LINDSEY'S ALMOND TART

Serves 8.

Note: This recipe was adapted from "Mapie's la Cuisine de France," but became identified as the house dessert of Chez Panisse. This is very firm, almost candy-like, so is best eaten with the fingers.

Tart shell:

• 1 c. flour

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel

• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, not too cold

• 1 tbsp. water

• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Tart filling:

• 3/4 c. heavy cream

• 3/4 c. sugar

• 1 tsp. Grand Marnier (or other orange-flavored liqueur)

• 2 or 3 drops of almond extract

• Pinch salt

• 1 c. (about 3 oz.) sliced unblanched almonds

Directions

For the pastry: Mix the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lemon peel in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch slices and work it into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry blender until the butter is in mostly cornmeal-size pieces and the mixture is beginning to hold together.

Combine the water and vanilla and work it into the flour-butter mixture just until the pastry is blended and will hold together if you press it. Gather it into a ball and wrap it in plastic. Let it rest for 30 minutes so the flour will absorb the moisture more completely. At this point you can wrap the pastry in foil and freeze it for up to a month.

Pinch off a small piece of dough and set it aside for patching. Press the remainder of the pastry into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Do not use a black one; the shell might burn if you do. Make sure that you have a layer of even thickness over the bottom and the sides. If the thickness is uneven, some parts will bake too much before other parts are cooked. Wrap the shell in foil and freeze for 30 minutes or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap the shell and place it in the oven (you don't need to fill the shell with weights because it doesn't shrink much) for about 25 minutes, or until light golden brown and baked all the way through.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack while preparing the filling. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

For the tart: Mix the cream, 3/4 cup sugar, Grand Marnier, almond extract and pinch of salt in a saucepan large enough for the mixture to triple in volume, stirring well. Heat until it comes to a rolling boil and bubbles thickly, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in the almonds, and let stand for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, patch the tart shell if necessary. Use an offset spatula to smooth a small piece of very soft reserved dough over any crack that looks as if it goes all the way through the shell. Be careful not to break through the crisp top of the baked crust if you can avoid it; if the filling leaks through, it will caramelize on the bottom of the shell. This is a necessary step, well worth the time.

Fill the shell with the still warm filling, which will be quite liquid. Make sure the almonds float evenly in the filling. If they are gathered on the top of the liquid mixture, the finished tart will have a cornflake-like texture instead of the glossy surface you want.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil, dull side up, on the oven rack because the tart may bubble over. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Check the tart -- it should be bubbly all over. If not, use the side of a large rubber spatula and gently break up the surface crust to allow the mixture to bubble all over. Rotate the tart and continue baking another 5 minutes. Check again, and break up the surface again if necessary. Bake the tart for a total of 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is a nice shade of creamy-and-russet caramel, rotating the tart occasionally to ensure even baking. The tart will continue to brown a bit after it is out of the oven.

Cool the tart on a rack, loosening the sides of the pan slightly every minute or two for 5 to 10 minutes, or until set. Remove ring from the tart, and return the tart to the rack to finish cooling. If you remove the ring of the pan too soon the sides will fall off the tart.

If you want to remove the tart from the bottom of its pan, carefully slide a thin sharp knife between pastry and pan while the tart is still warm, about 15 to 20 minutes after it comes out of the oven. Slide the tart off the tart pan bottom onto the rack.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 294 Fat 24 g Sodium 104 mg

Carbohydrates 17 g Saturated fat 12 g Calcium 49 mg

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 55 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 5 fat.

 

BAKED GOAT CHEESE WITH GARDEN LETTUCES

Serves 4.

Note: This dish has been on the menu of the upstairs cafe, Fanny, since it opened. Delicious as a first course, it can also be served as a meal, as a combination salad-and-cheese course. The goat cheese and crumbs can be prepared ahead.

• 1/2 lb. fresh goat cheese log (about 2 in- by 5 in.)

• 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

• 1 small sprig fresh rosemary, chopped

• 1/2 sour baguette, preferably a day old

• 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

• 1 tsp. sherry vinegar

• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil or a combination

• 1/2 lb. garden lettuces, washed and trimmed

Directions

Carefully slice the goat cheese into 8 disks. Pour the olive oil over the disks and sprinkle with the chopped thyme and rosemary. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or up to a week.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut the baguette in half lengthwise and dry out in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until dry and lightly colored. Grate into fine crumbs on a box grater or in a food processor. If made ahead, store in a self-sealing plastic bag.

When ready to assemble the salad, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate. Remove the cheese disks from the marinade and roll them in the bread crumbs, coating them thoroughly. Place the crumb-coated cheese on a small baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes, until the cheese is warm and the crust is browned.

Place the vinegars in a small bowl and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Toss the lettuces lightly with the vinaigrette and arrange on 4 salad plates. With a spatula, carefully place two disks of the baked cheese on each plate, and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 456 Fat 39 g Sodium 324 mg

Carbohydrates 13 g Saturated fat 12 g Calcium 116 mg

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 26 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1/2 bread/starch, 2 high-fat meat, 41/2 fat.


PORK RIB ROAST WITH ROSEMARY AND SAGE

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: At Chez Panisse the pork is spit-roasted over an open hearth, but this can be cooked on a grill or in the oven. When you buy the roast, ask the butcher to remove the chine bone and separate the thin layer of meat on the ribs, stopping about an inch from the end of the bones. This allows you to season the interior of the meat. Season the meat 1 to 2 days before cooking, if possible. Serve this with Fresh Shelling Beans (see recipe).

• 1 bone-in 4- or 5-rib pork loin (about 21/2 to 3 lb.)

• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves

• Water or stock

• Fresh Shelling Beans (see recipe)

Directions

Starting on the rib side, use a sharp knife to cut closely along the bones to separate most of the roast from the ribs; leave the last 1/2-inch or so attached to make retying easier. Rub the garlic on bones and into the loin meat. Sprinkle liberally with salt, ground pepper, and half the rosemary and sage. Rub the seasonings into the meat. Reassemble the roast and secure with several pieces of kitchen string. Liberally season then rub the exterior with salt, pepper and the remaining herbs. Lightly cover the meat and refrigerate.

Remove the roast from the refrigerator an hour or so before cooking it to let it come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the meat in a roasting pan, bone side down; the bones make a sort of natural roasting rack. Roast for about 30 minutes or so, then turn the meat over, and cook another 30 minutes or so, until the internal temperature registers 130 degrees and the exterior is browned.

Remove the roast from the pan and place on a cutting board, but leave the oven on. Let rest for 15 or 20 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, skim off and discard some of the fat from the roasting pan. Pour some water or stock into the pan, and set over two burners. Bring to a simmer, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the juices into a small saucepan and keep warm.

When ready to serve, remove the strings from the roast, and cut the meat into thick, bone-in chops. You can also fully remove the rib bones from the meat. Slice between the bones to separate them, then return the bones to the oven for a few minutes to make them crustier while you slice the roast.

Add any juices released from the roast to the juices in the pan. Serve the roast with the warm juices, the rib bones and Fresh Shelling Beans.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings, without beans:

Calories 228 Fat 11 g Sodium 227 mg

Carbohydrates 1 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 14 mg

Protein 30 g Cholesterol 87 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 lean meat.

 

FRESH SHELLING BEANS

Serves 4.

Note: While dried beans are wonderful, there is a moment in time when fresh shelling beans are superb. Chez Panisse uses this recipe for all sorts of varieties, including cranberry, cannellini, flageolet, lima and butter beans. Serve these with the pork roast.

• 3 lb. fresh cranberry or cannellini beans in the pod ( 3 to 4 c. shelled beans)

• Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

• Kosher salt, to taste

• 1 bay leaf

• A few fresh sage leaves or sprig of rosemary or thyme

• Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Shell the beans. Put them in a large heavy pot or an earthenware bean pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Add a splash of olive oil, a good pinch of salt, bay leaf, sage leaves or sprig of rosemary of thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook gently for 30 to 45 minutes, until the beans are tender throughout. Taste one to ensure that they are cooked through.

Turn off the heat, and let the beans cool down in the broth. Reheat gently when ready to serve. Pour off most of the broth (save it for soup or some other use), season the beans with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

Note: You can add chard, collards, large rocket leaves and kale to the beans. If the greens are tough, boil them a little, then sauté them with olive oil, garlic, maybe a little hot pepper (particularly good with broccoli rabe) salt, pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar. Serve as a side or folded through the beans.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 170 Fat 3 g Sodium 280 mg

Carbohydrates 28 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 35 mg

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 1/2 fat.