Category Archives: cooking

February (2): Shaker Lemon Tart

This winter all the snow came to Massachusetts, which has meant so many workouts — physical shoveling workouts and mental commuting-on-the-MBTA workouts. But, it’s also meant extra days off, which I’ve tried to use wisely for fun and projects.

We snuck in some expert-level sledding,


and made another recipe for my 12 treats resolution.

This time I opted for lemons, in the form of Tartine’s Shaker Lemon Pie (but really it’s a tart) (pg 69). Several years ago I had the best almond croissant at their bakery in SF. It’s one of those food experiences that’s stuck with me, so when they published their first two cookbooks, the Huz and I were all over them. While I wish the book’s editor would’ve insisted on less precious writing, the recipes can’t be beat.

The tart was easy enough — a two-layer crust: Shaker Lemon Tart by Melliroo

Some thinly sliced, macerated lemons:

Shaker Lemon Tart by Melliroo

A couple of eggs, then pour it into the crust:

Shaker Lemon Tart by Melliroo


Top w/ the second crust, a little egg wash, and some demerara sugar:

Shaker Lemon Tart by Melliroo


Then bake it off:

Shaker Lemon Tart by Melliroo


The result was a crispy crust and a pleasantly jam-like filling. I was so pleased that it wasn’t too eggy, despite the four eggs. Perhaps Mom’s super-fresh eggs did the trick, or else the lemon killed the egginess. Not sure.

I loved the pieces of rind, but can see how not everyone would be a fan.  I think using a mandoline for extra-thin slices or switching to Myer lemons would make the rinds seem less rind-y.  The dessert becomes magically kid-friendly, when they’re allowed to manually extract the rinds from their mouths. Super classy, I know.  :)

Shaker Lemon Pie – Tartine cookbook, pg 69
Flakey Pie Crust,  Tartine cookbook, pg 194

soupish caldene: vegetarian portuguese kale soup

After nearly 20 years as a vegetarian (!!) there are only a few meaty things that I miss.  Most of them are nostalgic, heritage-type foods that my grandmothers made. All are pork-based.  My French-Canadian Nana made a pork spread called gorton (approximately: “guh-taugh”) that was heavy on the clove and pretty much revelatory on a piece of buttered toast or as a sandwich w/ mustard. If you don’t believe me, NPR has the proof.

My Portuguese (by descent, anyway, but we never made that distinction) Vo-voa made made chouriço (Portuguese sausage) dishes that were a mainstay for holidays and Sunday dinners.  Chouriço (SE Mass pronunciation: “shuh-reese” or “shuh-deese”) is ubiquitous in the greater Fall River / New Bedford metro area.  I’ll bet there isn’t a single local who doesn’t know what it is.  Outside the area, all bets are off.

Over the weekend I started obsessing over how to make a veg version of soupish caldene  / Portuguese kale soup. No surprise, soy chouriço doesn’t exist.  My cousin Sue pointed out that Spanish-style chorizo does exist…so off to the store I went. The only had the ground variety, but I made do.  It garnered extra faux porkiness from our pig bowl:

Vegetarian Soupish Caldene
Faux Pork – Two Varieties

It won’t fool any of the folks in Fall River, but this is a reasonable equivalent for vegetarians and the caldene uninitiated.

Vegetarian Soupish Caldene
Boil Your Greens…


Vegetarian (vegan, actually) Soupish Caldene

Yield: One huge pot of soup

3 large yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 package soy chorizo (the store only had ground, but the “sausage” style could be cut into pieces)
2-3 medium yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large bunch kale, tough ribs removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed well
1 large bay leaf
1-2 pinches of red pepper flakes
1/2 T smoked paprika or Portuguese paprika
olive oil
black pepper
8 cups of stock (I used 4 vegetarian bouillon cubes, Maggi brand)

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in bottom of large soup pot. Add chopped onions and sauté on medium heat until softened. Add soy chorizo and garlic and sauté for a few more minutes. Add red pepper and smoked paprika and stir. Cook for another minute. Add 8 cups of stock to the chorizo mixture. Note: I added water, brought to a simmer, then added the bouillon cubes. Add kale pieces and strong simmer / low boil for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and beans. Strong simmer/low boil for 15-20 minutes more, until potatoes are cooked through, but not falling apart. Taste to adjust salt. Add black pepper and a few glugs of olive oil. Since it was originally a pork recipe, it really needs the extra oil.

Another note: resist your urge to only wilt the kale. It’s not a wilt; it’s a full-on cook.

Ladle it out and have w/ buttered toast or a stick of Portuguese bread if you can get it. :)

Vegetarian Soupish Caldene