Mel has returned with not one but TWO delicious treats for your enjoyment. If you are a frequenter of her blog, you knew this was coming, as she posted these last night in anticipation of today's Snacks on Snacks. If you aren't a frequenter of her blog, you're messed up in the head. To enjoy, BSD foodies!
~ Spider's Web Bacon, Onion & Rosemary-Tomato-Cream Soup ~
6-8 slices thick-sliced, very crisply fried and drained bacon, chopped and set aside, drippings reserved
6 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 pound yellow or sweet onion, chopped into 1/2" bite-sized pieces
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, or canned broth
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
creme fraiche, for garnishing soup
Step 1. Prep the bacon as directed and set aside. Place 6 tablespoons of the drippings in an 8-quart Dutch oven. Refrigerate, freeze or discard the remaining drippings. Discard? NOT!!!
Chop the onion as directed, placing them in the pot as you work.
Over medium-high heat, caramelize the onions, stirring frequently, until they are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Step 2. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock and black pepper. Adjust the heat to a gentle, steady simmer. Place the rosemary sprigs on top of the soup and cover the pot.
Simmer 10-15 minutes. Rosemary will have lost its bright green color.
Note: Rosemary is a powerful herb. Remove and discard it at this time, so it doesn't overpower the soup with its flavor.
Step 3. Stir in the cream. Over low heat, warm the soup, stirring frequently, until it is steaming. Do not allow to simmer or boil.
Step 4. To serve, portion chopped bacon in the bottom of each of eight warmed serving bowls. Ladle 1 1/2 cups of soup into each and garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche!
Recipe yields 3 quarts of soup.
~ BOO-Cheese, & Spiny-Tooth Pine Nut Tartlets ~
5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed (not cooked), drained and squeezed dry
4 ounces Danish blue cheese
2 ounces grated Emmentaler Swiss cheese
1 jumbo egg
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 box Pillsbury pie crusts/2, 9" pie crusts, rolled with a rolling pin to a 10" diameter
1/2 cup pine nuts
Wondra quick-mixing flour for sauce and gravy, for preparing mini-tart pan(s)
Step 1. Prep the spinach as directed and set aside.
Step 2. Grate the Swiss cheese as directed and set aside.
Step 3. In a 1-cup measuring container, whisk together the egg, cream, nutmeg, red and white pepper. Set aside.
Step 4. Using a 3"-round cookie cutter, cut each crust into 12 discs.
Step 5. Sprinkle the bottom of one or two mini-muffin pans with flour. You'll be making 24 tartlets. Using your fingertips, place and press each pastry disc into the bottom of each muffin mold, to form 24 mini tart shells.
Step 6. Using your fingertips, evenly distribute and lightly press about 1/2 teaspoon of blue cheese into the bottom of each shell. Do the same with the spinach, then Emmentaler. Lastly, distribute all of the pine nuts over the tops.
Step 7. Briefly rewhisk the egg/milk mixture. Slowly drizzle or spoon the mixture, just a little at a time into each, being careful not to overfill or overflow any of the tarts. Evenly distribute ALL of the mixture amongst the tarts. Note: If you do happen to spill or drip, blot the drips up using a paper towel, as they will burn and cause the tarts to stick to the pans when baked.
Step 8. Bake on center rack of preheated 400 degree oven 14-15 minutes, or until the filling is puffed, set, and the pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and rest in pans 3-4 minutes. Using a thin spatula or a fork carefully lift tartlets from pans to cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: These can be prepared one day in advance. Loosely cover cooled tarts with plastic wrap. Do not refrigerate.
"WE ARE... PENN STATE!!!"