Mack's Corner

This Week

3 Names?

I have bunch of people who want to be my friend on Facebook but I never know who they are. They all have these formal 3 word names : "Robert Allowishish Jones has added me as a friend".. Who the heck is that? Then there's a picture of him from 400 yards away walking on a beach with 20 people??? It could be anybody...  There are a bunch of people now who have 3 names. Almost every Christian song writer has 3 names. A bunch of book writers have 3 names. Most chefs are 2 name people with the exception of some guys that have French names, Marco-Pierre, Jean-Georges, and Jean-Louis... Of course in the south people have 3 names all the time: Billy-Bob, Mary-ann, Bobby-Lee,
Anne-Marie, Lou-Anne, Joe-Willie. In my family there are only 2 of us with supposed 3 names, Me and my cousin Brady. I never understood this. Every person in my family, all the way back to my great grandparents, has graduated from college, but they insisted on calling me "Danny-Mack" and my cousin "Brady-Dan". We sound like stars on Hee-Haw.. No matter how old I was or where we were, my mom would introduce me as "Danny-Mack", like I was still 3 years old, or only had 4 teeth. She would smile and look at me as if to say "He's stupid but he can remember his name"..  Several years ago my aunt (Brady-Dan's mom) introduced me to 200 different people the same way.  I kept re-introducing myself: "Hi Mack Oates".. thinking she would catch on, but it never happened. Then people would come up to me and say "Danny-Mack, I have a friend in Memphis..." It took me about 4 sentences to realize they were talking to me. I actually do know why Brady and I get the double name put on us. We were both named after my father, Dan. Everybody knew him and everybody loved him. And to them we are kind of a continuation of him. Often after I met people who knew him, they would end up just calling me Dan. That's ok, I like being my father's son..

God's like that: He wants us to be a continuation of him, he wants people to see us and know his name, he wants people to hear my name and remember his love, he wants people to see his face in mine.. and that's ok..

If you want to call me Danny-Mack, you can. Some old, old friends still do. Just don't expect me to pay any attention..  I started going by Mack because it's easy to spell and easy to remember, at least it is for me.."He's stupid but he can remember his name"..


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

It seems that all great classically trained chefs have 3 things that are their favorites: a great salad, roast chicken  and a lemon tart. This is such a big thing to Thomas Keller that his Lemon Tart recipe, even though it is never served at the French laundry, is in the French Laundry Cookbook and the Bouchon Cookbook, both. Marco Pierre White says "It's one of my great favorites - a wonderful way of finishing a meal, and a real chef's pudding. Any chef worthy of the name has a lemon tart on his menu." ... The best part is that it's easy.

Here's Marco Pierre White's Lemon Tart:

4 1 /2 cup of flour
1 /2 cup of powdered sugar
1 cup of butter chopped up
Zest of one lemon
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 /4 tsp of vanilla

9 eggs
1 3 /4 cup of superfine sugar (regular sugar run through a food processor for 2 minutes)
5 lemons (zest of 2 and juice of all 5)
1 cup heavy cream (Plus 1 extra cup for serving.. 2 total)

Preheat the oven to 350

For the crust: sift flour and powdered sugar together. Cut in the butter with a fork or by hand (try not to let it melt too much. One trick is to cut it in to small pieces, then put it in the freezer for 10 minutes before adding it to the flour) You want the flour butter mix to look like small pebbles.. Add the lemon zest and the vanilla.. beat the eggs and mix in to the flour... don't over mix it, let it look shaggy ... wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.. Roll it out and put it in a buttered baking dish (the dish here is not important. Round, square.. it can be a tart ring on a cookie sheet.. anything. It just needs to hold the crust in a way that will hold the filling. A store bought pie pan works too) .. Trim the crust to about 1 /2 inch around the pan and prick it all over with a fork.. Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes.. then trim the that last 1 /2 inch of crust off and bake it for 10 more minutes..  (you do this because the crust shrinks the first 10 minutes, so you can trim it after its finished shrinking)

For the filling: Beat the eggs with the sugar and the lemon zest. Stir in the lemon juice, then the cream. Reduce the oven temp to 250. This is important: Pour the filling in to the HOT crust... this will seal the crust. Bake for 30 minutes.

To Serve: Preheat you broiler. Sift powdered sugar over the top of the tart and put it under the broiler.. DON'T LEAVE!!!! This only takes seconds... as soon as it turns light brown, take it out.. you can also skip the broiler part and just sift the powdered sugar over the top..  Pour a little (1 tbsp) cream over the top and serve.  As always this is best when eaten off the top of the stove out of the pan within 10 minutes out of the oven while you are standing up.. a nap should follow... Always remember, You are the Chef and chefs have privileges.  Pass me a fork! (this also works for Chef's (you) breakfast, the next morning)... it's good to be the Chef.



Posted by Mack Oates at 8:34 AM