Monday, August 11, 2008

If At First You Don't Succeed...

I kept thinking that Tarte Flambee really should have tasted better than it did a couple of weeks ago when I first tried it. It had all the makings for a wonderful dinner - raised bread crust, creme fraiche, onions and bacon - what's not to like?? But, we had to admit it just didn't taste quite as good as it read.

It kept returning to mind, however, bugging me to try again with some small changes. I made another one this week when NamasteNancy came to lunch and this time, by George, I think she's got it!

I used the same crust recipe
and changed just a few things around. The crust was fine but I'll warn you not to roll it out on the greased pan; that simply doesn't work. Roll it out on a separate surface, coil it up on your rolling pin and transfer it to the oiled baking sheet as recommended in the recipe.

Changes. First, I lightly caramelized the onions in bacon fat using just a little sugar to hasten that process, and used twice or three times the amount of onion called for in the original recipe, slicing them fairly thickly instead of chopping and including red and yellow onions as well as some shallot. Second, I used a half-and-half mixture of creme fraiche and plain yogurt for the base, which added the desired tang. Third, after frying, I chopped the bacon in much bigger, bite-sized pieces - I thought, "This is supposed to be a peasant dish and a peasant woman, tired from the day's work, wouldn't stand around mincing her bacon!" And, last, I added some lightly sauteed baby zucchini slices from my garden, partly for the slightly bitter skin but also just because I had some on hand.

The second try was the charm*. This Tarte Flambee was tangy, lightly salty and sweet, all at the same time. Served with a simple salad, it made a sumptuous lunch. It could easily have fed six or more but just the three of us made short work of all but a few scraps -
and only stringent early training prevented us from licking our plates.

*P.S. On the third try, I had purchased a baking stone (pizza stone) for my oven and it _really_ improved the texture of the crust.



Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Thank goodness for blogs. I'm getting encourage to try all sorts of things I normally would be afraid of.
Nice work.

Monday, August 11, 2008  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I have put "pizza stone" on my shopping list. The first version was delicious but this sounds super-delicious.

Monday, August 11, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I think of you as utterly fearless in the kitchen - you are always innovating!

Nancy, the version you had was _nearly_ perfect but the baking stone made a huge difference to the bottom of the crust - it started cooking even before I put it back in the oven.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: rolling

When we make pizza crust, we pat it out onto an ungreased (or very lightly greased) pan, then peel back half the crust, spray pan with oil, repeat on other side. Helps for those of us low on counter space. :)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Emily, That's a good idea! I just rolled the crust out on the pan and it stuck rather badly, even though I had oiled the pan before. It must be that the second oiling is the charm!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Emily, P.S. I have good friends living in Dexter, MI, not far from you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  

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