Whenever we go out to dine, we inevitably think about home cooking. Not that we wouldn’t enjoy a nice night out on the town and enjoy the pleasures of dining with friends or the experience of exploring new flavors just purely for the sake of it, but we can’t help it but to always think how we can re-create a dish or use these flavors back in our own small kitchen. We just enjoy cooking that much. When we taste a great dish, a typical conversation might go like this: “wow, this is really good!” Followed by “we can definitely do this at home!” And quickly followed by, “and for so much cheaper!” Or “yeah, fish sauce would be great with this!” Of course we have the utmost respect for Chefs and their creations and don’t say these things to belittle what they do. But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then inspiration is right behind it as we are often inspired by dishes we eat.
Here we have two versions of an easy tarte flambe, which is a French Alsatian dish that is flamed baked (hence the name) resembling a thin pizza. The traditional tarte flambe consists of sliced raw onions, creme fraiche, and lardons. In Los Angeles, the most famous tarte flambe was created by Walter Mantzke, formerly of Church & State. After tasting his tartes at his restaurant and at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival, we were inspired to create our own easy tarte flambe using ingrediants from the traditional tarte as well as a smoked salmon version.
This is not so much a recipe, but more like step wise instructions on how to create your tarte using our favorite flat bread, lavash bread. Use as much or as little of the garnishments as desired. Lavash, as we have posted before is a flat Middle Eastern bread, much thinner than a pita. You can find them in Middle Eastern markets or even on Amazon.
Tarte Flambe with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Gruyere
- lavash bread
- thick cut bacon or lardons, diced (fried to nice crisp, drained)
- gruyere cheese (thinly grated–we didn’t have a grater handy when making this recipe)
- caramelized onions (see this post on a easy way to caramelize onions)
- olive oil
- fresh cracked pepper or thinly chopped chives/parsley
Remove and spread the caramelized onions, gruyere, and bacon liberally. Return to oven and bake until lavash is golden brown, another 4-5 minutes or so. Allow to cool slightly and add freshed cracked pepper. Slice with pizza slicer and serve.
- lavash bread
- pre sliced smoked salmon/lox
- dill, coarsely chopped
- capers (you can also fry them to a crispy flower if desired)
- creme fraiche (substitute with Mexican Crema for more affordable option)
Repeat the same technique as above except layer on the smoked salmon and capers and return to the oven. Add the dill and drizzle creme fraiche/Mexican crema after final baking. This version is fantastic for Sunday brunches with a crisp glass of white wine or champagne.