4.21.2006

St. Agur; Roasted Shallot Tart; Strawberry Clafoutis

shallottart
roasted shallot tart with balsamic, thyme & parmesan

My friends sometimes ask how I have time to cater and do all the cooking during the week. I have to make time to cook. In between my day job, Korean language class, a few hours work at the restaurant, meals for myself and of course blogging. I just try to be somewhat organized and efficient in this city of traffic. I write a new schedule of things to do for the week almost everyday. What can I say, I've always been a list maker!

clafoutis
my smothered strawberry clafoutis

I shop in the earlier part of the week splitting the shopping up two days if necessary and armed with a grocery list organized by stores. I prep on Wednesday and Thursday I get down to business. Getting down to business with only an hour and a half window from the moment I get home to delivery requires a detailed list of things to do in order.

For this week I only had an hour window and the Thursday things-to-do list was:
-get home by 5
-preheat oven
-roll out puff pastry then chill on baking sheet in fridge
-make clafoutis batter, sans egg whites
-line the bottom of a lightly greased baking pan with strawberries
-mix sliced roasted shallots with parmesan, cream, thyme, salt and pepper
-take puff pastry out of fridge and fill the center with shallot mixture, top with parmesan, egg wash, then into the oven for 30 minutes
-beat egg white then carefully mix into batter, pour over strawberries, then bake clafoutis for 20 minutes
-leave house by 6pm
-stop by Silverlake Cheese Store then deliver

Then finished! The tart smelled wonderful with the sweet shallots, buttery crust, and the warmth of the balsamic vinegar. Ready made puff pastry is really a godsend.

If I could wake up to the smell of freshly baking clafoutis every morning I don't think I'll have any trouble getting up. I used the Chez Panisse Cafe recipe for the clafoutis batter (I love this book!). I noticed that this differed from other recipes because it instructed to separate the eggs then beat the whites to soft peaks. This gave volume to the batter and an air of softness to the top. Genius! The clafoutis looked so much prettier than the one I made earlier in the week.

And St. Agur (triple-creme blue, cow, Auvergne, France), one of my favorite cheeses, is divine. There are so many good cheese I haven't discovered yet but I am always excited to share one that I am ecstatic. I am always in awe of the people who really care to make a great cheese. I can't live without cheese!

A catered menu for www.writingpad.com

Added note: I forgot to mention what a clafoutis was. Larousse Gastronomique states that it is "dessert from the Limousin region of France, consisting of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a fairly thick batter". So basically a fruit with a custardy batter poured over it then baked. This definition says "thick batter" but the Chez Panisse batter was light due to the beating of the whites. "The word [clafoutis] comes from the provincial dialect word clafir", which means to fill.

4 comments:

rick james said...

cheese is a drug...

Natasha said...

I know this probably sounds unsophisticated, but the closest comparison I could make to the strawberry clafoutis was an upside down soufflé. It was quite possibly also one of the best desserts I've ever had, and will now live up there with Ile Flottante (floating island) as my all-time favorite French desserts! Another example of culinary perfection from Chef Susan.

yoony said...

cheese is definitely my drug of choice. along with champagne. :D

thanks natasha! glad you enjoyed my dessert debut to writing pad. :D

shaz said...

those look awesome! thanks for sharing. I stumbled upon your blog from a comment you left elsewhere! nice blog! shaz, a fellow foodie blogger.