Musing with Max

Musing with Max

April 16, 2012

Summer in April

We're supposed to hit 86F here today. It's April; we should be at least 30 degrees cooler and it should be raining. Instead it's dusty and dry and we're sweltering. Something seems to have run amok. It's just a little bit scary and it's too hot to sleep but I'll be damned if we're turning the air conditioning on in April. At least the heat is off. The garden is easily a month ahead of schedule and seems to be barreling on by leaps and bounds. Blooms we normally don't see until May:

the wisteria on Friday
on Saturday

Crab Apples on Friday

on Saturday




Who knows where we'll be by June, and I still haven't planted anything new...too early!

We may as well make the best of it though and enjoy the clear blue skies
and have some Summer food outside

Onion Tart with bacon or olives adapted from The New York Times

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
180 grams (about 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
3 large onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/8-inch thick
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (for bacon version only)
2 garlic cloves, minced (olive version only)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped (olive version only)
4 ounces ( 1/4 pound) fresh ricotta (or goat cheese for olive version)
4 ounces ( 1/4 pound) smoked bacon, cut in thick lardons (or pitted green olives for olive version)
4 ounces crème fraîche.

1. For the dough: In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Stir in 1/4 cup flour and let the mixture get bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the kosher salt, butter or oil and remaining flour and mix to form a rough ball. Knead the dough (with hands or stand mixer) for about 5 minutes. Let rise, covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap, until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Or refrigerate in a zippered plastic bag and let rise several hours or overnight.)
2. For the topping: Heat 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil in large skillet over medium-high burner. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the caraway seeds (for the bacon version) or the garlic and thyme (for the olive version). Let cool to room temperature. Put the bacon, if using, in a small pan and cover with 1 inch water. Simmer for 2 minutes, then drain and cool.
3. Set oven to 375 degrees. Punch down the dough and knead into a smooth ball, then let it relax for a few minutes. Roll to a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 12- by 17-inch baking sheet lined with parchment. Stretch the dough to an elongated oval about 11 inches by 15 inches.
4. Mix the ricotta (or goat cheese) with half the crème fraîche and dab spoonfuls of the mixture evenly over the dough. Spread the cooked onions over the dough, leaving a half-inch border. Top with the reserved bacon (or olives), scattered evenly. Drizzle the tart with the remaining crème fraîche.
5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning the baking sheet if necessary, until well browned. Cool on a rack for a few minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Asparagus Soup with Poached Eggs adapted from Williams-Sonoma

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large leek, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. Hungarian paprika, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. chicken or vegetable stock concentrate
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 6 poached eggs
  • Fresh tarragon leaves, flat-leaf parsley leaves and chopped chives for garnish
In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the leek, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the 1 tsp. paprika and cook, for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus, stock concentrate and water and cook, stirring occasionally until the asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes.

Place the spinach on top of the soup mixture and cook for 1 minute. Using a towel, hold the lid down and blend on the highest setting until the soup is smooth.

Season the poached eggs with salt and pepper and lightly sprinkle with paprika. Pour the soup into 6 warmed bowls and top each with 1 poached egg. Garnish with tarragon, parsley and chives and serve immediately. Serves 6.
and maybe give somebody a bath
...Max, where are you?


No comments:

Post a Comment