A new Bible in my kitchen (Noémie)

I was wandering in my favorite Bookstore in NYC, Mc Nally Jackson, and my eyes suddenly focused on an intriguing cover. I reached the colorful book, touched it, opened it, leafed through it… and sat down on one of the convenient chairs bestrewed all over the store. I was caught in The flavor Thesaurus, written by the British author Niki Segnit.

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It is all about flavors and pairings, taste and association. Why some ingredients get along together, why some should never meet. How and when some matches became traditional in culinary history, or in some parts of the world… The Flavor Thesaurus is the first book to examine what goes with what, pair by pair. Segnit gathered 99 popular ingredients and suggests classic and less well known flavor matches for each. 980 entries in all, and 200 recipes or suggestions as a great bonus.

From classic pairings (pork + apple, lamb + apricot, cucumber + dill) to contemporary favorites (chocolate + chili, lobster + vanilla, goat’s cheese + beetroot) as well as more surprising (and appealing!) couples (egg + ginger, lemon + beef, blueberry + mushroom, watermelon + oyster…) : I was not able to leave my copy during the last two days, annotating it, circling here and there the matches I would experiment in pastries this coming season.

And even if the pistachio is not among the list (however being mentioned twice, as an ice cream flavor), Pistache thanks you in advance for your wonderful work, dear Ms Segnit.

The Flavor Thesaurus, Niki Segnit, Bloomsbury publishers, 27 dollars.

The Pistache’s menu also tastes savory

When you think french pastries, sweet tarts, cakes and cookies pop up on your taste buds. But Pistache also works hard on its savory menu! And we started with variations around the traditional quiche (“keesh”), an hearty tart, made of pastry crust filled with a savory custard, cheese, meat, fish or and vegetables.

To add a little touch of fun, we made our quiches variable-geometry : a combo of asparagus and orange looks great as a rectangle and the combination tuna-spring peas-mint-red pepper is very nice as a square (or a triangle, we are still working on it…). The traditional circle molds are not banished, and fit perfectly to a cherry tomatoes-basil and mustard tart.

And since we cherish the regional french recipes, be ready for a delicious pissaladière (a pizza-like tart from Nice, covered with caramelized onions, anchovies and olives). Will it be round, square, triangle? You will know very soon!

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asparagus-oranges quiche, tuna-spring peas-mint quiche, the same with some roasted red pepper, and cherry tomatoes-basil-mustard tart

Sad news : the Brooklyn Farm and Flea is suspended

We had a great start there, two weeks ago, and we are sad to find out that the Brooklyn Farm and Flea market, in Bushwick, had to stop its activity after last saturday, may 26th. Apparently, it is temporary, the organizers just have to find a new spot. So we keep our fingers crossed, and say good luck to Courtney Novak : Pistache supports the return of the BK Farm and Flea!

Our neighbors at the market…

A Tour de France of sweets

As you will soon discover, we love the variety of pastries in France. In fact, each region, from Brittany to Alsace or from “the South” to the South West, invented its own way to mix flour, sugar, eggs, nuts or fruits together. The result is a map covered with great and colorful cakes, cookies, tarts or donuts, a stunning journey for any sweet tooth pilgrim. At Pistache, we want to bring the regional pastries we love (and the ones we still have to discover ourselves) to the New Yorkers. Maybe they will eat them for the first time, or maybe they will be sent back to a sunny market in Bayonne, where they fell in love with the gâteau basque, or to an afternoon in Saint-Tropez, when they bit a tart tropezienne with indulgence…

Let’s start our sweet Tour!

At the moment, you will find on our menu some mini kouign amanns (“kween a-mon”). A cake from Brittany (from the city of Douarnenez, in Finistère, to be precise), crusty, made with bread dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in (yes, like puff pastry), and baked slowly. Imagine the butter puffing up the dough and the sugar caramelizing…

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Kouign amanns (here in mini and regular size) are made with butter, sugar… and butter, sugar, butter, sugar, butter and sugar.

Besides the kouign amanns seat our canelés (“cah-nah-lay”) in regular size or small as a bite. Originally from Bordeaux, these pastries are famous (and loved) for their soft and tender custard center enclosed in a dark, thick caramelized crust. Being from Bordeaux as well, Noémie came to New York with her traditional recipe (rum and vanilla are the key!) and her copper molds, beautiful and heavy utensils that give the unique texture of the canelés.

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Our canelés, flavored with Bourbon vanilla (which we use in all our pastries, by the way)

For the little story, canelés would have been created and invented in the 18th century by nuns in Bordeaux, at a time when egg whites were used in great quantities by the wine producers to filter their wine. The yolks were given to charities and convents, where they used them poperly…

The original canelés molds are made with tinned copper

Buschwick welcomed Pistache!

Samples : macarons (pistachio, lemon), chocolate tart, kouign amann…

Last Saturday was our first sale, our first experience behind a stand with our pastries on it. It was at the Brooklyn Farm and Flea market in Bushwick, and it was great! Thank you to all the customers who supported us, were curious, and devoured our mini kouign amanns, amandines blueberry, macarons, canelés or little quiches!

 

Canelés, from Bordeaux

Amandines, with blueberry jam…

See you very soon!

Our first fans, loving macarons…