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Date night recipes {crispy, savory tart}

June 26, 2011

If you know me at all, you know that I am a sucker for a delicious meal!  To me there is no better way to spend an evening than with a great glass of wine, yummy food, and good– and in this case handsome ;-)  company.  To celebrate our one year anniversary a couple of weeks ago, Aaron and I had a low-key night at LA french bistro Church & State and it did not dissapoint!  We dined on goat cheese with lavendar honey and crostinis, steak tartare, a savory onion and bacon tart, and melt-in-your-mouth salmon!

Did I mention the tart?  It was so incredible that I was determined to replicate it!  This recipe definitely does the trick:

Recipe courtesy of chef Michel Richard.

SERVINGS
4

INGREDIENTS
4 ounces sliced applewood-smoked bacon
1 cup Wondra (instant) flour
1 1/2 cups water
Fine sea salt
1 1/2-inch-square chunk applewood-smoked slab bacon, or about 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup crème fraîche
Cornmeal (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

 For crepe batter, place flour in medium bowl. Add water and whisk quickly and vigorously until completely smooth. Mix in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Consistency should resemble heavy cream. Add a little more water if necessary.

 Place a 9-inch nonstick crepe pan or 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spear chunk of bacon with fork and rub over bottom of hot pan, or melt enough butter to create a thin film on bottom of pan. Lift pan from heat and, using a ladle, ladle about 1 cup crepe batter into pan.

Swirl pan so that batter covers bottom in thin layer. Fill in any holes with additional batter. Return pan to heat and cook crepe 3 to 4 minutes, or until set, edges have curled, and bottom has browned.

 If crepe puffs as it cooks, poke small holes in it with a fork. Do not flip crepe: Slide onto a baking sheet. Repeat to make total of 4 usable crepes. If necessary, rub pan with more bacon or butter between crepes; if pan is a heavy nonstick, it may not be necessary to add additional fat. Reserve bacon or butter for baking sheet. (Crepes can be refrigerated, covered, a few days or well wrapped and frozen for longer storage.)

Slice bacon crosswise into 1-inch pieces, or lardons. Cook in nonstick pan over medium-high heat until fat has rendered. If cooking tart in convection oven, remove bacon before burned or crisp, because it will cook more later. But if you do not have a convection oven, cook bacon a bit more, until slightly crisped. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Cut onions in half through root end. Cut out and discard onion roots. Using very sharp knife, cut crosswise into paper-thin slices. You need 2 cups firmly packed onions; if extra, reserve for another use.

 Heat 1 tablespoon butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Toss onions in butter, reduce heat, and sauté gently about 3 to 4 minutes to soften onions, without browning. Transfer onions to bowl and let cool.

 Stir crème fraîche into onions, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 Grease 2 baking sheets with chunk bacon or butter, or line pans with Silpats. Place 2 crepes, browned side down, on each pan, without letting touch. Spread even, thin layer onions on each crepe, spreading onions to edges. Cover each one with piece of plastic wrap and pat down to create even layer of onions. Remove plastic and sprinkle bacon slivers over top, again extending to edges. Smooth again with sheet of plastic wrap. (At this point, tarts can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to a day.)

Best results are achieved by baking with convection oven, with or without a pizza stone. To bake in convection oven with pizza stone, place stone on bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Dust stone with a bit of cornmeal, transfer a tart to stone, and cook about 10 to 12 minutes. Cook remaining tarts.

To bake in convection oven without pizza stone, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place pans in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking, until crust is crisp and bacon is browned.

 To bake in conventional oven with pizza stone, place pizza stone on bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Dust stone with a bit of cornmeal. Transfer a tart to stone and cook about 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp and bacon is browned. Continue to cook remaining tarts.

To bake in conventional oven without pizza stone, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place pans in oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking, until crust is crisp and bacon is browned.

To serve, cut each tart into quarters and grind black pepper over top.


Thai Style…

June 24, 2011

Today Aaron and I had our first Bangkok adventure: taking a long-tail river boat across the water to one of the most famous Buddhist temples here.  Upon arrival I quickly learned that I shouldn’t have warn shorts– in my defense it is quite warm AND quite humid!  However, it all worked out because I quickly fell in love with this printed cotton wrap they loaned me.  Doesn’t it go nicely with my NIKE sneakers?

The temple was breathtaking, the stairs to the top very steep, and the people their kind and gracious.  Afterwards, while Aaron was taking photos I stopped and played a thai version of jump rope with some thai children.  It was so much fun! I couldn’t help but think how their “afternoon schoolyard” was the lawn of a Buddhist temple on a river that cuts through one of the world’s largest and busiest cities.

As we rode away on some version of the same boat we came in on, I couldn’t help but wonder if the monks dressed in their usual orange garb have any idea how in style that color is for the season ;-)

Chic Shades {The Red Accessory}

June 18, 2011

It might not be the new black, but having a pair of red ballet flats, a long red necklace, or a red bag on hand is a must!
In one fell swoop a pop of red can take a neutral look from boring to chic and it is a nearly thoughtless addition.  The easiest combination?  Great jeans, tailored white shirt, and red shoes.  Easy as A-B-C!

Thankful…

June 16, 2011

Last night as I was laying in bed with a mug full of steaming hot green tea, unwinding after a long 13 hour work day when it struck me I just how incredibly lucky I am to love what I do so much that I would jump out of bed at 5:30 in the morning for a 7am fitting– the first of two fittings today– work until 7:30pm and still can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow.

Oh… and I am also thankful for this Reiss dress I bought yesterday :-)

(I am just as thankful for the tailor who is shortening it to a more flattering length!)

That is all for now!  For the latest of what I have been working on you can always check out JenPinkston.com

xo

Working Girl…

June 15, 2011

The last two weeks have been a marathon of prepping, fitting, and styling for shoots and award shows… and I have loved every second!  Every morning when I look into my huge cedar-lined walk-in closet where none of my clothes touch  closet I am looking for an outfit that is stylish and chic, but also utilitarian and will allow me to run around, shop until I drop , and pin a hem if need be…  Which is precisely why I fell in love with this look Anna Laub is wearing: 

{1. Gap 2. Antik Batik 3. Imitation 4. Prism 5. Pedro Garcia… All available from net-a-porter, except the Gap}

One Year!

June 6, 2011

One year ago today I became a married woman!

Best decision I ever made :)

(For wedding pics you can click here or honeymoon pics here)

Dress Code {Summer}

June 6, 2011

Summer is here!  Which inevitably means that weddings, showers, and soirees of all kind will abound!  This of course also means that most of us are in search of the perfect chic summer party dress for such occasions.  For an always effortless chic sultry look try this combination: a strapless neckline (which is almost universally flattering!), bright color, and great shoes!

1. Dress, Tibi Shoes, Diane von Furstenburg (All available at Net-A-Porter.Com)
2. Dress, Matthew Williamson Shoes, J.Crew (All available at Net-A-Porter.Com)

3. Dress, Halston Shoes, Jimmy Choo (All available at Net-A-Porter.Com)