Archives for March 2016

Rustic Egg Tarts

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Here in New York City we take our weekend brunching very seriously.  Served up between 10am and 3pm, most restaurants lure guests in with a special menu that turns traditional breakfast dishes into mini works of culinary art. Coupled with a few cocktails and an amazing group of friends, brunch can be the highlight of even the craziest weekends.

But what if you want to recreate that same experience at home?  This recipe for Rustic Egg Tarts is easy to make and will wow your friends and family.  So call up some friends, brew up a large pot of coffee and shake up some Bloody Mary’s (or Caesars) – it’s time to brunch!

Step 4The backbone of this recipe is the puff pastry shell. While I normally prefer to make things from scratch, this is one item that I always pick up at the grocery store.  The sheets are easy to use and the results are consistent. Look for a package in the freezer section and make sure that you do not confuse with phyllo dough- they are two very different items.

Most boxes are sold with two pastry sheets inside.  For the best results, store in your own freezer until you are ready to use.  Allow one sheet thaw at room temperature for 40 minutes before handling and wrap the other sheet in foil then return to the freezer.

The trick to puff pastry is that you want to keep it cold.  If the dough feels sticky or warm, place it back in the freezer for 5 minutes before handling.  If you find cracks or holes in the dough when opening or rolling out, use a little bit of water to soften and push back together.

shellsPuff pastry can expand to almost 8 times its original thickness while cooking.  Pricking the pastry shells helps to let the air escape so that it doesn’t expand as much.  To start, you will bake the shells in a 375°F oven for 15 minutes until a light golden brown color.

While your pastry is in the oven, grab a medium-sized skillet and start cooking the bacon.  You will need one slice of bacon for each tart.  When cooked, remove from pan and lay on a sheet of paper towel to help absorbs any extra grease.  Cut each slice into 4 or 5 smaller pieces and set aside.

Step 1

Once you remove the shells from the oven you need to create a well for your ingredients.  Because the centers of the shells will have puffed up, use a fork to gently flatten the centers.  I find it’s best to start just inside the folded over rim and work toward the center.  To give the edges an extra golden finish, add a light wash of melted butter to the entire shell before adding the remaining ingredients.

Steps 2

Next, place the chunks of bacon around inner edge of the tart shell.   Carefully crack one egg in the center and add sliced cherry tomatoes around the egg.   Top with a couple of shakes of salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add a pinch of cheese to each tart before cooking.  I suggest using asiago or parmesan for an extra kick of flavor.

Steps 3

Place baking sheet back in the oven and cook for and additional 20-25 minutes, until the pastry edges are golden brown and outside of the eggs are white.  The tops of the eggs will look glassy but the yolks will be set. These Rustic Egg Tarts are filling, so serve with a few slices of fruit or a small salad.

Rustic Egg Tarts

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 4 sevings

Rustic Egg Tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 Puff Pastry sheet, defrosted (I recommend Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour.
  3. Unfold the pastry sheet and lie flat. If there are any cracks, use a little bit of water to fill holes and smooth out the surface. Using a sharp knife, cut pastry sheet into 4 equal squares.
  4. Carefully fold in the outer edges of each square creating a 1/2" rim. Using a fork, gently prick the center section of each tart. Bake for 15 minutes until tops are a light golden brown.
  5. While tart shells are in the oven, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Set aside to cool then cut each slice into 4-5 pieces.
  6. Remove shells from the oven. The centers will puff up during cooking so use a fork to push down. Start at the fold over edge and work toward the center. This will create a well for your filling.
  7. Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of melted butter over the tart shells. Place the bacon pieces around the inner edge of the shell.
  8. Carefully crack one egg into the center of each tart. Evenly divide the cherry tomato slices and place around eggs.
  9. Top with salt, pepper and cheese (optional) to taste.
  10. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until eggs are set.
  11. Enjoy!

Notes

Keep the puff pastry in the freezer until ready to use. To defrost, let the sheet sit at room temperature for 40 minutes until soft (this is why I listed the prep time as 40 minutes). If the pastry sheet is sticky or warm when handling, return to freezer for 5 minutes. For best results you want to keep the pastry cold. Most puff pastry sheets packages are packs of 2. Wrap second sheet in foil or plastic wrap and return to freezer until you are ready to use.

http://bohorustic.com/rustic-egg-tarts/

Let me know what you think!  Post a comment below or share a photo on Instagram and use the hashtag #bohorusticrecipe.

Cheers,

Betsy

How to Make Perfect Bacon Every Time

bacon cooked

There are certain sights and sounds that are associated with cooking bacon.  The sizzle and pop of the fat while frying.  The smokey aroma that fills the kitchen and immediately makes your mouth water or your stomach start to grumble.  Watching the meat slowly brown while carefully timing when to flip to keep the edges from burning.  The sweet relief of cold water as you try to calm the searing pain of the grease that just hopped out of the pan and beelined straight for your bare hand (always my favorite!).  It is an artful balance of timing and luck to get that perfect slice of crisp bacon!

But what if you could cook your bacon in a way that would guarantee crispy strips without the fear of fat flying or edges burning?  It may sound crazy, but by oven roasting your bacon you can eliminate all the mess and worry.  You definitely won’t need to keep band-aids and burn cream on hand.  There is no flipping, your hands are free to make other things and best of all, clean up is a cinch!

bacon 1

Start by preheating the oven to 400°F.  Double line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. The goal here is to catch all the bacon fat in the foil so there is no washing up at the end. Make sure there are no holes in the foil and all areas are covered.

Next, lay bacon in a single layer on the baking sheet. Slices should not overlap or they will stick together when cooking.  Tuck in any ends that may be over the edge of the tray (see above).  Place tray in oven and and bake until strips are crispy and brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

bacon 2Around the 10 minute mark you may notice that thicker cuts of bacon might be submerged in their own grease.  Carefully remove the tray from the oven and tilt one end into a glass container or aluminum can, letting the fat pour off. Return the tray to the oven for final cooking.

The thickness of the meat and personal preference will dictate how long you leave in the oven. If you are cooking medium-sliced bacon, total cook time is about 18 minutes for the perfect crispy finish. Just keep an eye on it while cooking and remove when desired crispiness is reached.  Using tongs, transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate and let cool slightly.

Serve with eggs for breakfast, in a BLT sandwich for lunch or chop and toss into a delicious fresh salad for dinner (shown).

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 Five Fun Facts About Bacon:

  1. Bacon originated in China around 1500 B.C. when farmers began to salt and cure pork bellies to eat.  Ancient Greeks and Romans used a similar technique to cure their meats.
  2. The word Bacon is derived from the Middle English word “bacoun”, which referred to all types of pork.  In the 17th Century, it was shortened to “bacon”  and used to only describe cured pork.
  3. While all bacon is salted and cured, different countries prefer different cuts of the pig.  America uses pork bellies, while Canada uses pork loin and Great Britain favors pork shoulder.  
  4. Ever wonder about the difference in bacon slices?  According to my butcher, thin sliced bacon is 1/32″ thick and yields 28-32 pieces per pound.  Medium sliced bacon is 1/16″ thick and yields 16-20 pieces per pound.  Thick cut bacon is 1/8″ thick and yields 10-14 slices per pound.
  5. The Bacon Martini was invented in 1998 by two bartenders independently of each other.  P. Moss, of the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas, concocted a drink using hickory-smoked bacon and vodka, while Soon Yang, of Santa Monica, California, created his drink using juniper-cured bacon and vodka.  Over the years, the Bacon Martini, also know as the Bacontini or Pig on the Rocks, has grown in popularity.  It has lead to numerous brands of bacon-infused vodka and bourbon being introduced all over the world. 

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*Notes:

  • Never put hot bacon fat down your sink drain or into a plastic container!  Once cooled, throw away.
  • Don’t worry about the grease splatter in the oven.  My guess is the fat does not splatter because you are not moving the slices around or flipping them.  We did not find any splatter in the oven when we took them out!

 

Oven-Roasted Bacon

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 slices of bacon
  • Equipment
  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tongs
  • Paper towel
  • Plate for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Line baking sheet with 2 layers of aluminum foil. Check that there are no holes for bacon grease to slip through.
  3. Place a single layer of bacon on the pan, making sure that the slices do not overlap. Tuck in any ends that are over the edge.
  4. Cook until brown and crispy, approximately 15-20 minutes.
  5. Start checking around 10 minutes in. If the slices are submerged in grease, carefully remove tray and pour out some of the fat. Return to oven and continue cooking until done.
  6. When tray is removed from the oven, use tongs to immediately transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.

Notes

Once baking sheet has cooled, fold up aluminum foil and throw away. If all goes well, there will be no additional clean up needed!

http://bohorustic.com/oven-roasted-bacon/

What are your thoughts on baking bacon? Comment below and let me know!

Cheers,

Betsy