Thursday, August 17, 2006

Onion Cheese and Bacon tart

If there's a word to sum up my cooking style, it will undoubtedly be Timid. Or some called it unadventurous. I normally will not try a recipe unless:
a) it has been tried by many with positive reviews
b) I can imagine how it is going to taste
c) it comes with a picture

So I actually surprised myself by baking a bacon and onion tart from scratch. By this, I mean I made my own tart pastry. An apparently daunting task for many cooks and bakers. Of course there are many celebrities chefs who trumpet the ease of making the perfect crust with food processor. I think I would join the food processor clan and mocked at those who couldn't make the crust. Too bad I don't have a processor.

I do have a loyal and dependable pastry blender. And some extra flesh on my arms that needed exercise. So I made the crust in the old fashioned way. You know what? It turns out that making the crust is not that difficult! Mine was quite presentable actually. This suddenly reminds me of the saying " The greatest fear is fear itself". How true!

Speaking of the crust, I think the key point is keeping everything cool. The butter and shortening especially. you want to cut the fat into the flour in the shortest possible time without melting them. Thanks to the countless scones making process, I am quite familiar and competent in this aspect. After the fat was cut into peas sizes, a few tablespoons of icy cold water was added to the flour mixture. Just a few tablespoons of water, until the mixture can be formed into a dough. That's about the most challenging part of the recipe for me.

To cut down on fat, I replaced the cream with nonfat milk. It still tasted very rich actually. I can see myself making this tart again soon.

On the same night, we had a yummy roasted potato salad with the leftover Caesar dressing from yesterday.

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