The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

“Reblochon” Tarts with Bacon and Fingerling Potatoes September 22, 2008

The magazine where I found this recipe fails to point out that Reblochon cheese is next to impossible to find in the US.  I went to Whole Foods to find this cheese and the cheese man (?) wished me luck.  He pointed out an alternative that had “Reblochon”, literally in quotes, on the label.  I subbed half of this “reblochon” want-to-be with some Fontina cheese to mellow out the flavors.  Changes in green.

Source:  Food & Wine

2 medium fingerling potatoes

4 slices bacon

1 1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 small red onion sliced into rings)

All-purpose flour, for rolling

1/2 pound cold all-butter puff pastry

1/4 pound Reblochon cheese, rind removed and cheese thinly sliced (“Reblochon”) and 1/8 pound Fontina thinly sliced


1.  In a small saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil.  Cook over high heat until tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes.  Drain, then peel and thinly slice crosswise.

2.  Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer to paper towels.  Cut the slices in thirds.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Pour off the bacon fat in the skillet and add the oil.  Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until softened and browned, about 15 minutes; add water as necessary, 1 Tbs. at a time, to prevent scorching.  Transfer the onion to a bowl; season with salt and pepper.

4.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to an 11-inch square,  Using a plate as your guide, cut out four 5-inch rounds.  Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheet and prick them all over with a fork.  (I did not have time for rounds and simply cut the dough into 4 squares which saved a bit of time.)

5.  Bake the rounds in the center of the oven for 8 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.  Using the back of a fork, deflate the rounds and bake for about 4 minutes longer, until the pastry is set.  (I found that I had to prick a few holes in the dough after the second bake to keep the puffs down.)

6.  Top the pastry rounds with the onion, potato slices, bacon and cheese.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pastry is browned.  Transfer tarts to plates; serve hot or warm.


Black Bean-Tomato Soup with Cilantro-Lime Cream September 14, 2008

This was spicy and really delicious.  I served it as an appetizer for 4.  I didn’t change anything in this recipe.

Source:  Cooking Light


Stir-Fried Five-Spice Pork with Lettuce Wraps August 24, 2008

This dish reminded me of the Christmas holiday season with the five-spice powder.  Since you probably don’t use this spice regularly, I recommend you buy the five-spice powder in the Asian section of your grocer instead of the regular spice section.   I found it for $2 versus $5.99 in the regular spice aisle.  The recipe would be good with dark boneless chicken as an alternate to the pork.

Source:  Food and Wine Magazine

1 Tbs. peanut oil (I used vegetable oil)

1  1/2 Lbs boneless pork shoulder; outer fat trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 small onion, cut into 1/3-inch dice

1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise

1 celery rib, thinly sliced on the bias

3/4 tsp. Chiness five-spice powder

1/3 cup canned whole water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped

3 Tbs. chicken stock or low-sodium broth

2 1/2 Tbs. hoisin sauce

8 basil leaves, torn into pieces

2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Iceberg lettuce leaves, for serving


1.  In a large skillet, heat the peanut oil until shimmering.  Add the diced pork shoulder and stirofry over heat heat until browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate.

2.  Add the onion, carrot and celery to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add the five-spice powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the water chestnuts, stock and hoisin sauce, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Return the pork to the skillet and stir-fry until heated through and coated with the sauce, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in the basil, scallions and sesame oil; season with salt and pepper.  Spoon the pork into bowls and serve with lettuce leaves for wrapping.  Serve as an appetizer or as a main dish with steamed write or brown rice.