Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Phenomenal Tip: DIY Tarte Flambées

Tarte Flambee seems to be on every foodies' lips nowadays. What's up with all the buzz? Despite its fancy and sophisticated French name, it is just simply a thin crust pizza. I enjoy the occasional date-night with the Phenomenal Papa, but I am not overly eager to order this on the menu. BUT, I am fervently dying to re-create it at home - in my own kitchen, with the kids... not to mention that it is so much cheaper!:)


We regularly have pizza nights at home, with the toppings all lined up so everyone can just make their own pizza by liberally piling on whatever they wish on the dough. So, last weekend when it was the designated pizza night, I told everyone that I am putting all the glitz for our weekend dinner for the spectacular "Tarte Flambée Nuits." Little do they know that is just a fancy renaming. Haha!


Allow me to share with you my version of an easy to do tarte flambee using my favorite store bought "pizza dough." It is not actually a pizza dough, but a tortilla. I have never been inclined to make my own dough, so when it is pizza night in my house, I always use Village Gourmet's tortilla. It always gives the same results: pizza that is ultra thin and crispy.


For this particular night, I prepared thin slivers of smoked salmon and maple-smoked bacon.


Since the tortilla is very thin, there are a few things to keep in mind when you want to get a crisp texture:

1st, pre-bake the tortilla;
2nd, put care when piling on the toppings... definitely do not overload with toppings;
3rd, have a light hand when using tomato sauce and/or creme faiche, as too much liquid will make the crust soggy.


Tarte Flambee with smoked salmon, capers, fontina and 
gruyere cheese, creme fraiche  


tortilla bread
pre sliced smoked salmon
slices of fontina and gruyere
capers (you can also fry them to a crispy flower if desired)
creme fraiche, (I made my own, following the DIY recipe here)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Brush surface of tortilla with a very light coating of olive oil and place on baking tray. Pre bake for about        3-5 minutes until warm and toasted, taking care not to leave it so long that it changes color.
3. Remove from oven and put desired toppings.
4. Return to oven and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until tortilla turns lightly golden.
5. Drizzle creme fraiche after final baking.
6. Slice with pizza slicer and serve with freshly cracked pepper and/or chili oil.



Tarte Flambee with maple-smoked bacon, balsamic caramelized onions, tomatoes, mozzarella, creme fraiche  


tortilla bread
Olive oil
bacon
caramelized onions (I used this well-loved, super-easy recipe right here)
chopped tomatoes: cut thinly and use just the meaty portion, and drain any juices
creme fraiche, (I made my own, following the DIY recipe here)
fresh herbs, you can use any. I used sage, basil and thyme because that's what was available from my potted herb garden.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush surface of tortilla with a very light coating of olive oil and place on baking tray. Pre bake for about 3-5 minutes until warm and toasted, taking care not to leave it so long that it changes color.
2. Heat a medium pan over high heat. Chop the bacon into bite-size pieces, then add them to the hot pan. Cook until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove them to a bowl or plate, keeping about a tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan.
3. Make the caramelized onions, following this recipe here.
4. Spread the creme fraiche, making sure to go lightly–too heavy a hand will make it soggy. Top it with the chopped tomatoes, caramelized onions, crispy bits of bacon, mozzarella and herbs.
5. Return base to oven and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until tortilla turns lightly golden.
6. Slice with pizza slicer and serve with freshly cracked pepper and/or chili oil.


I assure you, there will be plenty of compliments from some very pleased little diners about how a good cook you are.:)


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ganso-Shabuway: Japanese Style Hot-Pot

My kids love to eat shabu-shabu style; they find the DIY process so amusing.  Not too much for me, because once the novelty of cooking wears off, after the first 20 minutes, I am stuck with cooking the rest of the items on the platter.   Last Sunday when we were at Rockwell, we tried Ganso Shabuway.  While we've tried other chinese-style shabu-shabu restaurants in the past, this is our first time to have it Japanese style.

I learned that the main difference between the Chinese-style and the Japanese style shabu-shabu is simply the soup base.  Ganso Shabuway offers traditional sea-weed, original miso, and spicy miso.  We shared two pots between the five of us so we were able to try all three soup base.  The boys got the spicy miso and sea-weed broth. While us girls got the plain miso broth.

When we eat at any shabu-shabu restaurant, we always order a set menu; we find it to be the most economical way to order shabu-shabu.  We ordered the menu set D for four (P2,045.00), which came with 2 plates of Angus beef slices, 3 vegetable plates, 4 cups of rice, and 2 hot pots of our broth of choice.  We also ordered two bowls of udon, and an extra order of the deluxe plate of vegetable and mushrooms. 

The restaurant only serves Angus and Kobe beef... to ensure the beef remains tender, the slices should be cooked by dipping it in the boiling broth for 10 seconds or so only. 

Then we dip everything in either one of these 2 dipping bowls.  Similar to the chinese-style hot-pot, they also offer two kinds: ponzu sauce and sesame sauce.  There are other condiments like green onions, carrot paste, and garlic paste.  I prefer adding green onions to the ponzu sauce.  I did not really like the sesame sauce, but C said it went really well with garlic and the spicy miso soup base.

We all agreed that aside from the extra-tender slices of beef, the balls were something to come back for.  The kids just love that the balls came with filling, an extra burst of flavor with every bite.  And unlike other shabu-shabus, this one did not make us leave the restaurant smelling like food.  Not a hint of garlic on my dress that day, so I indulged the kids with some desserts from a nearby cafe.

We stopped at the Sugarhouse for some sweet fix...
New York cheesecake while reading her book of the moment, Divergent

Marjolaine, while playing her fave game on the ipad... something she can't do once the weekend is over.
Can't wait for another weekend.

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