From the wet streets of San Francisco, my weekly picks for you and your kitchen. Enjoy!
Flammekuche may sound daunting but when it’s called an onion tart, I’m in. This Alsatian flatbread, also called tarte flambée, is much like a rustic pizza. Made with a crisp, yeasted dough and topped simply with seasoned wilted onions and either bacon or olives (add a few anchovies and they take it into the world of pisaladierre…again, just an onion tart, this time in France). The Alsatians usually drizzle theirs with creme fraiche but, in today’s NY Times, Melissa Clark tops her Flammekuche with fresh ricotta or goat cheese. With a big salad, this makes my perfect kind of dinner…Alsatian, French, or Italian, I love it.
Ever tried to make your own cheese? I’ve done homemade ricotta and creme fraiche and was surprised at how delicious they both turned out. Quark is another simple one to tackle at home. As Noelle Carter, in the LA Times, writes, quark is like a combination of sour cream and soft ricotta-perfectly spreadable and creamy. Of course you can buy it but, when you realize it’s as easy as mixing milk and buttermilk (a little heat, a little resting time), you’ll want to do it yourself. Plus, once it’s done you can make these Quark Crepes with Fresh Strawberries..that should be reason enough right there.
Some nights you need dinner and you need it fast. I’ve always found that the best path to a quick dinner is keeping my pantry stocked with a few Asian staples-chilis, hot sauce, fish sauce, soy, curry paste, and hoisin. This Spicy Mint Beef, from the Washington Post via Giada DeLaurentiis, is exactly the kind of dinner I’d throw together. It’s essentially a beef and chili stir fry but, by all means, use what you have around-chicken, shrimp, tofu, bell peppers, mushrooms … it’s simply a method and will work with whatever sounds good to you. Next time you’re out shopping pick up a few Asian condiments. They keep for ages and add quick, big flavors to weeknight dinners like this one.
Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!