Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Breakfast Tarts

Breakfast ... it's supposed to be the most important meal of the day. Eat breakfast and your whole day is going to be better.

This is a wonderful thought. One, I think, created by people who are at home being awake and alive in the morning. I am, from the very base of my existence, a night person. If I'm awake at 6am, it's because I've stayed up all night (I'm trying to change this because the best time to play golf here is at 6am when it's not quite so hot yet).

I'm not a big cereal person these days. I used to love the stuff. Now, I'd rather have something more complex, more substantial, frankly, something without the additives, refined nastiness, and general chemical horrors required for mass production.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cooked and diced bacon
Procedure

I preheated my oven to 350F (175C).

I mixed together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using a whisk, I mixed them thoroughly.

Fortunately, I found my pasty cutter. I was worried I'd have to do this with a fork. I used the pastry cutter to cut in the shortening. Did this until the particles were the size of small peas.

I added the water a tablespoon at a time, continuing to cut the mixture with my pastry cutter. Make sure all of the flour gets moistened.

Knead the dough for a few minutes to get it into a workable state. This is where I often fail to do enough. This time, I didn't. Enough kneading and the dough becomes cooperative.

At this point, I set the dough aside in a covered bowl and put together my filling. I beat the two eggs fairly well. I wanted to break up all of the long strings of gooey stuff found in the eggs.

The bacon, I popped out of the freezer, cut off in small slices while still frozen, and tossed quickly into a hot frying pan. The bacon cooked very quickly ... maybe two minutes tops over high flame.

While the bacon fried, I quickly diced the onion.

Once I had everything I needed, I rolled out the dough to about 1/8-inch (3mm) thickness. I selected a biscuit cutter that would cut circles in the dough the right size for my little silicone tart pan.

To prepare the tart pan, I sparingly sprayed each cup with a bit of cooking spray. This would ensure that the tarts would come out utterly painlessly. I put the tart pan on a baking sheet just for ease of transport.

I then pushed the cut dough circles into the tart pan. I pressed carefully around the outside to make sure that the dough was inserted well.

Then, just using my fingers (I wash my hands often while cooking, you should, too!) I picked up a little bacon and a large pinch of diced onion and placed it into each cup. Then, using a spoon, I poured the well-beaten egg into each cup nearly filling it.

Now, we're ready to cook! 10-15 minutes at 350F (175C). Watch for the edges to become golden brown.

When mine came out, they popped out of the silicone without any complaint. So easy!

Let them cool for a bit on a wire rack and eat as soon as possible. So good!

Test Results

Primary Test Group: Delicious! Marasa! Make more please.

Test Group J: Very good!

Potential Improvements

I was a little disappointed with the shallow tart mold that I used. Lots of crust, not enough filling. I'll find something deeper next time so that we can get in more egg.

Potential Variations

As with many things, the variations are enormous. Just about any combination of egg, meat, starch, and spice is going to be good. That's the beauty of this recipe.

Conclusions

Utter winner. Hands down a breakfast treat. I need to experiment with the freezer on these. If I can cook a batch of 40 and keep them frozen until we wish to devour them like the voracious omnivores that we are ... that would be fantastic.

3 comments:

Liz said...

I'm with you, I've forsaken my cereal ways and have started cooking breakfast goodies in mass recently. I make my own variation of South Beach Diet's Vegetable Quiche cups--basically veggies like spinach and peppers with egg whites and cheese. Bake them in muffin tins, then reheat when necessary. Very tasty and filling!

Sophie said...

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James said...

Liz,

Those sound good! Although, I think I would add the egg yolks and go with broccoli rather than spinach.

But, that's just me.

Love your Warhol-avatar!