A+ A A-
  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Tarte Flambée

Ingredients for a 8"x 16" flatbread:


1/2 cup crème fraîche*

1/2 cup Neufchatel or cream cheese, at room temp.

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground white pepper, or to taste

8 strips smoked thick-sliced bacon, finely chopped

2 cups white onion, thinly sliced


1 3/4 cup unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup water at room temp.

Heat an oven to 500° with a pizza stone (optional) positioned on center rack.

Mix crème fraîche and cream cheese, nutmeg, salt and white pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl; make a well in the center. Whisk oil, yolks, and 1/2 cup water in another bowl, and pour into well. Using a fork, stir until a loose dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead dough for 1 minute. Add only enough flour to the work surface to keep the dough from sticking. Roll out into an 8"x16" rectangle and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread the cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 1/2" border around edge. Spread out the onion slices over the surface followed by the bacon. Transfer paper-lined flatbread to pizza stone. Bake until the edges of the dough are browned, 7 - 10 minutes.

* You can make crème fraîche at home: stir one tablespoon buttermilk (check sell-by date) into 1 cup heavy cream in a glass jar. Cover and leave at room temperature until the mixture thickens to the consistency of sour cream. Refrigerate and use as needed. Homemade crème fraîche has a shelf life of up to a month. It is an efficient way to keep whipping cream from spoiling.


  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Buckwheat Blinis with Creme Fraiche and Caviar


Ingredients for 4 dozen mini-blinis or 12 -15 pancake blinis:


1/2 tablespoon dry active yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup lukewarm milk

1 cup unbleached flour

2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buckwheat flour

3 egg whites, beaten


1 cup crème fraîche*

1 - 2 ounce tin whitefish caviar

2” length of fresh chives


Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water.  Whisk in the milk and flour until the batter is smooth.  Cover the bowl and let stand for 1 hour.

Stir in the egg yolks, melted butter, salt and buckwheat flour.  Cover and let stand at room temperature 4 - 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.  (If refrigerated, let batter warm to room temperature before continuing.)

Fold in beaten whites one-third at a time.  Heat a lightly oiled skillet and drop small batter by the tablespoon to form pancakes 2" in diameter or  1/2 cup amounts for pancakes. Turn them when bubbles form and brown the other side.

Top each blini with a dab of cool cream, a 1/4 teaspoon of caviar and a strip of fresh chive.  Serve warm with champagne.

* Crème Fraîche: Ingredients: 1 cup whipping cream and 1 tablespoon buttermilk Directions:  Warm cream to room temperature.  Stir in the buttermilk.  Cover and let stand overnight or until the cream has thickened noticeably.  Keep refrigerated.  Good for 3-4 weeks.

  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Guacamole with tomatillas and Serrano Chiles





8 ounces plump, firm tomatillos (5-6)

½ cup white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

Leaves from 5 stems fresh cilantro

1 - 2 serrano chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 Hass avocados, nicely ripened

Sea salt

Lime juice, freshly squeezed



Powdered chiles (optional)




Tomatillos: Husk and rinse the tomatillos.  Cover them with water in a small saucepan.  Simmer them until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and reserve.


Combine the tomatillos, onion pieces, cilantro leaves and chiles in the workbowl of a food processor or blender.  Pulse half a dozen times.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process until homogeneous but coarse in texture.


Peel, halve and pit the avocados.  Use a fork to mash the pulp against the bottom and sides of a shallow dish.  Fold ½ the tomatillo mixture into this mash.  Continue adding more to thin the guacamole and balance the tomatillo mixture with the bland avacado.   Season with salt and lime juice to taste.  Replace the pits in the guacamole and allow to sit or refrigerate for a few minutes for the flavors to blend.


Serving:  Halve and peel the jicima.  Cut into ¼” slices.  Spoon a half-tablespoon of guacamole on each slice, drizzle with a bit of lime juice and dust with hot chile powder if desired.


  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Garlic Confit on Toast




Ingredients for 4 servings:


1 large head garlic

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Garnish: grated parmesan cheese and minced parsley




Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Trim the tip off the head of garlic to expose the tips of the cloves.  Place the clove in a garlic roaster or large piece of heavy aluminum foil.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top of the garlic head and place a sprig of thyme on top.  Cover with a lid or tightly seal the foil closed and bake for one hour.  Remove and cool.


Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into a flat dish.  Mash the garlic working in the lemon juice and remaining olive oil.  Season to taste  with salt and pepper.


Serving:  Spread confit on toasted bread and sprinkle with grated cheese and parsley

  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Salmon Roll Hors d'Oeuvre



Ingredients for 30 pieces:


2 pounds wild salmon, center-cut fillet

10 sheets toasted nori

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar




Remove skin, fan bones and all fat from the salmon filet.  Cut the meat lengthwise into 5 strips, 1 1/4" wide (the thinner belly portion can be doubled over to make it the same thickness as the center pieces).


Run 5 of the nori sheets briefly under running water and lay the damp sheets on the counter.  Center a salmon strip on each sheet.  Draw the sides of the sheet to the center and pinch it tightly around the salmon then roll it around the strip.  Repeat with all the salmon pieces.  Lightly wet the remaining  5 nori sheets and wrap each around a salmon roll to strengthen the exterior.


Trim ragged ends of each roll before cutting each roll into 6 equal pieces.  Blend the salt, pepper and sugar together.  Sprinkle both exposed ends of the each piece with the seasoning mixture and place in a shallow glass casserole.  Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or as long as a day or two.