Sunday, 5 July 2015

Yes You Pan!

Torta Salata di Finferli, Pancetta & Formaggio di Capra con Erbe da Provenza
Chanterelle, Bacon & Goat Cheese Tart with Herbs de Provence


Is it a quiche? Is it a tart? Is it important I ask myself! The only real question is, "is it delicious?" ... And the answer is, YES!

I am not really sure what constitutes something being a quiche, rather than a tart... To me they are delicious, simple foods that taste good hot or cold and can easily be prepared using a little puff-pastry... And my handy frying pan trick to speed things up and guarantee excellent results!


Especially with the weather as brutal as it is at the moment and the temperatures as high as they are, anything that saves time and heat in the kitchen is a good idea!

And with a dish like this, which tastes excellent when it's cold, if your are clever (like I am, hehe), you can get up early and prepare before the sun starts doing its stuff and put all of that heat in the kitchen behind you before the day begins. Made sense to me this morning!!!


So, you will have noticed that this was a small tart- just about 6" in size... They always are when I make them... I do live alone, after all!

The good thing about it for you good people is that the ingredients were so simple, you will easily be able to make your own version any size you want, if you figure that one egg will make enough filling for 2 people and you add your other ingredients accordingly. Let me explain...

For the main egg and cheese filling, I needed 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of creamy goats cheese. You can use any other soft cheese you prefer if you do not like or can not get goats cheese... Just stick to the same quantities and you'll be fine- they gave me an ample and excellent base for the rest of my ingredients. And they were, 2 handfuls of chanterelles, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped bacon, 1 shallot and some fresh, finely chopped Herbs de Provence. I seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg, keeping things simple and letting the great bacon, mushroom and herb flavors come through... Wonderful!


You can't beat bacon and mushrooms really... Add plenty of herbs to them as I did here and a hint of nutmeg and you have a real winner on your hands!

And what more do you need when it is as hellishly hot as it is at the moment, than a little salad and a slice of something delicious like this?

To make it, simply fry the finely chopped bacon and the shallot together until the shallot becomes translucent, then add the mushrooms. I cut the larger ones in half so that they would cook more quickly and also because of the small diameter of the pan... But that is a matter of personal preference... And the size of your chanterelles!


Fry the mushrooms for 3-4 a minutes and then turn off the heat and let them cool. In the meantime, turn on the oven to the highest setting to get it ready for later... And get busy with the egg and cheese filling!


Simply stir together the egg and cheese, add plenty of those lovely mixed herbs (or whichever herbs you may have or prefer), plenty of pepper, a little salt and a little nutmeg.

What you are seeing here, is a circle of puff pastry that has a diameter of at least 2" larger than the frying pan you are going to use... A 6" pan in this case.

I first spooned all of the egg/cheese/herb mix into the pan and then added the cooled-off mushrooms and bacon on top.


And last but not least, I folded over the overlapping pastry, in folds, all the way around as you can see here, added a last grind of extra pepper and popped it onto the stovetop for 3-4 minutes.

After that time, the base of the pastry should already have loosened itself from the base of the pan and have begun to "bake" nicely... So that is the time to put it into the oven at the highest setting, on a middle shelf to finish baking for a further 20 minutes or so.


And 20 minutes later... There it is, puffed up, golden and delicious! Fancy a slice? Or two?

With a little fresh green salad on the side... A perfect Summer meal!

I know, these are indeed dainty little slices... But fear not... I ate it all! Hahaha!


And once again... Just because it was so pretty! But it was also pretty terrific as well!

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