I've been able to cook a little bit this week, which is refreshing. Yesterday I made this orange-olive oil cake, only with grapefruit instead of orange. It came out beautifully, burnished brown on the edges, with this perfect golden crack down the middle. I made a ginger-lemon snow pea stir fry the other day that was good enough to make you forget everything else on the table, and I made rice mixed with black sesames, sesame oil, and crumbled nori.
Cooking is a good grounding point in my day not rushing around nibbling this or that, a time to stop and actually prepare a meal for yourself, something all too infrequent in my life these days. I've had this hunk of chipotle gouda in my fridge that was on its last legs, entering the mold danger zone, for quite a while now. But while it's good, it's so spicy that I can only handle a few pieces in a sitting.
I was a going to make a quiche, but my pie pan being otherwise occupied (I made a chess pie for a party), a tart pan would suffice. So the spicy gouda got tossed in with some broccoli and crumbled bacon in an eggy bath for a tart.
This tart is fabulous, plenty of green broccoli fills it up, but then with smoky bacon and that warm heat of spicy cheese. A pepperjack would be great here or, if you are wary of spicy cheese, a nice sharp cheddar would do equally well. Cut into a large wedge, with some salad and a handful of grapes on the side, it is an imminently transportable lunch. If you can find the time to sit down and eat it.
Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Tart
one pastry crust, prepared a fitted into an 8" tart pan and chilled
1 large head broccoli, just the florets
4 strips bacon
1/2 cup small cubes of sharp cheddar, chipotle-gouda, pepper jack, of cheese of choice
2 large eggs plus one egg white
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Saute the bacon in a pan until crisp, drain on paper towels and let cool. Crumble the bacon.
2. Prepare a steamer. Steam the broccoli florets until just barely tender- remember you don't want mushy broccoli and it will cook more in the oven. Rinse broccoli under cold water to stop cooking. Break into even smaller florets.
3. Scatter the bacon, broccoli and cheese in the tart shell. In a bowl beat together the eggs, white, milk, and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the tart filling.
4. Place the tart on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is slightly golden and the center only jiggles slightly when shaken. Allow to cool before cutting. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.