What type of establishment would I be running here if I didn’t do something nice to show my appreciation my loyal and valued readers at Christmas? Since you are here and you put up with me you you are deserving of something special to conveys my real appreciation for your continued patronage here at Sis. Boom. [blog!] It is a bit problematic, however, for a food blogger to gift an entire blog readership even when that readership is, you guessed it, only 10 people!
Still, I have to do something . I’m a giver and I can be very resourceful when it comes to a challenge. Ask anybody. And I’m nothing if not creative so I knew with a little time and effort I could come up with something. And I did. I came up with what I think is the perfect gift for me, a now internationally famous food blogger , to give you. I am going to give each of you the gift of a one very special, magical cooking word. Are you ready for your gift? Here it is…
I know! Right? Oh yes, you are so welcome! I do hope you like it! (I have the receipt if you want to take it back for something else but I don’t think you will find anything quite so useful.)
Yes? Oh. It appears that some of you haven’t quite figured out just how special a gift this truly is so let me explain. You see now that you have the word “rustic’ in your arsenal you are now equipped to transform just about any of your small kitchen failures into dishes that are both strangely romantic and surprisingly evocative of an easy going country life.
What you had previously just considered “a mess” can now become a “simple, unsophisticated, yet warm and charming” masterpiece of your culinary expression. Amaze all of your friends.
To use the gift properly you just have to be sure to stick the world “rustic” on your description when people ask you “um, what it this?” Yes, its that easy! Just like magic your guest’s expectations will morph to allow you to accept your much deserved accolades and kitchen kudos.
The word has has served me well and now, because I love you, I’m giving it to you! And just in time for the holidays! See, I told you I’m a giver.
When I fail to expertly flip an omelet for Sunday breakfast, I will push the mess around a bit more in the pan, tack on this magic word and suddenly I am presenting an “authentic rustic French pan frittata” to the table. My chef moment is saved while my husband proclaims to our guests what a great regional chef I have become. (If you try this at home don’t forget to garnish with chopped parsley until you get the hang of using the word. Parsley is always added insurance so do have plenty around.)
When my popovers failed to pop recently I just called them “rustic English breakfast dumplings” and everyone oohed and ahhed — and then scarfed them all down. I’m sure it helped matters a bit that my guests were a bit hungover from a late night of drinking — but don’t underestimate the power of “rustic”. Just because you have a headache doesn’t mean you will willingly eat what should have been garbage. Garbage has to be sold!
“I have never even heard of breakfast dumplings before! Wow Trevor, so buttery and tasty! ”
Last week I had to dust off the word yet again after inviting a dear friend over to lunch. She was coming to trim my tree and so I really wanted to impress with something nice. (And by ‘trimming my tree’ I mean she was trimming my Christmas Tree.) The pate a choux I had intended for this tart did not cooperate so a After much effort to re-roll and repair its tears I finally gave up any notion of using a fluted tart pan. I just pushed and pushed it freestyle into a spring-form pan, mashing it together with my wet fingers where the pieces had torn apart.
I was braced to apologize profusely and be tres embarrassed when it came time to feed my lunch guest until I remembered that all I really had to do was add the world “rustic” to our lunch menu item and all would be forgiven. Better than forgiven actually as I had inadvertently stumbled on a luncheon theme that even excused the sparseness of my offering. I served the warm tart with only a simple arugula vinaigrette salad and that became part of the charm too.
Yup, this is one powerful word I give you today. Use it carefully and I do hope you enjoy it!
Merry Christmas Boomers!
Rustic Swiss Chard Tart
This is what you will need:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 ounces bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, ribs removed
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup creme fraiche, sour cream combined. (You can sub Greek yogurt for either.)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
- Handful raisins
- Handful toasted pine nuts
- 1 deep tart shell, pre-baked in a 9-inch springform pan.
This is how you make it:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a saute pan and fry the shallots until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Remove to a plate.
- In the same pan, fry the bacon until the fat has rendered and the lardons are crispy.
- Remove to the plate with the shallots.
- Divide the chard leaves from the ribs: chop the ribs quite small and shred the leaves.
- First, fry the ribs in the bacon fat until tender.
- Add the chard leaves to the pan, cover, and wilt, about 3 minutes.
- Beat the eggs together with the creme fraiche, and season with salt, and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss the shallots, bacon, chard stems and leaves, cheese, raisins, and pine nuts, to combine evenly.
- Taste, and season.
- Fill the tart shell with the vegetable mixture, and pour over the cream mixture.
- Bake until the tart has set, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the tart from the oven, and cool.
- Serve at room temperature.
(Cook’s Note: You may want to cover the pan for a few minutes to speed up the process.)