Celebrating Bacon… the food spread

It started with a delivery of 2 pounds of bacon in my grocery order. Just a few weeks before on Reddit, there had been a post of someone's grandmother making an insane looking pie using bacon as the pie crust, which then was followed up with other posters noting that it was a recipe from Michael Smith (as covered in my previous post). Obviously, the universe was telling me to make bacon potato cheese tart, right? At the time, I froze the bacon, and found a date when I could have other bacon-loving guests appreciate the bacon with me.

Although the bacon tart was the point, it was also F's birthday, and it also gave me a chance to try a few other recipes. F is not a big soft cheese fan but I wanted to make ricotta, which is very easy (all it takes is milk and buttermilk, heating it up until the curds and whey form, and then scooping the curds using a sieve into a cheesecloth). As a vehicle for the ricotta at the little bacon party, I slow roasted some Roma tomatoes for 3 hours at 250 with a bit of olive oil and rosemary, and once it cooled stuffed them with the ricotta, a little bit of Spanish olive oil, and aged balsamic.

After that I made the bacon tart. I turned up the oven to 350, which is the temperature that would be needed for both the bacon tart and the stinging nettle balls- though the stinging nettles would be done last because it had the smallest cooking time, while the bacon tart would take 2.5 to 3 hours (I did 2.5). That's right, I had the oven going from 9 in the morning and barely finished when guests arrived around 4. But, while the tomatoes were roasting, I went to the Portland Farmers Market to get the stinging nettles so I'll cover that next.

After speaking with Kathryn I lowered my parboil time to only 2 minutes and she helped translate the recipe that originally called for 20 oz of frozen spinach into a pound of fresh nettles. After the quick parboil and scooping them up with a slotted spoon (I discovered later I do have tongs but they were in the very back of the drawer, go figure) and lots of patting dry, we removed the leaves from the stems, squeezed more liquid, and then chopped. In the end it does look a lot like spinach, but more interesting and a little twist on the taste which is more grassy and a tinge of herby bitterness. On the side was the spicy cream, with habanero onion garlic and a few other spices in greek yogurt

The rest of the recipe is the same as if you were using spinach rather then nettles- adding the 4 beaten eggs, cup of grated parmesan asiago cheese, 3/4 stick melted butter and 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs and a 1/4 cup of panko- in retrospect maybe I should have used a bit more but reviews of the recipe commented on its dryness and recommended cuttting back on the breadcrumbs, so I did. Reviews also said it would take longer then 15 minutes to bake- which they were spot on, it was closer to 25-30 minutes.

The bacon potato cheese tart… the in progress photos. The last one is a bit of a cheat, because I had to pull them back out to put the parchment paper and a lid on top of each tart to keep the bacon from shrinking back where it met on top.

The bacon potato cheese tart… final product. The very first piece of tart I cut was a bit of a mess so I took it for myself, but it held together better when I cut the second tart because it had cooled more.

And the final spread. Add to the above

we barely had room to put our plates that we were eating onto the table. When we bought that table I was insistent that we get one that can fit 8 people, I guess that was not enough. I wasn't sure whether we were having 14 guests (we ended up with 8) since F was not all that clear to me on some of the replies he had extended and a few were maybes as guests of guests, but of course what kind of hostess doesn't have enough food? I don't want anyone to go home hungry- you have to waddle home you're so full. I think I get this from my mom's side of the family who also fills the table like that when we visit them in Thailand- which may be followed by digestion/naptime. This is only a slight variation from my dad's side, who totally overorders so we fill the whole table, but does so while dining out at a restaurant rather than eating at home, which I also like because there's no cleanup afterward.

 

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Comments

  1. Bacon, potato, and cheese? All my favorites in this beautiful tart! Yum! – Regine

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  1. […] here I go again, making a savory pie (the last one I did was the bacon cheddar potato one using Michael Smith’s recipe). I think this pie serves 4-8 people depending on what else you […]

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