Mother’s Day 2015 (recipe: tarte Tatin)

May 10th, 2015

chef morgan

Mother’s Day 2015

Forgiveness & (So-called) Mistakes
Tarte Tatin

Each year in honor of Mother’s Day I write a personal recipe for life inspired by and for my daughters accompanied by a food recipe relevant to the message. This year it is about forgiveness and so-called mistakes. The correlating recipe is the infamous French Tarte Tatin. If you would like to skip directly to the tarte Tatin recipe you may do so by clicking here. The fact that this post is technically posted after-Mother’s Day, well, forgive me. 



chef morgan Read the rest of this entry »

tarte Tatin

May 10th, 2015


chef morgan

Tarte Tatin
You can substitute the apples for another fresh fruit such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, rhubarb, or pears. You can make savory renditions as well. Pan-roasted cherry and basil tomato tart (with or without burrata or mozzarella cheese), cauliflower with almonds, or summer squash tart are a few of my favorites. For tomato or zucchini tarts, eliminate the sugar and butter, and use a little olive oil in the pan instead. For cauliflower, you can caramelize it as you would apples.

makes 1 10″ Tart 


7-8 apples (Rome, Pomme Reinette, Caville, Gala), peeled, cored, and halved
fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 pie dough, pâte sucrée, or puff pastry 


  • Preheat Oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make Pastry Dough. Make enough pie dough, pâte sucrée or puff pastry for one 10 inch tart. Chill until ready for use. If using frozen puff pastry, defrost in the refrigerator until use.
  • Prepare Apples. Peel apples. Remove core and seeds. Squeeze lemon juice on the peeled apples to prevent browning. If apples are large, cut into quarters.
  • Cook Apples. Melt butter in an oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat. Pour sugar over the melted butter. Dissolve. Add apples. The apples will shrink when cooked, so at this stage they will be laying on their sides. Continue to cook until the apples are soft and the butter-sugar mixture is thick and bubbly. Use a spoon to baste the butter-sugar mixture over the apples. Be patient. It takes about 30 minutes (depending upon size of the apples) to cook them. Turn off flame.
  • Cover with Dough. Roll out the pastry dough slightly with a rolling pin. Cut dough into a circle to cover the pan. Arrange the apples in pan with flat sides facing up (or if cut, arrange them in a decorative way). Cover the apples with the pastry dough. Tuck the pastry inside the rim of the sauté pan (do not let it hang over the edge of the pan).
  • Caramelize (Bake). Place the pan in the oven. Bake until the pastry dough is brown about 20 minutes. CAREFULLY remove the pan from the oven using to use a potholder or towel. Let the tart slightly cool in the pan for about 10 minutes so the carmel can settle.
  • Invert. Place a plate over the pan (with the bottom facing up) and invert the tart gently onto the plate. The apples should be a deep caramel color. Remember to do this carefully and use a towel as the pan handle may still be hot.
  • Serve. The tart is best enjoyed warm and generally served with real vanilla ice cream. The tart tastes best the day it is prepared.

quinoa risotto with mushrooms

October 18th, 2013

chef morgan

close to nature: a two-starred Michelin restaurant; a Parisien canary; and a “super food”
quinoa risotto with mushrooms

At summer’s end, when we return from France, there seems to be some sort of an animal dilemma in our Los Angeles de facto farm. Last year it was the mean chicken scenario in the coup and the surprise male rabbit situation which necessitated an immediate trip to the veterinarian for Mister Snowy. 

This summer it was the finch.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Newdorf” Salad (the Waldorf salad revisited)

November 1st, 2012


A new version of the Historic Waldorf Salad. The Newdorf

“Newdorf” Salad
(Waldorf salad revisited)

Read the rest of this entry »

rolling with lobster, California style (and a little French influence)

September 24th, 2012



rolling with lobster, California style
(and a litle French influence):

lobster “roll” California style

Lobster season. In America, lobster is generally enjoyed two ways: steamed and served with a bath of melted butter; or, if you are on the East Coast, in a “lobster roll”(lobster meat combined with melted butter and mayonnaise served in a roll). However, we cannot forget that it is also the season for apples and Asian pears (and in California, heirloom tomatoes and avocados are delicious right now). 

seasonal fruit 

It is in the nineties in southern California (and will be for some time).  In this heat, hot, heavy food does not sound appealing. Sliced, Asian pears, apples, tomatoes and cucumbers all look like wheels and it seems to me that with these seasonal fruit wheels we can create our own “roll” that uses the West Coast bounty and is compatible with this summer weather. These thoughts inspired this week’s simple pleasure: lobster “roll” California style (mille-feuille de homard à la Californie).

apple wheels sliced 

Read the rest of this entry »

lobster “roll” (California style)

September 24th, 2012


lobster “roll”  California style
(mille-feuille de homard à la Californie)

serves 4

what you need:

4 lobster tails 
1 cup seafood stock
½ cup dry white wine
1 sachet (1 bay leaf, fresh Italian parsley, fresh cilantro, black peppercorns, 1 strip lime peel)

1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
1-2 apples, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 Asian pear, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1-2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1-2 tomatoes (preferably Green Zebra), sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced

2 teaspoon gros sel de Guérande (or sea salt)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
⅓ cup olive oil
¼ cup avocado
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh minced Italian parsley
pinch piment d’espelette
freshly ground black pepper (as needed)

lobster apple and avocado ingredients

pinch piment d’espelette
pinch minced fresh Italian parsley Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium endive au gratin

February 19th, 2012


Belgium Endive au gratin

out of the salad bowl and turning up the heat:
Belgium endive au gratin

Rarely do Americans cook endives. Rather, we consume them raw, usually in a salad or as a passed hors d’œurves. However, sometimes you just have take things out of the salad bowl. I say that with great affection thinking of someone I met who primarily eats salads and rarely ventures out culinarily (at least on his own). This week’s simple pleasure goes outside the endive salad bowl and turns up the heat with a Belgium endive au gratin.   Read the rest of this entry »

Pas de Deux: douillons aux pommes (apples in nightdresses)

December 16th, 2011



douillons aux pommes, apples in night dresses, dessert apples

Pas de Deux: douillons aux pommes (apples in nightdresses)

Like many people this time of year, one of the traditions in my family is to attend a performance of The Nutcracker.  In sum, it is a story of a young girl, Clara, who is given a nutcracker as a Christmas gift. The nutcracker turns into a Prince who takes Clara to the Kingdom of  Sweets where the Sugarplum Fairy and various treats (Spanish Chocolate, Peppermint Candy, etc.) perform for Clara (still in her nightdress) and the Prince. At the end, the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier perform the Grand Pas de Deux (“steps of two”). As I watched the Pas de Deux, I thought of … food. The combination of a kingdom filled with dancing culinary specialities, Clara’s nightdress, and the “deux” (the collaboration of two) reminded me of the French classic dessert douillons aux pommes (apples in nightdresses). Inspired by the ballet, douiillons aux pommes is this week’s simple pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »

persimmon, endive, apple, and beet salad with creamy dressing

October 14th, 2011

persimmon, endive, apple, and beet salad with creamy dressing

persimmon, endive, apple, and beet salad with creamy dressing


serves 4

you need:


2 Belgian endives, sliced sideways into 1” strips
1 ripe Fuyu persimmon, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium golden beet, roasted and thinly sliced
1 Mutsu (or Crispin) apple, thinly sliced
1/4 cup walnuts pieces, toasted Read the rest of this entry »

arugula, herb and apple mille-feuille

September 8th, 2011


 arugula, herb and apple mille-feuille 

arugula, herb and apple mille-feuille

Read the rest of this entry »