Unusual and Delicious Recipes

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD!

 These recipes came originally from Laura Calder, a French chef, who delights in the joys of French food, especially from country recipes. She can be seen on the Food Channel on FRENCH FOOD AT HOME. Her style is at once splendid and comfortable. Included here are two photos of the results of my partner Jim’s having prepared the dishes. He added the mushrooms to the original recipe for the tart . JB
Savoury Swiss Chard Tart

6- 8 servings
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 ounces bacon cut into lardons (very small strips)
1 and 1/2 pounds Swiss Chard, ribs removed
i cup chopped mushrooms ( Shitake or Portabella)
3 eggs
1 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream and sour cream combined
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces of Gruyere or smoked cheddar, grated
Handful raisins
Handful toasted pine nuts
1 deep tart shell, pre-baked in a 9-inch springform pan..or a frozen deep dish pie dough, thawed

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a saute pan and fry the shallots until soft and translucent. Ad the garlic and saute for one minute more. Remove to a plate. In the same pan, fry the bacon until the fat has rendered and the lardons are crispy. Remove to the plate with shallots. Divide the chard leaves from the ribs. Chop the ribs quite small and shred the leaves. First fry the ribs in bacon fat until tender. Then add chard leaves to pan, cover and wilt for three minutes.
Beat the eggs with the creme fraiche, and season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the shallots, bacon, chard stems and leaves, cheese, raisins, and pine nuts, to combine evenly. Taste, and season. Fill the tart shell with the vegetable mixture, and pour the cream mixture over this. Bake until the tart has set, about 30 minutes. Remove the tart from oven, and cool. Serve at room temperature.

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Slow-Baked Honey Wine Pears

4-8 servings
Ingredients:
4 Bosc pears or eight Anjou pears
1 bottle dry red wine
1/2 cup honey

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Peel the pears from top to bottom, leaving the stem intact, and lay them in an oven-proof dish just large enough to hold them. Bring the wine and honey to a boil, cover the pears with the liquid, and transfer to the oven. Bake until tender, 4 to 5 hours, turning now and again to create even color.
Gently remove the pears to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon. Boil the liquid rapidly until reduced to syrup, about 20 minutes. Pour the syrup over the pears and reserve at room temperature for several hours, or cover and refrigerate until about an hour before serving.
Option: Serve with dollop of whipped cream sweetened with a little sugar and a dash of Cognac

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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