Tomme de savoie and mushroom tart
Hogarth Hughes is very brave, but he’s not fearless. When he hears a strange loud noise, he’ll head out into the darkness by himself, armed only with a flashlight duct-taped to a BB gun. But when he finds out that the loud noise was caused by a giant robot, he sensibly runs screaming. And then he turns back. What made him overcome his fear? Compassion. The giant robot is stuck in electrical wires, he’s helpless and screaming in pain. Hogarth heads back to turn off the electricity and save the giant. The giant recognizes this act of compassion, he’s grateful for the kindness, and this is how they become friends. The Iron Giant, a beautiful film by Brad Bird was made in 1999, set in 1957, and based on a fantastical novel called The Iron Man, written by Ted Hughes and published in 1968. The film is set during the cold war, the novel was written during the Vietnam war, and I write about it now after years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and frighteningly on the brink of another in Syria. And, of course, on the anniversary of 9/11, a day of sickening grief and fear. Unlike most movies about giant metal weapons, The Iron Giant is a peaceful movie: anti-war, anti-gun, even anti-hunting. Almost unwittingly, Hogarth shows the giant that he has a soul, because he cares for this little human boy. Tim McCanlies, the screenwriter of Iron Giant, has said that they chose to make paranoia the enemy in the film, rather than any physical, bomb-able character or country. The threat is fear, and the threat is the violence that our fear provokes in us. It feels right on this anniversary to watch a movie that celebrates friendship, empathy, and the strength to resist the urge to act thoughtlessly and violently in the face of our fear.
Tomme de savoie and mushroom tart
This recipe was inspired by another Brad Bird film…Ratatouille, of course! In the beginning of the film, Remy finds a piece of Tomme cheese, a mushroom, and a sprig of rosemary. He combines them all on a spit, and then he gets struck by lightning! The flavors combine to make a lightning-y delicacy. Well! I wasn’t going to actually get struck by lightning to make a tart! So I added some smoky flavor with roasted mushrooms and smoked paprika. I bought a little piece of Tomme de savoie cheese, and it was very lovely…semi-soft, creamy, mild but flavorful. If you can’t find it you could substitute any semi soft cheese–even goat cheese or brie.
Here’s Barbara Dane and The Chambers Brothers with Come By Here.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1 stick butter, frozen
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Grate in the frozen butter, and combine with a fork to make a coarse crumb-like consistency. Add just enough ice water to bring the mixture together into a workable dough. Knead for about 1 minute, wrap in foil, and chill for at least 1/2 hour
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup diced tomme cheese
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 t smoked paprika
1 t rosemary
10 oz mushrooms, halved and roasted like this
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly butter and flour a tart pan. Roll out the dough and press it into the pan. Prebake the tart shell for five or ten minutes until it loses it’s shine.
In a large bowl, whisk the milk and eggs until frothy. Stir in the cheeses, herbs and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and pour into the tart shell.
Bake for about twenty minutes until puffed and golden.