Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Appearances Can Be Deceptive / Les Apparences sont Souvent Trompeuses
Before we get married and before we moved in together, my husband thought I didn’t know how to cook, or as he says in his own words: “ I thought you weren’t that great of a cook”. Nobody told him so, I guess, there was no sign on my forehead saying: “Kitchen Hazard” and I don’t remember him even asking me if I knew how to cook or if I love cooking.
Was it my look? My hands? My age? The way I eat, or may be the way I tilt my head back when I laugh? No! Nothing. He just figured I didn’t cook.
The first dish we had together coming home, after an eight hours flight and jet lagged was an onion and Gruyere omelet. I overcooked the omelet and it wasn’t as moist as I like it but he was stunned, charmed. In other words my omelet proved him wrong: I knew how to cook, sort of.
Since then, my skills in making omelets have improved and he had, hopefully, noticed how lucky he is to have such a talented, not to mention smart and beautiful woman.
He knows by now that as much as I love taking on new challenges and never made before recipes, there are those days when I am much happy with a simple salad, some mashed potatoes or a savory tart.
I saw this tart some weeks ago, and it was one of those recipes that I had to make. You know the feeling, right? You see a photograph that catches your attention. You start to read the recipe and get mesmerized by the combination of the ingredients and how they sound wonderful together. You start dreaming about it day and night and anticipating the flavors in your mouth until you have all the ingredients and decide to make it. I was in love before even making it.
I thought it must be like having a slice of Brie on a slice of bread in one hand and a fresh fig in the other, and popping the whole thing together in your mouth. It must be even better on a tart.
The first night, I served it hot since you can either serve it hot or cold according to the recipe. How do I say this delicately? I didn’t like it hot. I ate it because I was hungry. The figs were still bubbly hot and I couldn’t taste the cheese. You could have used any other cheese instead and I wouldn’t taste it anyway. That’s how strong the flavor of hot figs was. But the crust was delicious.
The second night, still wanting to give it another chance, I served it at room temperature. Reheated just a little bit and let it cooled before serving it. My husband said he liked it better this way. It’s true that the figs being cold, you can have a taste of all the ingredients together but the cheese, even being perfectly ripe, wasn’t as melting as I expected it to be. In fact baking it kind of spoiled it, and I know now that I prefer to have my Brie on a slice of bread.
This tart was not what I thought it would be like, not what I had imagined and looked forward to. Nobody promised me it was going to be an explosion of flavors in my mouth and that I will instantly love it. Was it the tempting picture? My weakness for figs, or my lack of judgment? I don’t know. I just figured it has to be delicious. I guess appearances can be deceptive after all.