Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Provencal Tapenade en Crut

     This is a very delicious French Provence region treat!  Tapenade is a very healthy anti cholesterol food.  Tapenade is great with a light bodied red wine in the early evening as a summer appetizer.
     Recipe:  Place 1 small handful of pitted ripe black olives on a cutting board.
     Add 1 small handful of pitted oil cured olives.
     Add 1 small handful of pitted green olives.
     Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic.
     Add 1 heaping tablespoon of capers.
     Very finely mince the olive and caper mixture, till it turns into a smooth paste with no olive chunks.
     Place the olive paste into a bowl.
     Add 1 pinch of black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of tarragon.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 pinch of basil.
     Add 1 small dab of anchovy paste.
     Add 2 teaspoons of virgin olive oil.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     The tapenade should be thick and easily spreadable.
     Brush a couple of crusty French bread slices with olive oil.
     Toast both sides of the bread in a saute pan over medium heat.
     Spread the tapenade over the toasted French bread.
     Set the tapenade en crut on a plate.
     Snow Peas and Grilled Tomato Garnish:   Heat saute pan over medium heat.
     Saute some very thin sliced snow pea strips with a tiny splash of olive oil for 20 seconds.
     Set the sauteed snow peas on a cutting board.
     Return the pan to the heat once again.
     Season 2 thick sliced tomato slices with coarse ground black pepper and sea salt.
     Pan sear both sides of the tomato slices with a small splash of olive oil, till the tomato slices become lightly caramelized.
     Garnish the plate with the seared tomato slices and fine julienne snow peas.
     This is a very pretty way to simply garnish this plate!  The contrast of flavors spells out a relaxed summer evening of watching a sunset and sipping wine.  Provence France has many simple, delicious preparations of healthy food to offer.  Provence is a very rich food region.
     I was a sous chef for a great chef from Provence for a while.  The French chef was 65 years old and he took a few weeks of vacation to climb Mount Everest for his 65th birthday.  Talk about a guy with elan!
     We specialized in Provence style seafood in his restaurant.  Provence food is healthy!
     By the way, I use no food processor, blender, mixer, dishwasher or any electric appliance devices in my home kitchen for my recipe blog.  Every recipe is made the old traditional way.  I was a culinary arts instructor for externship programs a few times.  It is better to teach a method the old fashioned way first.  That way a student will see and develop a feeling for proper taste and texture.
     My old fashioned hand chopped tapenade in the pictures glistens like caviar!  That is the proper texture for tapenade.  Enjoy this healthy recipe!  ...   Shawna

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