There is a new cookbook about to hit the stores: Le Pain Quotidien by Alain Coumont and Jean-Pierre Gabriel. If you know about the Le Pain Quotidien stores [restaurant, bistro, coffee shop all in one], then your curiosity is already stirring. If you never had the pleasure of dining at the long communal table that is emblematic of each Pain Quotidien site, then here is a recipe to stir your imagination.
In a nutshell, a corn cream — accented with lime zest and jalapeno — is spread over bread. Goat cheese is dotted on top, and the concoction is placed under the broiler to let the cheese melt down and mingle with the cream. It’s very satisfying. Personally, I doubled the amount of corn, cut right off the cob. It is a meal unto itself.
Tomorrow I’ll review the book in general, giving you more recipe ideas. Since “pain quotidian” roughly translates to “daily bread” there are a bevy of bread-based recipes. But, as this one shows, you can have magnificent style and a most satisfying meal by topping that bread with some basic treats.
Although this recipe says it serves 2, the recipe can be easily scaled. The bread slices can be cut once they are out of the oven and you can use this as a dandy warm appetizer. Make lots. People are going to gobble it down.
Corn, Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Tartine
Yield: Serves 2
For the salsa:
- 1 tomato, diced
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- ½ garlic clove crushed
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- Juice of one limes
For the tartine:
- 1 slice smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 4 tablespoons cream fraiche
- ½ garlic clove crushed
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
- Grated rind of ½ lime
- ½ cup corn, canned or fresh [about ½ cob]
- 2 slices of sourdough bread, medium thickness, fairly wide
- 2 ½ ounces of young, soft goat cheese [or feta], sliced
- Cilantro leaves for decoration, optional
Preheat your oven broiler.
Make the salsa by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and mixing.
In a small saucepan, combine the bacon, crème fraiche, garlic, jalapeno and lime rind with 1 tablespoon of water. Place over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 minute, then add the corn. Remove from the hat.
Spread the corn cream onto the bread. Divide the goat cheese between the two tartines. Then place them under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is just beginning to melt. Removed from the boiler. Serve immediately with the salsa on the side.
If you desire you can dot the tartines with cilantro leaves for color, contrast, and flavor. To make them easier to eat, you can cut each one into 3-4 slices.
Source: Le Pain Quotidien by Alain Coumont and Jean-Pierre Gabriel
If nachos are on your agenda on Super Bowl Sunday, then here’s a salsa specifically recommended for your dish. The little book The 50 Best Salsas has a delightful range of salsa ideas. This Roasted Garlic Salsa is the one specifically dedicated to making your nachos distinctive yet easy.
To construct your nachos, put a layer of blue corn chip on a sheet pan. Top with cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. Top with sliced scallions, some blacked beans, chopped tomatoes, and pickled jalapeno slices. Bake to melt the cheeses. Serve with this salsa on the side or simply top off the nachos with the salsa. [Have some paper towels at the ready!]
Roasted Garlic Salsa
Yield: 2 cups
- 3 large head garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 jalapeno chile, seed and minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco salt [or more if you desire]
Remove most of the papery skin from the garlic. Slice off the garlic tops, place in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Heat your oven to 300°F and roast the garlic for 1 hour or until softened. Cool, the squeeze the garlic cloves from the skin and chop finely.
Combine the garlic in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix. Adjust the salt and Tabasco to suit your taste.
Source: The 50 Best Salsas by Christie and Thomas Katona