Eat This Now: Tamale Tart at Stephan Pyles in Dallas

Imagine for one second that you happened to forget that it was Valentine’s Day next week.  Maybe you were busy at work, maybe you were simply swamped with World of Warcraft, who cares.  You forgot and now your wife  is giving you the what for. I know how you feel, I’ve been there before.  There’s a reason the arms of my micro-fiber couch have sleepy-drool stains on them.

Fear not compadres, there is a foolproof way to get yourself out of the dog house and back on that lovely pedestal.

Step 1: Flowers (they are all suckers for dead plants).

Step 2: Learn the value of a good-ole, tear jerkin’ apology.

Step 3: Surprise her with a night out at Stephan Pyles.

You wife will be putty in your hands.

Mr. Pyles is, obviously, not the new kid on the block. The dude is a pioneer of southwestern cooking, like the Daniel Boone of Dallas dining.  I have had some of the most fantastic dishes of my life at the tables of this culinary mastermind. Yet despite the periodic shifting in the menu, there is one dish which remains a constant at our dinner table, the delectable Tamale Tart.

This dish screams flavor like a banshee with a bullhorn.  It’s uniqueness and sophistication defines what the name of Pyles has come to represent, and it should be on the must-try list of any Dallas diner.

The tart starts with a roasted garlic custard, made from heavy cream, pureed roasted garlic, and eggs.  The custard fills a tamale tart composed of masa flour, cornmeal, cumin, bell pepper and ancho chili.  The entire things if finished with a crown of fresh lump crabmeat, and a smoked tomato sauce.

There you go, you are no longer pond scum, you are now the most sensitive, caring man in the world.  But don’t thank me for saving your marriage, thank the big man in the kitchen, Cap’n P.