Ricardo Larrivée hosts Ricardo & Friends, airing Wednesday nights on the Food Network.
Q: What is you fondest memory from your family kitchen?
A: I have two. It was like a religious event, every Saturday my father made spaghetti sauce. My second, my mother made incredible desserts all the time. Now I make desserts. I even eat them for breakfast.
Q: What kitchen aromas bring back fond memories?
A: There is nothing like coming through the front door of your house and smelling vegetable soup. You feel comfortable and safe in your home.
Q: What was the first meal you prepared?
A: It was not for me, but for a friend who was trying to impress a girl. We were only 17. We prepared seven courses, quite a feast. We bought fresh scampi and overcooked it. We don’t remember the girl we cooked for, but we remember shopping, preparing all day and buying wine for the meal.
Q: Do you use cookbooks?
A: Not much. I have about 3,000 in my house. I’d love to donate them to a library one day.
Maple Syrup Tartlets
Prep Time 1 hour, 30 min • Yield 20 tartlets
For the puff pastry, place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Add the butter, pulse until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Add the vinegar and water. Pulse, a few seconds at a time until the mixture begins to form a ball. Remove dough from food processor. Shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into sheets 2-mm thick. With a 9-cm diameter cookie cutter, cut 20 circles. Line the aluminum tartlet pans 7.5 by 2 cm with the dough, extending it up all sides. Place the pans on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for another 30 minutes. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 375 F. For the filling, beat the eggs and flour together in a bowl until smooth. Add the cream and maple syrup. Mix well. Spread 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each tartlet. Bake for 30 minutes or until tartlets are golden. Let cool.