“I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”
~ James Kavanaugh ~
I am swimming if not drowning in the sea of works of late. Content rather than complaining, as one idea gives birth to the next and so the circle goes, but days continue to shrink with few moments to spare.
But, even the busiest of times call written words.
Words, to give food for thought or a moment to unwind in the passing day. I dare not touch the books I have lined to read, for I know they will draw me in and the world will stop, but poetry is swift and even few lines can feed a hungry soul.
With words to nourish spirit, there is an Alsatian classic for a hunger of different kind. Known as tarte flambée, flammekueche or as called in many other names, it’s thinly rolled out bread with creamy bacon topping, quickly baked in the oven. In smaller portions with cold beer it makes for an outstanding appetizer, but a few slices more with green salad can make for a satisfying meal.
Traditionally tarte flambée contains fresh onions, added just before baking, but I can not help and prefer caramelized ones, isn’t everything is better once caramelized?
Also, if you short of time, you can use store bought puff pastry to make this treat, you will need to adjust temperature and baking time according to package instructions, but this way, it can be ready in minutes literally.
- 1 cup type 00 flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 – 11/2 cup water, luke warm
- ½ cup crème fraiche
- ¼ cup fromage blanc or cream cheese
- a good pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup of diced smoked bacon
- 3 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- freshly ground pepper
- few rosemary springs
- For the dough, combine all the dry ingredients, then slowly stir in water with oil till the dough starts to form. Knead it for a couple of minutes to develop the gluten. Set aside in a warm place to let it proof for an hour, till double in size.
- While the dough is proofing, cook the bacon for few minutes, to get rid of some of the fat and crisp it up a bit, then drain on a paper towel.
- If you like to caramelize the onions, add them to pan and cook for 5-10 minutes, then stir in sugar, and allow to caramelize for a few minutes.
- Preheat the oven to highest setting. Line a tray with foil and heat it in the oven too.
- Just before baking, turn on the grill.
- Mix together crème fraiche, cheese and nutmeg.
- Divide the dough into 2-4 parts, depending how large you want the tarts to be (and the size of your oven), then roll it thinly.
- Transfer the dough onto a preheated tray, quickly spread cream, sprinkle with bacon and onions. Scatter a few rosemary leaves and place under the grill for 3-4 minutes. Repeat with the rest.
- Serve immediately with cold beer if you like.