Thursday, April 3, 2008

Restaurant Review - The Paris, and a Pear Tart

I'm French at heart, so when I heard about The Paris Bistro in Sugarhouse, we had to try it. It is a great place to go for a special occasion for fine, French dining. I had fun trying to translate the menu, even though a description is included in English under the French name. A few of the dishes we have tried are: 

Betteraves, a salad of arugula, beets and goat cheese. 

The Paris, which was a delicious salad with pears, goat cheese, and maple pecans. 

Tartine aux Champignons des Bois, a black truffle and mushroom tart. 

And Magret de Canard Poëlé, which is pan-seared duck breast, served with potato and artichoke gratin and a mushroom sauce. It was really tasty! Our server suggested medium-rare for best flavor and texture. It was juicy and tender, and the flavor was unbelievable! 

Everything we tried was excellent in taste and quality, and they give you just enough so you don't fill up on one dish alone. 

But the crowning jewel of them all was the Pear Tarte Minute served with vanilla gelato. Heaven help me, I have a new addiction. Any future expectations of pear tarts are now beyond amazing. I am afraid that, from now on, I will be subject to disappointment on anything less than what The Paris has to offer. 

We looked around for a recipe that was similar, and here is the one we found. 

4-5 pears
juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tb water
1/4 cup butter
1 pie crust or puff pastry (see below for recipe)

Preheat oven to 375. Peel and slice pears, put in bowl and squeeze lemon over the top. Combine sugar and water in 8 inch cast iron skillet and heat to boil. Reduce heat and simmer till thickens and turns golden. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Arrange pears in sauce, pour over any remaining pear juice. Reheat skillet over low heat for about 20 min, till sauce is reduced by half, without burning it. Remove from heat and let cool. Place pie crust or puff pastry on top of pears and tuck in edges. Bake 40 min, or until golden brown. Let cool 15 min. Loosen tart by running a sharp knife around the edge. Place plate over top of the skillet and invert quickly onto plate. Serve with ice cream. 

To Make Your Own Crust (Sweet Short Paste- Pâte Brisée Sucrée)

1 cup all purpose flour, scooped and leveled
1 Tb sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tb. butter
2 Tb. Crisco, or vegetable shortening
3 Tb. cold water

Place the flour in a mixing bowl with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and crisco and cut with pastry blender. Add cold water and mix till combined. Roll out on floured surface. 

Extra: Pear Cream Pie

I served Pear Cream Pie at Thanksgiving last year. I heard about this from my sculpture teacher - he said it was his favorite pie. Who ever heard of pear cream pie? I was so curious I had to look it up and try it. Everyone wanted to try it, so it went fast. Like some other things, the leftover's weren't as good, though. It is really good fresh, and would make a tasty spring treat. 

1 unbaked pie shell
5 fresh pears, cored and sliced
1/2 sup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Pour 1 beaten egg white into pie shell. Let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the pears. Mix together sugar, flour, nutmeg, and salt. Coat pears in mixture and arrange in unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle any remaining flour mixture over the pears. Pour whipping cream over all. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Serve with whipped cream. 

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