Buy apricots. Now.
When Tim Clinch and I discussed the first day’s shoot for the Food Photography Workshop this weekend, we both shouted , “Summer!”
These are summer moments, don’t put it off. Peaches, Tomatoes, Apricots. Too soon and these perfectly ripe fruit will be passé and you’ll have to make apricot jam. However, just now, these firm but juicy guys give their tart/sweet sunshine juice willingly yet still stand up to the hot fast baking, holding their shape and cradling their own juices mixed with thyme and drizzled honey.
This ‘variation on a tarte theme’ is my go-to summer/winter fruit dessert. The very good and forgiving French butter pastry is a snap to make. See my recipe for that here.
The fresh goat cheese base- creamy, slightly sweet, and beaten with an egg, is poured into the unbaked pastry and serves as a creamy blank canvas for the fruit. The surface is arranged with the apricots hollow side up to hold the juices and honey, dusted with some fresh thyme and popped in the hot (425′F/220′C) oven to bake for 25 minutes.
eh voila! I do this tarte over and over with peaches, plums, pears, figs…all the fresh stone fruit until the fall and then I switch to thinly sliced apples marinated in armagnac, cooked fruit, thick jam or just cream and honey. More good photographs like this one of the steps to make the tarte were taken by Mardi on the Food Photography Workshop and posted on her site here. Want the step by step recipe? Here it is… Read More
It begins here, with two good ingredients.
Ham- Eric Ospital’s Ibaiona brand from the Basque Country.
Asparagus- local, just picked and carried to the market so fresh it snaps.
This week, my Kitchen Godmother, Vétou Pompele, came by for weekend breakfast (a decidedly not French event) and asked me what I would make for her.
I grabbed a copy of my first cookbook that chronicled my early days sailing on the Julia Hoyt and said,
“Your Asparagus and Ham dish, of course”.
She had forgotten about what was long one of my favorite dishes. It’s easy. When you cook everyday, EVERY DAY, that’s a lot of recipes under the bridge. We have both forgotten half of the wonderful dishes we cooked together over years of sailing the canals and rivers of France on the Julia Hoyt. This was always one of my Spring favorites, because unlike my life BF (Before France), asparagus is a once a year event, a few scant weeks of spear-ful delight. Read More
There are pies and there are PIES.
There is magic and there is MAGYC.
And yes, this is a bonafide, real, authentic MAGYC PIE.
But this week as Fran and Ian from Melbourne, and Hilary from Sonoma, and Matt from Welbeck descend on the Chapolard home for lunch, we’ll be bringing this fat MAGYC PIE with us. MAGYC stands for Mastering the Art of Gascon Cooking (with a nod to Julie Child’s masterful book). What’s in this golden-crusted succulent pie? Read on…
I was just going to call this Workday Soup- a 20-minute solution to feeding a small crew at Camont. I’ve been working on my homework for SAF (actually, my homework will be your homework, you lucky Butchery & Charcuterie students who begin next month!). I hate to get interrupted when working on tables and calendars. When the Noon siren blew from the nearby village spire, I just started shouting cooking advice into the kitchen. Cut up some potatoes! Chop up that Ventreche into lardons! Throw it in a pan with the duck fat!
Twenty minutes or so later, the potatoes were creamy and tender, the duck fat broth was golden rich, and a jar containing an solitary confited duck breast was popped in a pan to warm through, crisp up and garnish the steamy thyme and bay infused broth. Eh Voila!
This is the sort of nourishing and soothing meal that might help in a hurricane ravaged moment- grab a sack of potatoes, a jar of duck confit and your sterno stove. To all my dear friends and family in Irene’s path, I dub this soup for you!
ps- don’t have any duck confit in the larder? I still have one place open on the October 3 Confit Course -http://kitchen-at-camont.com/programs/cookery/dig-in/cassoulet-confit-coq-au-vin/.
Last night, as the kitchen crew began to lose control between increasingly large portions of truffle-related wonders, Jack uttered a solitary phrase as I suggested we taste the fruits of our week’s labors- a recreation of a historic hunting-inspired terrine favored by Henri IVth.
“Let’s taste Kate’s small terrine of joy”.
The Small Terrine of Joy- henceforward referred to simply as STJ- had been resting on the counter perfuming the air above and around that corner of the kitchen, wafting up the stairs and sneaking under the pigeonnier’s chambres with a heady hint of forest and field elevated to a sublime taste of… game, pork,and veal bound by truffleness.
Less a recipe than a celebration of special ingredients, bound by traditional respect for lean and fat, natural flavor and added seasoning, we began with an idea and ended up with delicious mouthful of succulent savory textures that played between toothsome and tender as foie gras melted onto truffles under a lean strip of marinated pheasant.
This is a lesson in cooking, as we let the ingredients dictate how we treat them, slow or high heat, moist, covered or browning. This is not a recipe of proportions or weights; this is an afternoon of friendship and inspiration manifested at the table and on our plates in the Kitchen-at-Camont. For Tim Clinch’s lovely take on this: http://timclinchphotography.tumblr.com/post/3561477421/the-small-terrine-of-joy-actually-a-terrine