Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Comfort Zone

This week I have been testing bacon recipes for a recipe contest. It doesn’t take much to get me to cook with bacon. Bacon is firmly in my comfort zone. However, I’m trying to do something out of the ordinary…I first made a very bacony quiche sort of dish, which was fantastic, but not special enough. I’ve now moved on to desserts, and this is where I move from comfort zone to danger zone.

If you’ve read my blog before, you may recall several rants aimed at pastry. You will also note that more often than not, I cheat and use pre-made pie dough. This is something that I would love to change. To conquer doughs and breads of all kinds is high on my list of things to do. But then I try and fail. Bad.

Let me recap a few recent events:

I tried making a so-called “easy” and “super quick” beer bread that ended up in the garbage before it even got to the oven. When I announced I was going to bake bread, Andy’s eyes got wide and a worried look came over his face. Even though I followed the recipe, there was no way that this wet and gluey mess was becoming bread. Worst of all, I wasted a perfectly good beer on it.

Another time, when testing tart recipes for my tea party post, my mom and dad came over to try them. My dad, upon seeing my baked tart shells on the counter asked nervously, “You made pastry?” I’m fairly sure I heard a sigh of relief when I informed him that they were made from pre-made pie dough.

And yesterday, when I came up with a spectacular idea to make bacon shortcrust pastry for a bacony dessert, I actually felt cautiously optimistic. Shortcrust is easy, right? While I was making the shortcrust, it came together perfectly in the food processor and looked like dough should look when I put it in the fridge to chill. But when I rolled it out, I started to get nervous. It just wasn’t right. I forged ahead, and into the oven it went. Fifteen minutes later the smoke detectors were blaring and I was pulling charred rounds of bacon shortcrust out of the oven. 

Now, did I say shortcrust was easy? I’ll tell you what’s easier: not wasting your time making pastry. Instead, just gather up all the ingredients you would use and throw them directly into the trash. No need to mix them up. Better yet, just throw in a few dollar bills instead. Bitter, party of one? Yep, that’s me.

I had one more bacon extravaganza up my sleeve though, and that one worked out. Not surprisingly, it does not include homemade pastry. Fingers crossed it all comes together as planned. You should be seeing it in an upcoming post…I’m pretty excited about it.

In the meantime, I made this bacon-less crostata (yes, with pre-made pie dough!) and it turned out perfectly.


Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Crostata

1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
flour
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Roasted tomatoes:
16 ounces heirloom cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Filling:
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 egg, lightly beaten

Cut each tomato in half (or quarters if larger). On a baking sheet, mix the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Reserve.


Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium-low heat, sauté the onions in olive oil to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper. When done, remove and let cool slightly.

Stir the ricotta, parmesan, egg and thyme together. Add the cooled onions and combine.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust slightly to about 12 inches. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread the ricotta filling onto the dough, leaving about 1-2 inches of overhang around the edges. Top with roasted tomatoes. Fold the edges up around the filling, then brush dough with egg wash.

(You'll want to spread the filling out farther than this.)
Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes until the crust is cooked through. Check underneath for doneness by lifting carefully with a spatula. (I made this twice: The first time it only baked for 40 minutes. The second time was closer to 50 minutes. If the crust is getting too brown, cover with foil.)

Let cool slightly before cutting.


So here I’m safely back in my comfort zone where I don’t fight with pastry and instead end up with a gorgeous crostata. This dish just screams summer to me and makes me dream of all those juicy tomatoes in my future. In the meantime, I am absolutely crazy about these little heirloom tomatoes and their slightly different flavors, already so good at this time of year. The ricotta filling is rich and creamy and a nice balance to the sweet tomatoes. I tried this both warm and at room temperature and either way is good. (My mom says it was good straight out of the refrigerator, but she’s in the minority, I think. She likes cold food and it borders on odd.) This would make a great appetizer or could even be a light dinner when paired with a salad.


Now, bacon calls once again. I’m beginning to wonder if the house will ever go back to smelling normal. At the moment, a definite diner smell hangs in the air…not that I’m complaining.

44 comments:

  1. Either way, this looks delish! Kudos to you for trying to get out of your comfort zone :) Pastry would totally be out of mine, too! Can't wait to see what you procure with the bacon-- it is nature's candy, after all :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a Amazing and Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account and your blog posts.


      »------------> FREE - Pakistani Cute Girls Chat Room


      »------------> FREE- Karachi Chat Room Chat With Karachi Girls Online


      »-----------> FREE - Lahore Chat Room Chat With Lahori Girls Online


      »------------> FREE - Islamabad Chat Room GupShup With Islamabad Girls Online


      »------------> FREE - Rawalpindi Chat Room Chat With Rawalpindi Girls Online



      »------------> FREE - Gujranwala Chat Room Chat With Gujranwala Girls Online



      »-------------> FREE - Punjab Chat Room Chat With Punjabi Girls Online


      »-------------> FREE - Peshawar Chat Room Chat With Pakhtun Girls Online


      »------------> FREE - Indian Chat Room Chat With Indian Girls Online



      »-------------> FREE - Desi Chat Room Chat With Desi Girls Online


      »-------------> FREE - ChatUsa Chat Room Chat With American Girls Online



      »-------------> FREE - Canada Chat Room Chat With Canadian Girls Online


      »-------------> FREE - Europe Chat Room Chat With U-K Girls Online



      »-------------> FREE - Australia Chat Room Chat With Australian Girls Online


      »-------------> Pakistani Cute Girls Mobile Numbers



      »-------------> Karachi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Lahori Hira Mandi Call Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Islamabadi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Punjabi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »--------------> Peshawri Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »--------------> Indian Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »--------------> Delhi ke Choriya Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »--------------> U-K Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »--------------> Canadian Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> American Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »-------------> Germany Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Arab Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »-------------> Filipino Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Spanish Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Iran Shiite Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> France Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »-------------> Ireland White Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> New-Zealand Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »--------------> Belgium Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »--------------> Pennylvania Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »---------------> Switzerland Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers

      Delete
  2. This looks so delicious! I can not wait to make this one!

    ReplyDelete
  3. First time i've seen a savory crostata. Appeals to more than a sweet one.
    Will pick up some heirlooms from the next Farmer's Market and give a try. Lookz realy good!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks yummy and I love mini heirloom tomatoes, something about them just makes me happy. Love this rustic simple dish!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is positively GORGEOUS!! Love the combo of flavors in this recipe too, yum!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah, those beautiful heirloom tomatoes! Absolutely gorgeous, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Those heirloom tomatoes look beautiful! Love the flavors. Looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks delicious and perfect for this time of the year! I love those heirloom tomatoes.

    ReplyDelete
  9. These tomatoes are beautiful! This look awesome! Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. OMG This is amazing! Can't wait to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Warm, room temp or cold, it was yummy!
    Odd Mom

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow! This is a great recipe it's beautiful and looks so flavorful. Thanks so much for sharing I look forward to trying this and more of your recipes. I am now following. =]

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks wonderful. A bacon shortcrust sounds amazing, sorry it didn't work out for you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your post is really amusing! I was smiling away when I read the part when your dad asked you about the pastry! No worries, I'm sure one day you will conquer it! Your crostata looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Those are so great! I feel like this would be a great recipe to have at like a group lunch or something. What a light and super flavorful recipe to eat with your fingers. Looks awesome! I love the picture of those gorgeous tomatoes

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh man, rustic - gorgeous- and I bet ever so tasty.

    ReplyDelete
  17. HA! I'm so living your life. I'm scared of anything 'bread' because it NEVER works for me. I think maybe there's just a select group of us that don't have the bread magic. That's okay tho, because we're very bright and save ourselves alot of time by letting someone else do the work for us and using pre-cooked pastry. We're the clever ones, darling. Remember that :)

    Awesome crostata! Looks unbelievably tasty. Well done :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hmmm, I am curious as to whether your beer bread would have turned out if you'd baked it. It can surprise you, what happens in an oven! Sorry that the pastry seems to be eluding you but this tart looks tremendous, regardless of whether the pastry is homemade or not!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I had to laugh as I read this because I'm as equally hopeless and breads and pie crusts. I've given up on pie crust all together. I know it would taste better than bought... but only if somebody ELSE makes it.

    I do love your Crostata though! Tomatoes are so perfect for that kind of dish.

    ReplyDelete
  20. haha you're sweetly candid here. i had a good laugh. crostata looks delectable.
    thank you for your kinds words in my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love those little heirlooms- so pretty in this gorgeous crostata. I'm looking forward to summer and making this with homegrown tomatoes! (Hmm...and a bit of bacon sprinkled on top maybe?)

    ReplyDelete
  22. You work that pre-made pie dough! This looks perfect and I bet if you didn't tell anyone they wouldn't even know the difference. Great recipe. It is kind of like a pizza!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This looks gorgeous and the great recipe is very tempting! I love tomatoes, even have them à la croque-au-sel, so I will bookmark this recipe. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. You overcame the trials and tribulations of baking. This is a beautiful crostata, even if it doesn't have bacon in it. The heirloom tomatoes are beautiful, but we won't see them here in IL to late summer:(

    ReplyDelete
  25. This looks positively wonderful! Who wouldn't want this with a glass of wine out on the patio on a warm summer's day! Fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Congratulations on your well deserved award!

    ReplyDelete
  27. That looks very delicious! Wonderful post! YUM! :)

    xx,
    Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  28. This look divine! I love all these delicious tomatoes...yum!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow this looks delicious I will have to try it - which region does a crostata come from? (I'm from South Africa and I have never seen this before)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Those tomatoes are so beautiful I can practically taste them! What a wonderful recipe...thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  31. This sound great, I am hosting a linky party called Sunday Buffet, Your welcome to add these to the Buffet line! http://deedeesdelights.blogspot.com/p/sunday-buffet.html

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love food like this . . . all rustic and flavorful. i love the heirloom tomatoes added! Now happily following your delicious blog!

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a gorgeous crostata! I love the rainbow colored tomatoes!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow your crostata is just gorgeous!!! I love heirloom tomatoes so I know I would just adore this. It looks soooo good. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Congratulations! Amazing and what a intersting post. Now i woudll give anything for a little taste of that crostata; you are real good.
    Rita

    ReplyDelete
  36. We had this for dinner last night, with a salad. Very yummy, and pretty too!

    ReplyDelete
  37. This looks amazing. I put it in my weekly inspiration file so I can remember to try it ASAP: http://www.eatandwrite.com/2011/04/22/inspiration-notebook-recipes-to-try/

    ReplyDelete
  38. This looks incredibly tasty and also very easy to make. I can't wait too try this delicious "pizza". :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. This looks great, and is beautiful to boot. I actually made a beer bread recently that really was "easy" and tastes great, I highly recommend you try it out. http://bowllicking.com/2011/06/14/black-pepper-beer-bread/
    My main advice regarding baking, especially when it comes to pastry dough is invest in a digital scale, weighing your flour is so easy and really improves the consistency of recipes since it takes a lot of the guesswork out. I really like this OXO scale: http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Stainless-Pull-Out-Display/dp/B000WJMTNA

    ReplyDelete
  40. Such a Amazing and Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account and your blog posts.


    »------------> FREE - Pakistani Cute Girls Chat Room


    »------------> FREE- Karachi Chat Room Chat With Karachi Girls Online


    »-----------> FREE - Lahore Chat Room Chat With Lahori Girls Online


    »------------> FREE - Islamabad Chat Room GupShup With Islamabad Girls Online


    »------------> FREE - Rawalpindi Chat Room Chat With Rawalpindi Girls Online



    »------------> FREE - Gujranwala Chat Room Chat With Gujranwala Girls Online



    »-------------> FREE - Punjab Chat Room Chat With Punjabi Girls Online


    »-------------> FREE - Peshawar Chat Room Chat With Pakhtun Girls Online


    »------------> FREE - Indian Chat Room Chat With Indian Girls Online



    »-------------> FREE - Desi Chat Room Chat With Desi Girls Online


    »-------------> FREE - ChatUsa Chat Room Chat With American Girls Online



    »-------------> FREE - Canada Chat Room Chat With Canadian Girls Online


    »-------------> FREE - Europe Chat Room Chat With U-K Girls Online



    »-------------> FREE - Australia Chat Room Chat With Australian Girls Online


    »-------------> Pakistani Cute Girls Mobile Numbers



    »-------------> Karachi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Lahori Hira Mandi Call Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Islamabadi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Punjabi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »--------------> Peshawri Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »--------------> Indian Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »--------------> Delhi ke Choriya Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »--------------> U-K Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »--------------> Canadian Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> American Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »-------------> Germany Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Arab Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »-------------> Filipino Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Spanish Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Iran Shiite Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> France Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »-------------> Ireland White Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> New-Zealand Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »--------------> Belgium Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »--------------> Pennylvania Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »---------------> Switzerland Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis