69. Tarte Tatin aux Poires. A simple and delicious tart with beautiful, golden chunks of pear nestled in caramel and pastry.
Tarte Tatin aux Poires
2 pounds firm-ripe Bosc or Anjou pears (4 to 6)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz. frozen puff pastry, defrosted (or your own puff pastry, if you choose)
Peel, halve, and core pears.
In a 9- to 10-inch ovenproof non-stick skillet or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet heat butter over moderate heat until foam subsides and stir in sugar (sugar will not be dissolved). Arrange pears, cut sides up, in skillet. Cook without stirring until sugar mixture forms a deep golden caramel. (This can take as little as 10 minutes or as much as 25, depending on skillet and stove.) Cool pears completely in skillet.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place the pastry over caramelized pears and tuck the edge around pears, down into the skillet. Bake tart in middle of oven until pastry is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
Have ready a rimmed serving plate slightly larger than skillet. As soon as tart has finished baking, invert plate over skillet and, wearing oven mitts and keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together, invert tart onto plate.
Serve tart warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, ice cream or crème fraîche.
71. AOC Minervois La Livinière in the Languedoc Roussillon. I live right in the middle of this small wine Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, so I'm a bit spoiled. Seven of our neighbor's are wine makers and I have to say, it is convenient to be able to walk up the street, knock on a beautiful, stone barn door and buy wine for as little as 2 euros a bottle. Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre are the main grape varietals.
70. Filet Mignon with homemade Bearnaise Sauce. I'm not a huge fan of steak, but when our friend made this for us one evening, with potatoes on the side to pour even more Bearnaise sauce on, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. The filet was perfectly cooked and the Bearnasie sauce, oh my god, it was incredible!
72. CC's Coffee House in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was fortunate enough to have worked across the street from the one in the French Quarter, a contributing factor to what is now my caffeine addiction. Their iced coffee sustained me through the hot and humid summers.
CC's Coffee House
941 Royal Street
New Orleans , Louisiana 70116