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
6- 8 servings
1 tabelspoon 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 Portabello)
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 toasted pine nuts
1 deep tart shell, pre-baked in a 9-inch springform pan..or a frozen deep dish pie dough, thawed
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.
4 Bosc pears or eight Anjou pears
1 bottle dry red wine
1/2 cup honey
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