Clafouti, the simple French custard and fruit dessert is great for the Beach House. Use whatever fresh fruit or combination of fruits. The batter goes together in a flash in the blender. Bake in a pie pan most rentals will have, and voila, dessert is served. A little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream too, it’s summer.
Summer simple = salads. What better way to take advantage of the seasonal bounty by pairing sweet and savory in one salad. A salad of made up of farmers market finds highlights radicchio, figs, peaches, & feta cheese, seasonal everyday beauty in the kitchen, always a little jewel. Continue reading Market Basket Summer Salad
French Fruit Tart, now that sounds complicated, but actually they are very easy to prepare and use the summer’s bounty of fresh fruit. Here, a French Fresh Grape Tart is on the menu, sparkling with glistening grapes, another little jewel from the kitchen.
These French tarts have a wonderful lineage. These tarts originated with a legend in pastry, Michel Richard. I began cooking classes at 21, and was very lucky to have cooked with classically trained chefs in Pasadena at the Inner Gourmet Cooking School. My instructors had worked with Micheal Richard on a project. He ran a lovely pastry shop in Beverly Hills. After working with him on the project, they got his recipe for French Fruit Tarts and passed it along in their cookbook, which accompanied their cooking classes.
These classes are so memorable for me, with guest chefs like Paula Wolfert and wine pairings from Joe Columbo (Yes,Trader Joe).
Really the right time, the right place to begin my cooking career. Armed with a strong start I set out into the culinary world. At that time I was was doing Food & Wine coordination aboard a corporate private jet. The skills and the “unbasics”, as the recipes were known, stay with me, and I go back to these classic French & Italian recipes frequently.
This French Fresh Grape Tart is flexible. I was lucky to find these small Champagne Grapes (despite the name they are not used to make Champagne). Use quality all butter frozen puff pastry, like Dufour brand), berries or 4 cups of your favorite fresh summer fruit and change out the grape jam glaze to apple jelly and there you are, French Fresh Fruit Tarts, always a little jewel in the kitchen.
Eating seasonally, in the moment is the best. Organic Blenheim apricots appeared at my back door, a gift from a friend, still warm from the summer sun. This fragile fruit needed to be consumed ASAP. So I bring a Summer Salad of Apricots, Lentils & Triple Cream Cheese, a summer jewel. Continue reading Summer Salad of Apricots, Lentils & Triple Cream Cheese
Our cooler spring has extended timeline of the citrus season. Happily blood oranges are still available in many markets here in Cali, last chance for this lovely little jewel, Blood Orange Tart. Continue reading Blood Orange Tart