Cheese, Potato, Rosemary & Red Onion Tart

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Tomme, Potato, Rosemary and Red Onion Tart

Introduction

This is a tart that Wayne put together in August of last year (2009) and it was excellent. It is really a cross between a tart and a flatbread.

As there are neither cream or eggs in this tart you need to use a semi-soft cheese.

Roast Squash with Roquefort, Walnuts and Jus

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Squash from our garden cut in half

Introduction

I ate this dish in Barbuto, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan (review) a couple of years ago. When I cut this squash open the other day, I immediately thought of it.

I used the squash straight from my garden, but it is excellent with acorn or butternut squash.

Spaghetti alla Gricia

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Spaghetti alla Gricia

Introduction

This is my signature dish. The simplicity of it represents everything that I value about good Italian food.

At the Circle of Misse I use this dish to demonstrate recipe deconstruction. Once we have tasted the simplified dish, we then experiment with additional ingredients to identify and assess their contribution. With a small list of additions, this dish can be turned into three very different pasta 'classics'.

After curing the pancetta below, I took a slab of it to the market for Wes and Charlotte who supplied the raw ingredient. Charlotte, who was heavily pregnant at the time, was delighted. She cut off a slice and much to the horror of her customers tucked into it. 'Hey, this is from my pigs and I know what they ate,' was her response.

If you like this recipe visit lapasta.com for more pasta recipes. The site contains a collection of recipes that I began writing and publishing several years ago.

Celeri (Celeriac) Remoulade

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Celeri Remoulade

Introduction

We have started experimenting with some of the classic French hors-d'oeuvre. We covered Tapenade last week as it is popular in summer, but celeri remoulade, champignons à la Grecque and grated carrot salad are ubiquitous, available mass-produced in every French supermarket, and most taste as boring and predictable as store-bought coleslaw.

Our starting point has been the notion that something becomes popular and enters the realm of 'classic' because it is or was good, likely very good. As time moves on and once industrial manufacturing gets involved, there may be little of the original 'classic' left.

H/T to Julia child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle for their contribution to this dish. This version has been adapted from theirs with a hint of Escoffier and an idea inspired by Anthony Bourdain.

Potato and Tomato Flatbreads

Potato & rosemary flatbread

Introduction

When we lived in Atlanta, I was a devotee of Morningside organic farmer's market. I still miss Wes and Charlotte's Berkshire pork which is amongst the best in the world. I made several sides of pancetta and bacon from their pork bellies, guanciale from the cheeks and fresh and fermented sausages from a mixture of pork cuts. I posted many of these early curing experiments on egullet.

Right opposite the farmer's market is the original Alon's Bakery. After the 30 minute cycle, mostly uphill I might add, we felt deserving of a treat. My favourite: a slice or two (ahem) of Alon's flatbread. I decided to recreate them here.

Patlican Salatasi - Aubergine\Eggplant dip

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Patlican Salatasi - Aubergine\Eggplant Dip

Introduction

You don't come across this simple dish much outside of Turkey. It is lighter than Baba Ghanoush, it doesn't use tahini paste, and is more refreshing on the palette.

The Italian, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese aubergine\eggplant varieties, which are shiny and slender work best for this dish; bigger varieties tend to be too bitter.

Male eggplants contain fewer seeds, which also makes them less bitter. For information on how to sex an eggplant, no really, check out The Cook's Thesaurus.

Hummus

Hummus

Introduction

Found right across the Middle East with subtle enhancements and now around the globe with some bizarre varations, hummus is the ubiquitous dip.

The variations are natural enough. Without the addition of Tahini (sesame paste) humus would be a dull offering.

I have gone back to basics and include two variations that are natural extensions of the original. Feel free to experiment.

Cacik & Tzatziki

Cacik or Tzatziki

Introduction

There are variations on this recipe from the Mediterranean to Indonesia, but it is essentially a wonderfully cool combination of cucumber and yoghurt.

The difference between cacik and tzatziki is in the yoghurt. Greeks favour a strained sheep's milk yoghurt, which like Camembert or Champagne, should have its own AOC, as there is nothing quite like it. In Turkey, where you will find cacik served throughout the meal, a natural runny yoghurt is used, which can be very refreshing. The Turks also produce an iced yoghurt and cucumber soup of the same name.

Duck Prosciutto

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Duck Prosciutto

Introduction

When I take out a duck prosciutto and cut thin slices off of it, people are amazed and delighted that something so complex in flavour can be prepared at home.

I am preparing a couple, one plain, one spiced this week, so that the students on our Fruits of the Garden course can taste what to expect from the fruits of their labour.

If you are thinking about home-curing this is a great place to start. The resulting prosciutto is rich, has great depth and best of all you will see the results in just over a week.

Tapenade

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Tapenade

Introduction

There have been olive pastes and concoctions around the mediterranean for centuries, but this dish is relatively recent. It was the invention of Chef Meynier of 'La Maison Dorée' in Marseilles and dates from the 1880s. My version uses a higher proportion of olives and includes lemon zest for added zing.

This will make approx 300ml, 10oz, 1¼ cups.

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