processor and whirl until the batter is smooth. Scrape down sides. Add chard leaves and pulse machine until they’re chopped to your desired consistency.

Cook the pancakes: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in a good puddle (1/4-inch deep) of oil. Once oil is hot enough that a droplet of batter hisses and sputters, spoon about 3 tablespoons batter in per pancake. It will spread quickly. Cook until browned underneath and (the edges will scallop, adorably), then flip, cooking on the other side until browned again. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and then, if you’d like to keep them warm, to the foil-lined tray in the oven.

Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with lemony yogurt or another sauce of your choice.

Do ahead: Unused batter keeps in fridge for 3 days. Finished pancakes keep in fridge for a couple days, and will freeze much longer. Separate pancakes with pieces of waxed or parchment paper so they don’t glue together.

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