Thursday, November 6, 2014

Archive Recipe: Corn and Green Onion Tart with Bacon

When my husband talks about the meals I’ve made for him, he usually emphasizes the bitter-sweet realization that even if something is really good, it could be months before he gets to enjoy it again, because I’m always moving on to something new. Since he’s such a satisfying person to cook for, I decided I was being unfair. Recently, I started trying to find ways to cook dishes he particularly likes more often. For example, last month, I cooked Peanutty Noodles once a week. Since I enjoy this dish as much as he does, this was really a win-win scenario.

Another thing I’m trying to do is go back over recipes that we tried and liked, but that I never seem to get around to making more often. Or, as in the case of this Corn and Green Onion Tart with Bacon, ever again. That’s right. I don’t think I ever made this tart again after posting the recipe here. Why? WHY!?! Only a full investigation would answer that question.

Well, I never really got an answer because after finally making this again, I still don’t know why! Okay, so making a pie crust takes some extra preparation time, and I’ve been cooking on the simpler side lately, but I’m not too proud to use store-bought pie crust. There is no excuse for not making this dish regularly. Sure it’s a little better with fresh corn, which has a fleeting season, but I freeze fresh corn in the summer, and the result is almost as good. No excuses! No excuses!

Yes, after all these years I still love this dish and really, really want to make it more often. The sweet corn contrasts nicely with the salty, smoky bacon and nutty Swiss cheese. There’s just the right proportion of egg, milk and cheese to for this to hold together in a nice wedge. I serve this as a main dish for supper, but, since we don’t wait longer than the next morning’s breakfast to devour the leftovers, I’m sure it’s equally suited to a morning meal.

If you wanted to make this vegetarian (or just don’t like bacon), you could leave it out and perhaps play with some other flavors. I think some roasted chile peppers would be nice, or even roasted red bell peppers, especially with some smoked paprika added. You could also use different cheeses. I’m thinking of trying cheddar, or a smoked cheese, say, cheddar, Gouda or mozzarella, if I make it without the bacon.

Of course, those ideas for variations imply the hope that I’ll be making this more often. Wish me luck!

Single Crust Pastry Dough
This recipe can be doubled to make two crusts. You will need just one for this tart.

You can replace the whole wheat flour with more all-purpose flour if you prefer.

This method uses a food processor to make pastry. You can make it by hand by cutting in the butter with a pastry blender or a fork.

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

1. Place the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.

2. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse several times or until the butter is cut up into small, flour-coated pieces.

3. Slowly add the cold water through the feed chute of the processor and process just until the dough begins to come together. Add more water if needed to make this happen.

4. Remove the dough from the processor and press together into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or until ready to use. Dough can also be frozen for even later use.

Makes pastry for a single-crust pie.

Corn and Green Onion Tart with Bacon
If you do not wish to make a homemade pastry, you can use a store-bought one to make this tart.

For more on blind-baking pie crusts, see this post.

You can begin preparing the tart filling while the crust is blind baking.

Prepared pastry for a single-crust pie, such as the recipe above
3 slices bacon
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
½ cup chopped green onions (scallions)
½ cup milk
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Swiss cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll out the pastry dough into a circle about 12-inches in diameter. Carefully drape the pastry into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press the crust to the sides of the pan.  Avoid stretching the crust, as that will cause it to shrink when it bakes. Trim the crust to the edges of the pan.

2. Prick the crust all over with a fork (don’t poke all the way through the crust to the pan).  Cover the crust with aluminum foil.  Place pie weights (or pebbles, dry beans, etc., anything that will hold the crust down) on top of the foil.  Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes.  Remove the foil and weights.  Bake another 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

3. While the crust is blind baking, begin preparing the remaining ingredients. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pan and drain.  Reserve 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon fat in the pan and discard the rest.

4.  Add the corn and green onions to the pan and sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes.

5.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, salt and pepper until well-blended.  Add the corn mixture. Crumble the bacon and add to the corn and egg mixture.  Add the cheese and stir until well-blended.

6.  Pour the filling mixture into the baked tart shell.  Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until set.  Remove the outer ring from the pan. (Use something like an inverted bowl as a platform to hold the pan bottom while slipping off the ring.)  Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 side dish or 4 main dish servings.  Leftovers can be reheated, and while the crust isn’t as crisp, it’s still good!

One year ago: Pumpkin Waffles

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