I have nothing against raw tuna, in general, but I DO have a problem with raw tuna when the fish in question is purchased from my supermarket's freezer section and defrosted. If I'm eating it raw, it better be fresh. Or, at least, I don't want to know it's not fresh. So, tuna was out as a topping on my Fresh Tuna, Mozzarella, and Basil Pizza (pg 166-167 of Around My French Table). I swapped it for coppa stagionata (a salami type of thing), and never looked back.
Perhaps rounds of fresh mozzarella look nicer when layered with raw tuna, but I think it's more practical to tear it up. Fresh mozzarella doesn't melt easily. When baked for only two minutes, it barely even warmed up, so the whole slice was falling off the puffed pastry crust with each bite.
I really hoped Charlie would like this concept of the puff pastry crust, because that would make a simple last minute/no ingredient supper in the future, but he took one bite of a normal sauce and cheese version, brushed the crumbs off his lips, glared at me, and refused to touch it again. He asked me when he was getting his "real pizza." Napoli is turning him into a pizza snob. This does not bode well for his future acceptance of pizza stateside.
Conclusion: Just okay. I'm sure the tuna provides more pizzazz than cured meat does, but wouldn't make up for the icky feeling I got from eating that much puff pastry.
Last night, I riffed off of Dorie's Wheat Berry and Tuna Salad to use what I had in the house. So, I made Barley and Chicken Salad. Personally, I think I prefer the chicken to the tuna.
|Nom nom nom|
Floating Islands (pg 427). Sigh. Reading other Dorista's posts, consensus seemed to be that this was lots easier to make than you'd expect. That was not my experience. I felt like this took all day, I wasn't certain the results would turn out right, and somehow I coated my entire kitchen floor in sugary wetness that dried and turned black and I was sticking to by the time I was done. Nothing I like better than having to mop the floor before I cook dinner.
The meringue itself was easy to make, but then I ran into trouble with the baking part. First of all, my oven doesn't go down to 250 degrees. I went as low as I could. I triple-wrapped my springform pan with aluminum foil and put it in the water bath. Water got in. Lots of it. I had to bake this longer than specified for it to set, and about a half hour after it was out of the oven and cooling, I realized that my island was, indeed, floating. My tin foil did a much better job of keeping water in than out. I popped the springform pan, drained it (I suspect this was the step that coated my kitchen floor, though I wasn't aware of it at the time), and slid the meringue out onto a plate. Fortunately, I don't think the water had any ill effect on the outcome.
For the creme anglaise, I could have used some indication of how long the custard would take to get up to the correct temp. By the time I checked it, it was already well past Dorie's maximum temperature. My bad. There was some scrambled egg action going on, but fortunately the strainer took care of that. The creme was delicious. Best part of the whole dessert. I ate more than I'd like to admit with a spoon while it was cooling. You know, to make sure it was okay.
By then I was fed up and not in the mood to make caramel. I'd bought a jar at Trader Joe's while I was home in July. I used that, and it was good enough for me.
I'm relegating Iles Flottantes to the realm of "restaurant food." It was too much of a hassle for me, and my kitchen had exploded at the end of it. It also made way too much dessert for Matt and I to eat, and I know meringue is not something that keeps more than a day or two before it starts breaking down. Don't worry, we'll finish it off tonight.
Hmmm. Computer's having trouble loading my photo. Oh well. I made it. I loved it. It was a pain in the butt. I'm never making it again.
On a different note, I have a question from my many Francophile Doristas (and anyone else, too). We're taking a dream trip to Normandy, Brittany, and Paris later this month. The woman we're renting an apartment from in Paris has offered to babysit for us one night (YES!). If you had to pick ONE Parisian restaurant to have a blessedly childless dinner at, where would you go? We're staying in the St. Germain des Pres area (two minutes from Pierre Hermes. DOUBLE YES!), so preferably someplace that's not on the opposite side of town from there.