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Nothing Sweeter than a Little Tart

Yesterday, Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef Megan Lasiter conducted a fun pre-Easter class for us, “Nothing Sweeter than a Little Tart.” What a refreshing breath of air for Spring! Although her recipes are tried and true, she added just a bit of pinache to keep her audience interested. Among her recipes in this demostration class were pate sucre ( translates, “sugar paste” but is actually a slightly sweetened pastry tart), whiskey pecan tart, lemon meringue tart with Italian meringue, pastry cream for fruit tarts, and good ‘ole fruit cobbler.

All of the recipes were hits with the class, but the whiskey pecan took the cake – or the pie – in my opinion. Maybe it’s the Southern Girl in me. Perfect with a cup of coffee. The fruit tart, however, was the most beautiful of all. A sip of champagne really completes it.

Below is her pate sucre recipe as well as the pastry cream recipe. Topping this with colorful fresh berries makes a lovely Spring presentation. Please see our Facebook page for pictures. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Waco-TX/Gourmet-Gallery/78558491610.

Happy Cooking!

Pate Sucre

(Gourmet Gallery Chef, Rachel Solano says that this pastry is a bit more forgiving than a traditional pie crust. Don’t use it for your chicken pot pie, though!)

7.5 ounces unsalted butter
3 ounces sugar
.06 ounces salt
3 ounces eggs
12 ounces pastry flour

Baking Temperature 375 degrees.

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs.
3. Add flour, salt and vanilla.
4. Roll out on floured surface to desired thickness.
5. Place into pie plate or tart pan and press into edges.
6. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned.

Pastry Cream
1 quart milk
4 ounces sugar
3 ounces egg yolks
4 ounces whole eggs
2.5 ounces corn starch
4 ounces sugar
2 ounces butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Mix milk and first sugar.
2. Bring to a scald in a medium saucepan.
3. While milk is cooking, mix the following: eggs, egg yolks, second surgar, and conrstarch.
4. Temper milk into egg mixture.
5. Add whole mixture back into saucepan.
6. Whisk until thickened to desired consistency.
7. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla.

Spoon into tart shell (pate sucre). Top with fruit or enjoy by itself.

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Cold Weather Warm Soup

Once in awhile I run across a dish or a recipe that creates calm out of chaos. I guess this is what “comfort food” really is. Our chef, Rachel Solano, introduced me to Thai Cocanut Chicken Soup, a fabulous soup recipe that may rival Grandmom’s Chicken Soup. Here it is. Thanks, Rachel!

Check out our website at www.GourmetGalleryWaco.com. We post new recipes regularly.

Happy Cooking!

Karyn Miller
Gourmet Gallery

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

This Thai soup is so delicious and unique, you may find yourself replacing your old chicken noodle soup!

Serves: 6 -8 Time: 40 – 45 minutes

2 T Vegetable oil
2 T Grated Fresh Ginger (or Gourmet Garden’s her b blend in 4 oz tube)
2 T Fresh Lemongrass (or Gourmet Garden’s herb blend in 4 oz tube)
3 T Red Curry Paste
1 ½ T Fish Sauce
1 ½ T Soy Sauce
2 T Sriracha Chili Sauce
6 c Chicken Broth
1 T Light Brown Sugar
2 14 oz Cans Coconut Milk
1 lb Chicken Breasts, cut in 1 inch cubes
¼ – ½ lb Sliced White Mushrooms
4 T Fresh Lime Juice
Salt to taste
Large Handful of Fresh Cilantro Leaves

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
Add ginger, lemongrass, chili sauce, and curry; cook for 1 minute.
Add about a cup of chicken broth to dissolve curry mixture.
Add the remaining broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar and simmer for 10 min.
Add the coconut milk, chicken, and mushrooms and simmer 5 – 10 min to cook the chicken.
Finally, stir in the lime juice and add salt if necessary.
Serve over steamed white rice and a few tablespoons of the cilantro.