Happy New Year!

January 8th, 2010

Last year I made some culinary resolutions… I accomplished three with sushi, empanadas and souffles… and this year… mmm…

At New Years Eve dinner, Juan’s dad asked me what I was planning on doing with my blog…PANIC!  all I could think of at the moment was to make sure I continue to cook and post even with the stress of school… yep, that is how boring my life has become…

However, I have a couple other little goals… First, I want to continue regularly dining with my fellow Chicago Food Bloggers (those of you reading this… dinner in the next couple weeks?).

Second, I want to continue to work my way through the Omnivore’s 100 list. It has been a fun way for me to try some new things… of course, the carob chip experience of last week was quite gross… I’m sorry to anyone who likes them but wow… Juan’s sister’s reaction was the best “Oh, it gets worse!” and she was in the process of making a tofu cheese-less cheesecake so if she didn’t liked them…

(NOTE:  the tofu cheese-less cheesecake was not as bad as it sounds, even though we made fun of her the entire time.  The texture and taste reminded me of panna cotta.  She served it with a blackberry sauce-see background of photo below.  Perhaps it will be posted soon, as I tried to convince her to guest post!).

Third, I want to continue to stretch myself out of my culinary comfort zone, as with the above Seckel Pear Tart with Poire William Cream.

I saw this recipe on epicurious and then over at Kitchn.  I became a bit obsessed with the idea of making this tart.  I bought some pear brandy, picked up some vanilla beans but could not find the Seckel Pears anywhere.  At this point, I considered making a cake with a Poire William Cream and putting some poached pears on top…  but then Juan and I walked into the grocery store near an amazing Chinese dumpling place and right there were Seckel Pears!  I was so excited about my cute baby pears!  The next day, I got to work on the tart…  My notes:

1. The crust: I did not actually like it.  I do not like to use egg in my pastry crust.  I think a simple butter, flour, and water crust would have been perfect such as Tartine’s.

2. The poached pears: I did not use the wine because I did not want it to be too overpowering with alcohol taste.  I boiled the pear juice, water and sugar together with half a vanilla bean scrapped into the mixture.

3. The pastry cream:  It was delicious.  The pear brandy was a really subtle and delicious addition.

4: The glaze: I did not make it.  The tart does not need more sugar and brandy.

5. Assembly:  I did not have a tart shell so I just put it in a pie pan.  It works fine if you are not super concerned about aesthetics.  The tart was delicious!  I’m really glad I made it.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year!

5 Responses to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Ben on January 12, 2010 6:43 am

    Happy New Year! Having culinary resolutions is always good to keep things in perspective, I believe :) That pear tart looks yummy.

  2. Neen on January 12, 2010 5:15 pm

    I’m just saying, I’m super impressed that you still manage to post while being in school. For me that would be a major accomplishment in and of itself! Maybe that’ll be my New Years resolution…

  3. LyB on January 15, 2010 6:53 am

    Happy New Year, Ginny! Good luck with your goals! I have a few food/blog related goals myself, I just hope I can reach them! :)

  4. Manggy on January 17, 2010 7:00 pm

    Happy new year! We are of one mind with our tart preferences :) However, I am a tofu-lover, so I would have been very excited to try the tofu cheesecake. The difference is that the recipes I’ve seen so far still have cream cheese.

  5. Pasta e Fagioli… at Just Get Floury on February 23, 2010 4:23 am

    [...] her Pasta e Fagioli recipe and decided to give it a shot. I made this for our New Year’s Eve dinner… Juan’s sister is a vegetarian so I made it meat-free… it was great… [...]

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