4 hours ago
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Back in the day, before the Food Network, there were real chefs, like Jacques Pepin & Lidia Bastianich, who once a year did a PBS television cooking series, in which you would put your VHS tape in your VCR to record and watch when you came home from work.
When I was a newlywed in the 90's, I watched Jacques make his mother's Alsatian Tarte Flambe. I said, I can do this! I made it and made it and made it, and have been making it ever since.
Depending on the region, this dish can be called in Alsatian, Flammekueche, in German it is Flammkuchen, and in French tarte flambée. There are many variations, most of them using a yeast dough. Just think of a thin crust pizza smothered in fromage blanc or creme fraiche with sauteed onions and bacon on top!
Sound good? It is.
Here is an easy method to making Alsatian Tarte Flambe. I don't prepare a yeast crust, because yeast and I have never gotten along.
Jacques used frozen puff pastry, and so do I.
Alsatian Tarte Flambe: (adapted from Jacques Pepin)
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted and kept chilled
1 cup of onions, sliced thin
4 oz. bacon, cubed or chopped
1/2 c. cottage cheese
1 tbsp flour
1/2 c. creme fraiche (you can substitute sour cream)
salt and pepper
Roll out your pastry dough on a floured surface and fit into a 9 x 12 baking sheet.
You can also cut the dough into rounds and make individual tarts if you like.
Saute your bacon until the fat is rendered and add the onions and cook another 3 minutes in the bacon fat. I add a bit of salt to the onions.
In a food processor, combine the creme fraiche, cottage cheese and tablespoon of flour and pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper.
With a rubber spatula, smooth the creme fraiche mixture over the puff pastry.
Now add your onions and bacon.
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 425F.
I serve this with my favorite salad, which I will share with you.
This makes enough for 4 people.
I buy Spring Lettuce mix, make sure it has frisee lettuce in the mix.
Toast a handful of walnuts and shred about 1/4 cup of good Gruyere cheese.
1 teaspoon of grainy mustard
2 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar
5 tbsp of walnut oil
Toss all ingredients together with dressing, and you have a wonderful French salad.
I could eat this everyday!