Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some people just can't hold their whey

Our shmear casse came out great, in my opinion, although I'm waiting to hear what my grandmother has to say about it. It was so easy and so tasty, I'm wondering why everyone doesn't do this! You could totally make a half batch, too, if you didn't want to use it all.

What have we done with it? Tonight, I made a savory tart (which reminds me, I think Americans should emulate our British cousins and start calling people "tarts") with moroccan spiced chicken, orange tomatoes, andouille sausage, provolone, shmear casse and zucchini.

I have to say, I'm thinking of this mammoth squash we're still eating at as the Loaves and Fishes Zucchini. It doesn't matter how many times we cut and cook. It could feed a frat house for a year and still have more to go. I'm not generally given to blasphemy, and please excuse this next bit, but perhaps there weren't loaves and fishes after all. Maybe the neighbors just saw an opportunity and took it. They all ran for the left over zucchini people had in their gardens and just kept dumping it on the crowd. "Haven't we gotten to the end of the zucchini yet? Where did this come from?" "Uh..... nowhere! It was a miracle! I certainly didn't nip around to my house to get it. It must've been that guy up there!" The food stuff switch came later, when they were actually printing the Bibles. Never ending Zucchini doesn't sound nearly as poetic as Loaves and Fishes. It was changed in editing. Blame it on Guetenberg.

Back to the tart. I blind baked the crust, a store bought thin pizza crust in a tube. It has a great buttery richness but bakes to a cracker like crunch. I think it's Pillsbury. Anyway, my tip for the dough is don't let it sit for ten minutes in a hot kitchen, or it will melt the fat in the dough and you will not be able to unroll it. Instead, you will stretch and rip it, leaving you with an ugly crust with yawning rents and bloated edges. It will still taste awesome.

I drizzled a little olive oil then sprinkled the shmear casse. I should have had a heavier hand with this, because whenever I ate the finished tart, the bites with extra creamy, sweet, dairylicious ooze were my favorites. Next came zucchini slices, wafer thin and flash grilled to take the raw off but not add char. On top of these were thin slices of orange tomato. Most yellow and orange varieties are low acid, which is something you don't know you need until you have it. Raw red tomatoes, while wonderful, can be a bit overpowering in the mouth. The juice of these is more mellow, less assertive, and more reminiscent (to me, at least) of water than juice. An eau de vie, if you will.

But I digress. Over the tomatoes, I layered slices of chicken, which I had previously spiced with a moroccan blend and grilled. I sliced on the bias, the way they do to present meat in fancy restaurants, which means you're not trying to slice long tissue strands of chicken with your teeth just taking a bite. Much less messy. Also pretty. I studded the tart with slices of chicken andouille sausage, a last minute addition when I came across one lonely wurst in my freezer and decided to give it a home in this meal. I grilled it first as well.

Provolone topped the whole shebang and into the oven it went. It may not have started pretty, but it sure looked good coming out. The moment of biting into the tart was only slightly marred by my remembering I had forgotten to put fresh herbs on it. It was still good.

(It is at this point in a letter where I might sign my name, then do a P.S.. Blogs don't work that way, but let it be known that was an ending sentence and the following is, technically, a post script.)

Ah, wait. I forgot to address the blog post title. Well, it's like this. When you need a couple mint oreos to round out your evening and the only milk in the house is whole milk for your baby, and you've been drinking skim milk since you were 8, and besides you're not going to steal your baby's milk, and oreos just aren't all they can be without being dunked until soft and just about to disintegrate, and you realize that you do have a jar of left over whey from when you made cheese a couple days ago... well, you might just decide to taste it. And you might decide that, actually, it tastes like slightly sweet skim milk. So you might decide to go with it. It's also possible that you would be watching the Pirates game at the same time, and that you'd be a bit tired and punchy, so strange phrases would come from you, causing fits of nonsensical giggles.

It would be at this point that your Darling Husband would tell you that you're cut off, and mutter, "Some people just can't hold their whey."


  1. Did you declare, "I'm completely pompette"?

  2. Ahahaaaa! I did not, but I should have done. My nose was not yet numb (at least that's what Darling Husband said.) Lol. That dairy, man, it's a killer.