Category Archives: Cooking

Chilaquiles, Breakfast of Champions

Produce in Sunshine 2

This antecedent to the nacho originated in Mexico and has probably been made in one shape or another for hundreds of years.  The earliest recipe to appear in the US dates back to 1898, no doubt they were enjoying chilaquiles long before that.  This dish was the perfect foil for stale corn tortillas.  They were cut up into strips and fried, simmered in a chile sauce until the texture was al dente-ish, and then topped with such things as crema, queso fresco, cilantro, avocado and onions.  Regional variations abound from the type of chile sauce, to the end texture of the tortillas, to the garnishes used.  For example, in parts of Central Mexico, the chile sauce is poured over the tops of crisped tortillas just before serving.  At the other end of the spectrum, in Guadalajara, the tortillas are simmered in the sauce until the pretty much disintegrate making for more of a thick soup.  In most occasions, I was offered versions in red and green sauce.  However, in some areas of Northwestern Mexico it is quite common to have your chilaquiles topped with a white sauce.

Chiliaquiles with Fried Egg 2

This is Chilaquiles – a nice bridge between the warmth of summer and the cooler days of fall.  It is a full flavored, spicy, mid-weight dish.  It also happens to be colorful and fresh.  It is also pretty much awesome every other time of year as well.

The Garnishes

My first experience with this iconic dish was in Jaltenango de la Paz, a small town in the southwestern part of Chiapas.  It was a simmered in a red sauce garnishes included sliced radishes and arrachera (flank steak), as well as the usual suspects.  I particularly liked the queso, very fresh and delicate cheese.  I’ll admit that given all of the hype leading up to this, the chilaquiles were kind of underwhelming – soggy, saucy tortilla strips.  I realize now that that was intentional and is quite common, if not a defining characteristic of the dish.  I craved a bit of crunch.  The chile sauce had some heat, but was sort of one dimensional.  I don’t know.  In hindsight, I want to say that I was too hard on it, but whatever.  I had another version at the hotel in San Cristobal.  The tortillas were a bit crisper, which I preferred.  No radishes or arrachera, but it did have avocado and chorizo.   It was good, but my expectations were lower this time around, as well.  It came from the hotel after all, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I still felt I was missing out on the experience I was promised.  Or perhaps the appeal was just lost on me.

Farm Visit - Triunfo 2

Chiapas, Mexico

In Mexico City, at the airport of all places, I gave it third try.  The flank steak was really nicely cooked and flavorful.  The tortillas were crisper yet still coated with chile sauce.  The toppings were really nice.  I could eat it with a fork or still with my hands.  I really liked it.  So maybe there was something to this chilaquiles thing after all.

Now to make my own!  I didn’t want to go the stale tortilla route.  I wanted some crisp action and but also some of the simmer action.  So *gasp* I used tortilla chips.  Sauce-wise, I went red.  I definitely needed crema, cilantro, and queso fresco.  I also liked the fresh radishes and red onion.  So there.

Before BlendingChili SauceSimmering the Sauce

I’m not laying any claims to this being the most authentic version of chilaquiles ever.  It takes what I experienced in Mexico and alters it to my preferences.  I’m sure versions like mine exist out in the world and if I were to have had one of those, it would have totally lived up to the hype.

Chilaquiles

4 Dried Ancho Chiles (Or 2 Ancho and 2 Guajillo Chiles)

3 Cloves Garlic

2 Fresh Serrano Chiles, stemmed and seeded

28 oz Tomatoes, quartered with juices (Canned are fine)

1 Medium Yellow Onion

1/2 a Bunch of Fresh Cilantro, tough stems removed and roughly chopped (about 1 cup loosely packed)

1 Tbls Salt, Kosher

1/4 Cup Cooking Oil (I used Peanut Oil)

1 tsp Sugar

Tortilla Chips

Plus garnishes:

Chopped Cilantro

Sliced Radish

Crema (Or Creme Fraiche or lightly thinned Sour Cream)

Queso Fresco

Sliced Red Onion

Avocado

Chorizo

Egg

Etc.

Jalapeno and Radish

First stem and seed the dried chiles saving 2 teaspoons of the seeds.  Then slice the chiles in half lengthwise.  (You’re going to need some boiling water here in a minute, about four cups worth.)  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium.  When it is hot, add the chiles, a few pieces at a time, pressing them flat onto the pan until aromatic then flip and repeat.  About 20 seconds or so per side.   Transfer the chiles to a bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover.  Let steep for at least 15 minutes.  While they are steeping, toast the reserved seeds in a dry pan until very dark, but not quite burnt.

In the bowl of your food processor, add the garlic, serrano chiles, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, salt, toasted chile seeds, and a 1/2 cup of the chile soaking water. Puree until smooth adding additional soaking liquid if it seems dry.  Press the puree through a medium coarse mesh sieve into a bowl.

In a pot with deep sides, heat the oil over medium until it shimmers.  Put on an apron and prepare to make a mess.  Add the puree to the pan.  Reduce it down, stirring frequently until it is thickened.  About 10 minutes.  Add 2 cups of chile soaking liquid to the pot.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

Stir in a teaspoon of sugar and season with salt to taste.  Add the tortilla chips, gently stir to coat them with the sauce.  Simmer another few minutes.  Spoon the chips out onto a plate and garnish.

Chiliaquiles with Fried Egg

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Roasted Fiddleheads

New Englanders are quite familiar with this unique produce.  However, I imagine that for most people, fiddleheads are some sort of alien vegetable.  We had never heard of them prior to arriving in Maine, but upon seeing a display of these dark green coils piled high at the farmers’ market, we were immediately intrigued and excited by this local delicacy.

Fiddleheads 2

The unfurled fronds of the ostrich fern are only available for a short time every spring: from about the end of April through the beginning of June.  These wild vegetables are harvested along the banks of rivers and streams when the fronds are between two and six inches off the ground and the fern is still tightly curled up like the scroll of a fiddle.

You know it’s spring when you see the fiddleheads.

Fiddleheads 1

This year we tried out a couple of new preparations.  Here is a quick and easy one.

Roasted Fiddleheads!

1 pound, or so, Fiddleheads

1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

2 medium Red Bell Peppers

Zest of 1 Lemon

3 Cloves Garlic, sliced

1/2 Cup Black Olives, sliced

Salt and Pepper to taste

First things first, clean the fiddleheads by removing any brown colored or woody stem ends.  If there is any of the papery brown chaff stuck on, you’ll want to remove that as well.  Most often that has already been removed.  Then rinse the ferns well in 2-3 changes of water.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the fiddleheads for about 3 minutes.  Place in an ice bath until cool.  Strain them out and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 500F degrees.  Put the fiddleheads in a bowl with the olive oil, bell peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper; toss well.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and add the fiddlehead mixture.  Roast for 6-8 minutes stirring once halfway through, they should be cooked thoroughly, but not mushy.

Roasted Fiddleheads and Peppers

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving bowl.  Toss with the lemon zest and black olives.  Finish with a sprinkling of flaked sea salt and a lemon wedge.

Roasted Fiddleheads 1


Garlic Aïoli

The Set Up

Now, one could totally take the high road here, and make an emulsified oil spread from scratch.  I’m sure it would only push this aïoli a couple of notches more awesome, however, I didn’t do that here.  When I buy mayo at the grocery, I can somehow and willingly, I might add, disassociate myself from the truth that this whitey-white condiment is largely just a lot of whipped fat oil.  But it also has an uncanny way of making a turkey sandwich sing, not to mention a BLT.

But that’s not where mayo really shines.  When it’s dressed up with garlic and lemon juice and renamed aïoli, it gains a certain bit of class.  Some zip, intensity and complexity.  It enters a new domain.  It becomes more that just oil.  And it tastes soooo good.

Garlic Aïoli

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 Tsp Mustard (stone ground or dijon)

2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Dash of Cayenne

3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  This keeps quite well and pretty much makes everything better including the Tortilla Española.

Aioli


Tortilla Española

Spanish Tortilla 1

I was introduced to Tortilla Española via my friend Jose on a drizzly, yet warm early spring day in Clermont-Ferrand. He had invited a mutual friend and I to his tiny one room flat for tapas.  I can’t remember exactly where in Spain he was from, but I’m pretty sure it was in the southern part.

Potatoes 1

Onions

When we arrived, he had already prepared a marinated tomato and onion salad with olives and tuna.  While we helped ourselves to the salad and some Kronenbourg 1664, Jose fried slices of potato and onion in a pan of bubbling olive oil.  After straining them out, he stirred in beaten eggs, and sprinkled in a bit of dried yeast.  All that, was then cooked into one big omelette-like, potato cake.  I’m not sure what role the yeast could have possibly played.  He didn’t think it did anything, but his grandmother had always added yeast, so he kept doing it.  I’ve since omitted it, and since my grandmother never made this, I can do that.

Garlic

Potatoes and Onions

Anyhow, it was awesome.  When I got back to the states a couple of months later, it was one of the first things I made, along with the salad.  In total, I probably ended up making the salad more often, but I hadn’t made either dish for at least a couple of years.  Until last weekend, that is.  I have rediscovered the Spanish Tortilla and it is still awesome.

Cooking

Tortilla Española

1 Cup Olive Oil

1.5 lbs Red or Gold Potatoes, rinsed and thinly sliced

1 Onion, sliced thin

6 Eggs

1 Tbsp Garlic, Sliced

Salt and Black Pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium.  After about 3 minutes, test the oil with a slice of potato, if it bubbles right away, then its ready to go.  If not wait until the bubbles start to happen.

Testing the Oil

Add the potato, onion and garlic slices to the hot oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Gently stir the mixture around in the pan as it cooks and adjust the heat to maintain moderate bubble action.  We’re not aiming for browning at this point, just a little tenderness.  About 15 minutes, give or take.  Remove the potatoes-onions-garlic from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow to drain and cool slightly in a colander, or simply lay them out on a paper towel lined baking sheet.  Strain out the excess oil and set it aside.  Hang onto the skillet, you’re going to use it again in a minute.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the potato mixture and stir/fold gently to combine.

Put the skillet back on the burner over medium heat.  Add 2 Tbsp of that reserved oil to the pan.  When the oil shimmers, add the eggy potatoes spreading them around in the pan to form an even-ish layer.  A minute or two later, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.  Just leave it be for 5 minutes.

Releasing the Sides

Okay, run a knife or something along the edge of the pan to loosen up the tortilla.

It gets a bit tricky here.  Slide the potato cake out onto a plate.  The top of the tortilla is going to still be runny and its okay.  Place another plate on top of it and invert.  Add another Tbsp of oil to the pan.  Save the rest of the reserved oil for another use.  Now, nudge the tortilla back into the pan.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Slide it out onto a serving plate and let it cool a bit.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  This doesn’t really refrigerate well.

Jose served his tortilla with a garlic aïoli and I totally recommend this.  Click here for a recipe.  Dust with a little paprika and enjoy.

Spanish Tortilla 3

Spanish Tortilla 2


Kind of like Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Cake

But not quite.

I love thyme

I am not really that familiar with Yotam Ottolenghi’s work, but he is apparently pretty buzz worthy these days.  Especially if you are a vegetarian and/or a follower of the British culinary scene.

We, however, were introduced to him via the gift of a cookbook.  Specifically, Plenty More.  It is a fascinating book.  Fun combinations of ingredients often with interesting preparations and presentations.  Not too mention some really mouthwatering photos, which are laid out in the food paradise manner.  Mine, in contrast, are photographed in the little-kitchen-that-could.

We pretty much want to make (or at least eat) everything in the book, but you’ve gotta start somewhere.  So, after talking about making the cauliflower cake for weeks, I decided, rather randomly, to make it after work.

Cauliflower Cake 3

Turns out, I did not have basil, the rosemary I thought I had was a sad sight and there was only a small chunk of Parmesan… (oddly enough, I did have Nigella seeds…)

Rather than scrap the whole idea, I decided to take the base concept and just use what I did have.  Here’s what I did.

Ingredients 1

Cauliflower Cake

1 Smallish Cauliflower, broken up into bite size florets (I also chopped up and used the stem bits)

1 Medium Red Onion

4 Cloves Garlic

1 Bay Leaf

5 T Olive Oil

1 Bunch Chard, rinsed and stems removed (we’re going to use the stems)

8 Sprigs Thyme

7 Eggs

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Turmeric

1 Cup Cheddar, grated

1/2 Cup Parmesan, grated

2 T White Sesame Seeds

2 tsp Nigella Seeds (Poppy Seeds or Black Sesame Seeds will also work)

2 tsp Mustard Seeds

Salt and Black Pepper

A bit of Butter

You’ll also need parchment paper and a 9 1/2 inch spring form pan

Alright preheat your oven to 400 F.

Cauliflower

Take the cauliflower pieces and place them in a pot.  Sprinkle over them 1 tsp or so of salt then add enough water to cover.  Simmer for about 15 minutes until they are quite soft, but not disintegrating. Strain and leave them in the colander to air dry while you prepare the rest.

Red Onion

With the red onion, we want to slice off some nice rings about a quarter inch thick.  Set those aside.  We’ll be using them for decorative effect later on.  Deeply colored rings are going to look best here, no harm in being selective.  The red onion I had was a lighter purple color and the end look was a bit washed out.  Give the rest of the onion, along with the garlic and chard stems, a rough chop.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium until it shimmers.  Then add the onion, garlic, chard stems, bay leaf, 2 sprigs of thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Saute for about 10 minutes until soft.  The remove from the heat to cool and discard the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf.

Eggs with Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add the roughly chopped chard leaves, and the onion mixture.  Remove the thyme leaves from their stems and add the leaves to the bowl as well.  Whisk it all around again.  Add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, a tsp of salt, and a tsp of black pepper.  Whisk it until smooth.  Add in the cheese, reserving about 1/4 cup cheddar.  Whisk to incorporate.  Gently stir in the cauliflower.

Seeds

Now let’s prep the spring form pan.  Cut a parchment circle to fit the bottom of the pan.  Then cut a strip of parchment long enough to run the circumference of the pan and overlap itself by a couple of inches.  This overlap will help stick the parchment ends together and keep the strip in place.  Lay out this strip and rub with liberally with butter like your buttering a pan.  Fit that strip around the sides of the pan with the buttered side facing inward.  In a small bowl, mix the sesame, nigella, and mustard seeds together.  Toss the seeds around evenly on the buttered side-strip of parchment, we want them to stick.

Seeds on the Side

Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan.  Spread it out evenly and sprinkle around the reserved cheddar.  Then arrange the red onion rings on the top.

Ready to Bake

Pop it in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let rest on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cauliflower Cake 2


Please Bring Me Some Figgy Pudding

“like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top. Oh, a wonderful pudding!”

Charles Dickens, ‘A Christmas Carol’

Lemon Zest

Craisins

Our Christmas dinners for the last 10 years or so have found inspiration from cultures all over the world.  China, Italy, Sweden, Mexico, Germany…  Some of these cultural traditions have stuck around and carried over year after year.  Slowly, a new tradition has started to emerge, an “our” tradition, curated from our global holiday explorations, and a few things that have been passed down to us.

About four years ago, our Christmas season found us exploring England.  There were two key elements of a classic English Christmas that we embraced more than the others and have added those traditions each year after.

1) Christmas Crackers – fun filled decorative paper tubes that give a little pop when the two ends are pulled apart.  Perhaps the best part of these would be the colorful paper hats (crowns) that are inside.  Everything feels so much lighter and more festive while wearing a paper crown!

2) Christmas Pudding – A sort of cake created with an assortment of ingredients, hours of steaming/boiling, days of waiting, more boiling, and then, flaming whiskey.  We love it!

Spice

The “pudding” is often stirred up and cooked at least a month before serving.  This stirring is traditionally done on Stir-Up Sunday (it totally sounds like I just made that up, but I didn’t, seriously), where each person in the household gives the mixture a stir for luck in the new year.  The pudding is, then, hung in the cellar (or other cool dark place) until the big day.

In a pinch, I suppose the whole recipe could be done in two days, but it just wouldn’t be the same…  The resting period helps all of the flavors come together to develop complexity and unity.  I would try to give it at least a week.  (Last year I didn’t get to making it soon enough, so we postponed eating it until New Years.  Just sayin’ that it’s not too late for you all to make some…)  You could also mix it up months in advance.  I’ve read about puddings being mixed up in June!

Today, In the spirit of giving…  Here is my Christmas Pudding recipe.

Christmas Pudding Ingredients

Christmas Pudding

6 oz  Dried Currants

6 oz  Raisins, chopped

8 oz  Sultanas, chopped (Golden Raisins)

2 oz  Dried Cranberries, chopped (Craisins)

6 oz  Dried Figs, stems removed and chopped (I like a mix of Mission and Turkish figs)

5 Tbs  Whiskey (We use bourbon, but brandy, rum, scotch, or other whiskey would all work well)

6 oz  All-purpose Flour

3 oz  Plain Bread Crumbs (We use Panko)

1/2 tsp  Nutmeg, ground

1 tsp  Cinnamon, ground

1/4 tsp  Ginger, ground

1/2 tsp  Allspice, ground

1/4 tsp Clove, ground

1/2 tsp Salt, kosher

3 oz  Brown Sugar

1  Medium-Large Carrot, peeled and grated

3 oz  Almonds, finely chopped

1  Apple, cored and grated

Zest and Juice of 1/2 an Orange

Zest and Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

4 oz Beef Suet, grated (It is easier to grate if it is frozen)

4  Eggs, beaten

150 ml of Beer (Darker English ales work great for this)

Now that’s an ingredient list!  Yes, there are simpler, more minimalist versions of this, but this one is awesome in all its ridiculousness.

In a medium bowl add the dried fruit along with 5 Tbs of whiskey.  Stir it around and let macerate while you prepare the rest of the mix, or let it sit overnight, covered and at room temperature.

Carrot and Zests

In a large bowl stir together the flour, bread crumbs, sugar and spices.  Add the carrots, almonds, apple, suet, and citrus peels and juices.  Give it another stir.

Now add the dried fruit along with any residual steeping liquid.  Stir.  Add eggs and beer.  Now is the time to give everyone else a turn at stirring!

Pudding in the Mold

Grease or spray two pudding basins and then fill each with the pudding mixture.  Cover with a layer of parchment paper and then a layer of foil.  Securing them with kitchen twine.

Making a twine handle helps to lift it out of the pot.  It is also a handy if you were wanting to hang your pudding off the ground.

Making a twine handle helps to lift it out the pot. It also comes in handy if you were wanting to hang your pudding off the ground.

Pudding in the Pot

Place each pudding into a separate pot and add water until the levels reach about half way up the basins.  Bring water to a boil, reduce to a lively simmer and cover.  Simmer for 6 hours, periodically checking the water level.

Post Boil

Remove and allow to cool.  Store in a cool, out of the way spot for a month or so.

On the desired day, replace the parchment paper and foil with fresh wrappings and boil again for 2 hours.  Turn it out of the mold after it has cooled a bit.  Then, when ready to serve pour an ounce or so of whiskey over the top of the cake and light it on fire.  Serve with brandy butter or a simple icing.

Circa 2011

Circa 2011

Merry Christmas!


Shrimp and Goat Cheese Tart

Shrimp and Goat Cheese Tart

Shrimp and Goat Cheese Tart

Our little tart here was inspired by Five and Spice’s beet and fig tart (which we have also made, and it is fantastic as well).  While eating the aforementioned figgy tart, I had this mini revelation:  I love savory tarts!  I also made this unofficial pledge to make and eat more of them.  The crust is the foundation upon which all else is built and Emily (at the above mentioned Five and Spice) rocked out an excellent crust recipe.   From there, you have seemingly infinite topping possibilities.  Granted, one cannot help but mention the odd similarity between the tarts proposed here and my other favorite food – pizza.  Be that as it may, I’ll not be drowning any tart in mozzarella and the two crusts are decidedly different.

These are the Ingredients...minus a thing or two

These are the Ingredients…minus a thing or two

The first savory tart to come of my unofficial pledge was a shrimp and goat cheese tart.  My wife came up with this one, and it was wonderful.  I’ve recreated it below so that we might once again joyously devour it.  When my wife decided to make this tart, we were out of goat cheese.  Unfortunately, the selection of quality cheeses at the nearest grocery store leaves something to be desired, so, we ended up getting a goat cheese that as it turned out was not crumble-able.  This ended up working out rather well since we were able to spread a nice layer onto the crust which had the benefit of allowing the cheese to be more evenly dispersed.  We were also able to avoid the occasional mouth-full of chalky goat cheese from a crumble left a bit too large.  This might not bother everyone, but it was a slight issue I had with the beet and fig edition.  So for this time around, I’m using that cheese again.  Feel free to crumble, if you like.

The quality of the shrimp played a big role, I’m sure.  10/15 count wild caught, flash frozen Gulf Shrimp.  These are very delicious.  A pre-cooked cocktail shrimp is not going to do this justice.  Just sayin’.

Pulse the Butter into the Flour

Pulse the Butter into the Flour

Alright, here’s how you work the crust.

1-1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt

6 T  Butter, Cold (the quality of your butter does matter, particularly with baked goods)

1 T  Distilled White Vinegar

3-4 T  Ice Cold Water

In a food processor, pulse together the flour and the salt.  Remove the butter from the refrigerator and cut into pieces (8-12) and add them to the food processor.  Process until there are no more chunks of butter and the flour reaches a coarse texture similar to corn meal.  With the machine still going, add in the vinegar and then, 1 tablespoon at a time, add the water until the dough comes together and forms a ball.

The Dough Ball has Formed

The Dough Ball has Formed

Remove from the machine and reform it into a ball then press it down to form a thick disc.  Wrap that in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

And that Wraps up the Dough...Ha Ha

And that Wraps up the Dough…Ha Ha

On with the tart:

While the dough is chillin’, we prep the rest, starting with shelling and deveining the shrimp.  Give them a chop, 3-4 bit sizes pieces per shrimp (give or take, our shrimp were very large).

Bacon and Garlic

Bacon and Garlic

9  Shrimp, 10/15 count is what we used

4  Thick Cut slices of Bacon, cut into cubes or small strips

4- 5  Cloves Garlic, roughly minced

2-3 tsp.  Fresh minced Rosemary

2.5 oz  Goat Cheese

Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Saute the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon keeping that fatty goodness in the pan.  Turn the heat down slightly, wait a minute, then add the garlic.  Stir it around constantly for 30 seconds to a minute, careful not to let it burn.  Next add the shrimp and rosemary.  Cook for another 30 seconds or so.  We want the shrimp to start taking on a bit of color, but not to fully cook.  Turn off heat and set aside while you proceed with the crust’s next step.

Roll it out

Roll it out

Remove the crust from the frigo.  Roll it out on a lightly floured surface in a rough circular shape to about a 1/4 inch thickness.  You can certainly rustic this up a bit more and decorate it on a baker’s peel and bake it on a pizza stone.  Or use a tart pan like we did.  (Feel free to prick the crust all over with fork, pre-bake for 10 minutes or so, just before it starts to color and then continue.  I didn’t do this this time, but I probably will next time. )

Spread the goat cheese on the dough.  Now, fold over the edges, or roll them if you prefer.

Sprinkle the bacon on top of the cheese and then the shrimp mixture.  Pop it into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (less time if you have pre-baked the crust) until the crust is a nice golden brown.

Ready to Bake

Ready to Bake

Salad Fixin's

Salad Fixin’s

For the salad:

A couple handfuls of Greens: Arugula, Spinach, Mache, Watercress, or a Spring Greens Mix, etc.

Juice of half a Lemon

2-3 Tablespoons  Olive Oil

Pinch of Salt and Pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until somewhat emulsified.

When the tart is done baking, let it cool for a few minutes.  Drizzle a little olive oil on top followed by a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  If your balsamic is not a nice and syrupy vinegar, then reduce it down a bit in a small sauce pan.

That's the Balsamic We Used

That’s the Balsamic We Used

Toss the greens in the lemon vinaigrette and arrange on the tart.  It is easier to arrange the greens once you’ve plated the tart.  You could also serve the salad on the side just note that the lemony flavor of the greens adds a brightness to the tart that really ties the whole thing together.

Enjoy!

Encore!

Encore!


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