Strawberry Ricotta Streusel TartI couldn’t resist the list of ingredients for the “Strawberry Ricotta Streusel Tart,” from What She’s Having: bits like almond meal, butter, strawberry jam, ricotta cheese. And getting to use my 9-inch tart pan sealed the deal.

A “hands-on” dough is always a pleasure. Rubbing the butter into the flour, pressing the dough into the pan. The cheese filling couldn’t be easier: opening a jar of jam, pouring in 19.4 oz. of ricotta.

Incredibly, the remaining “crumbled” dough atop the tart becomes a bumpy browned crust, after baking for 55 minutes.

You’ll enjoy this one. It’s a wonderful, satisfying, not-too-sweet tart.

PREP TIME: dedicate two hours to chilling the dough, assembling the tart, baking, and waiting to cool before slicing
strawberry jam is just sweet enough, ricotta is just cheesy enough, the buttery crust wins

Next time, I will tackle the “Chinese Braised Beef,” from the May/June 2014 issue of Cook’s Illustrated (recipe below). Come back to my site next week, to observe the whole process.

Chinese Braised Beef
Cook’s Illustrated, May/June 2014
Serves 6

1-1/2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
2-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. molasses
3 scallions, white and green parts separated, green parts sliced thin on bias
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise, and crushed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1-1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 4-inch lengths
1 tsp. corn starch

Sprinkle gelatin over 2-1/2 cups water in Dutch oven and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat softened gelatin over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sherry, soy sauce, hoisin, molasses, scallion whites, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, and pepper flakes. Stir in beef and bring to a simmer. Remove pot from heat. Cover tightly with sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, then lid. Transfer to oven and cook until beef is tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring halfway through cooking.

Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to a cutting board. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator. Wipe out pot with paper towels. Let liquid settle for 5 minutes, then return defatted liquid to now-empty pot. Cook liquid over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 25 minutes.

While sauce reduces, using 2 forks, break beef into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Whisk cornstarch and remaining 1 Tbsp. water together in small bowl.

Reduce heat to medium-low, whisk cornstarch mixture into reduced sauce, and cook sauce is until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to sauce and stir to coat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle scallion greens over top. Serve.