This dish is called “Pizza” Rustica, but it actually has more in common with a quiche than a pizza. I had never heard of the dish until this past Easter when my wife craved one, fueled by a memory of the “pies” her Grandmother brought to every Easter feast of her youth. Sadly, her Nana’s recipe is lost somewhere in her extensive family tree, so she did some on-line research and chose this one as the one that best reflected what she remembers her Grandmother making. It comes from one of our favorite pastry chefs, Nick Malgieri. I debated holding this post until next year as the Easter holiday approached, but this dish is so good, and would make such a great addition to a Summer pot-luck, I thought I’d share it with you now. The filling is a rich mix of ricotta, mozzarella, and pecorino, studded with a variety of Italian meats such as prosciutto, and dried sausage. It has a slightly sweet crust which balances the salty, cheesy filling beautifully, and when baked, makes a photo worthy star of any family spread.
I'm a huge Paul McCartney fan, in fact I'm a Beatles freak. While I'm a touch too young to have seen the Beatles perform live, I've been fortunate enough to see Paul a few times over the years and I am so grateful to have had the chance. As I sat the other day thinking of performers I REALLY want my kids to see before they retire (don't ask me why I was thinking this, but I was), Paul McCartney topped the list. I mean, can you think of anyone (still alive) that has influenced the music we all listen to today in such a profound way? Yeah….me neither. I could go on for days about what it is about his songwriting and singing that moves me, but much of it you've probably heard before, or even feel yourself.
How many of you tremble at just the thought of making a soufflé?
I know, I know….I used to too.
But you know what? Of all the things in this world that you might legitimately fear, making a soufflé shouldn't be one of them. Really…. all the stories you've heard about having to tip-toe around the oven, or the need to speak in whispers when a soufflé is baking are all ridiculous. I'm not sure who started these nasty rumours, but I guarantee you that with just a little attention paid to timing, you too can deliver delicious and ethereally light soufflés to the table without breaking a sweat.
Let me just start by saying that I could eat this tart every day of the week and be a very happy camper. Of course, my doctor might have something to say about a diet that consisted of wedge after wedge of this deliciousness, but I'm just sayin'.
Look, I love chard just simply sauteed with a little garlic, some EVOO and maybe a few red pepper flakes, but the kids…..not so much. They are much more liable to snarf down this super-nutritious veggie if surrounded by a buttery crust, some melted goat cheese, and a few chunks of pork sausage.
Hey, can you blame them?
Oh yeah….”you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and if by some lucky chance you do, you better be prepared to see him do the same stupid trick over and over and over, until he just about drives you to the nut house”.
You see, I AM an old dog, and ever since discovering a new egg poaching trick (first learned here), I’m staying up nights thinking of all the different ways I can use the lovely things. This dish, the second in as many weeks to highlight the eggs is, I’m afraid, just the start of my old dog doing a stupid new trick routine, ad-nauseum.
My apologies in advance.
It’s hard to believe that a whole month has passed since my first foray into the world of Charcutepalooza, but here I am again with another post dedicated to the fine art of charcuterie. If you’ll recall, my last Charcutepalooza post was for Corned Beef Hash, and was crafted to meet that month’s challenge which was all about brining. This time around came the call for a brined and hot smoked pork loin in order to make a homemade “Canadian Bacon”.
Now I don’t know about any of you, but the words Canadian Bacon conjure only one image in my mind, and that would be a delectable Eggs Benedict (Hmmm…I actually just had another one pop into my head, but if it’s all the same to you, we won’t be discussing Egg McMuffins today, OK?). I’m sure there will be a delightful variety of non “eggs benny” recipes posted by other Charcutepaloozers (thats loozers, not losers), but for me, the darling of brunch menus everywhere, the Eggs Benedict, is the highest and best use of the lovely bacon we’ve made.
This post marks my first foray into the world of homemade charcuterie, and if the success of this dish is any indication, we are in for a fun and delicious few months of experimenting with this rather ancient culinary tradition. You see, I’ve joined a group of adventurous food bloggers in what has been named “Charcutepalooza – A Year of Charcuterie”. The purpose of the group, which was founded and is being managed by the amazing bloggers Mrs. Wheelbarrow, and the The Yummy Mummy, is to encourage all of us participating to delve into the mystical world of charcuterie with a little help from cookbook author and food writer extrordinaire, Michael Ruhlman.
Yeah, the poor little thing fell fast and hard, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that her Mom and I were a bit concerned, it all happened so quickly. One day she’s a sweet and innocent 5th grader on her first trip to Europe, the next she’s on her knees begging that we take her back to the little restaurant on the Ile St-Louis where she lost her heart to a……..savory crêpe. Zut alors!
That’s right, it wasn’t a handsome young frenchman that stole young Muppet’s heart (though Pierre Hermè came close), it was a delicate egg and bacon (oeuf-lardon) galette that brought her to her knees. She was, in fact, so smitten with the thing that we returned to the scene of her infatuation (the charming “Au Lys D’Argent” at 90 Rue St-Louis-en-I’lle) two more times during our time in Paris…..such are the demands of a girl in love in the “City of Light”.
What’s a guy to do when his garden runneth over with beautiful rainbow chard, and his kids are quite determined to never eat another leaf of the stuff as long as they live?
I wish I could tell you that I didn’t just toss some melted cheese on my beautiful bounty, but the fact is, that’s pretty much the story. I know…I know, it sounds like a cowards way out, please don’t hate me.
I know that we’ve already done a frittata dish here, but I am such a big fan I wanted to bring you another one. The last one we cooked together was a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants frittata that I threw together with a bunch of left-overs in the fridge, and it is that “everything but the kitchen sink” aspect of crafting a frittata that I love so much. Eggs, cheese, and almost anything else you can think of can make a delicious frittata, they are a perfect foil for any kind of leftover meat, fish or veggie you have laying about.
Today’s recipe is actually not that kind of free-wheeling creation, but rather one from a pretty great recipe that I found in Bon Appetit last month. It is a well balanced creation of meat, vegetable and cheese that really satisfies. Unlike many frittata recipes, this one is cooked in a baking dish, not a frying pan, and is cooked at a low enough temperature that it maintains a nice light texture, and doesn’t get tough as they can when cooked with a higher heat.