I went to My Beloved's daughter Katie's wedding shower last weekend, looking forward to some female company and not thinking ahead very much to dinner afterward.
We had lots of girly fun, eating a splendid poached salmon and salads lunch, watching her open her shower gifts, telling eye-rolling stories about our menfolk and sampling killer chocolate chip cookies topped with Maldon salt, baked by none other than Katie's cousin, Molly Wizenberg of Orangette fame. Katie's sister made her the traditional bonnet from all the ribbons on her gifts and hilarity ensued. I know it sounds silly and I guess it was but it's what we women relish when one of our number is preparing the take the marital plunge.
On the way home, however, I remembered that My Beloved hadn't had dinner and he might actually be expecting to eat. What could I whip up in short order that would satisfy the inner caveman?
Because I had made the cherry and cheese tart the day before, I knew I had enough DuFour puff pastry for a savory tart, plus goat cheese left over from the same dessert. I remembered that I had some Niman Ranch Canadian bacon in the fridge and the idea of a bastardized tarte flambée came to mind.
When I got home, I started caramelizing about one and a half sliced onions in a wide frying pan with a tad of butter. While that happened, I rolled out the crust on a floured board with a floured rolling pin, incised a line about one inch in from the edge all the way around the rectangle with a sharp knife and pricked the dough inside the line with a fork. I slid that onto parchment paper on a baking sheet and then into the fridge to cool while I prepared the filling.
The filling was exactly the same as the cheese and cherry tart filling, a half cup of heavy cream whipped to soft peaks, then beaten some more with about four ounces of goat cheese crumbles until it became spreadable. I dropped it by dollops onto the crust and spread it thinly all around before topping with small lardons of the Canadian bacon and, finally, the caramelized onions. Into a 375 degree F oven for about 35-40 minutes, until the unpricked crust rose around the filling and was browned and crisp. Cut into squares and served alongside some frozen peas, it was easily the best tarte flambée I have made to date.
The tangy goat cheese was a perfect foil for the smoky bacon and the sweet, richly browned onions. The crust was a crisp contrast to the soft filling ingredients and was lighter than a normal tarte flambée crust. We sat down to talk over the bridal shower, to show My Beloved the pictures I took and to relish a quick, easy and delicious dinner.
I can imagine all kinds of future toppings for the goat cheese spread - tomatoes/basil/bacon or Swiss chard/chicken/garlic or mixed, blanched veggies. Next time you are in a hurry, I hope you have these simple ingredients in the fridge just waiting to put a new twist on a quick dinner.
Labels: tarte flambee