Category Archives: Snacks & Appetisers

Savoury Sunday – Carmelised Onion, Mushroom & Gorgonzola Tart

Carmelised anything is good in my books. Onions? Love! Combined with sautéed mushrooms? And strong cheese? Count me in!

I’ve never done a formal analysis of the people I follow on twitter but I would say that “Food Tweeps” would be a significant part of it. I participate in a food twitter chat, #FNIchat – Foodies Night In,  on Monday whenever I am able and love being part of the community.  I also follow some of my favourite chefs, food magazines, and television shows as well as food loving people I have discovered on twitter from around the world.  With all these people, there is a constant stream of delicious food photos and recipes that appear in my twitter feed.

I saw this recipe in my twitter feed one day and knew I just had to make it. This recipe is based one from Alex Caspero – @delishknowledge  a Registered Dietician in California. from her site, Delicious Knowledge.

One of the things I was excited about is I feel like I am getting my cooking mojo back. When reading through the recipe, I was able to make some immediate adjustments to the recipe for the situation, e.g., no time or inclination to make crust, adjustment to my tastes in the type of mushrooms used, and for future versions. See notes below.


Carmelised Onion, Mushroom & Gorgonzola Tart

INGREDIENTSMOT-10-BakedTart
1 package of pie crust¹ – not a pre-formed pie shell because the tart is not that deep.
1 tsp. oil
1 onion, thinly sliced²
16 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced³
Sherry for sautéeing
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional for an extra kick)
salt/pepper
¾ cup Gorgonzola cheese∞

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stirring often, let the onions cook until reduced and browned, about 20 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan.
  • Add the mushrooms in a single layer. Cook the mushrooms over medium heat and cook until browned on both sides. Add in a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using).
  • Follow instructions on package of pie crust. Unroll and press into a lightly greased tart pan
  • Sprinkle on ½ of the cheese and then layer in the onions and mushrooms and cover with remaining cheese
  • Place in a 400ºF degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden, hot and bubbly.
  • Serve warm or at warm temperature.

Notes:

  • Since one of my friends at this gathering is a vegetarian, I used olive oil. Otherwise, I would have used bacon fat to sautée the mushrooms and onions
  • Instead of using all white button mushrooms, I used a mix of white and Cremini mushrooms. I think next time, I’ll also add some Porcini mushrooms with strong nutty flavours to amp it up even more.
  • Another addition I would like to try is diced roasted garlic. This is when you take a bulb of garlic, slice off the tops, drizzle with olive oil and roast till soft. After cool, squeeze the garlic clove out of its papery skin.
  • I would put the cheese in the freezer for about an hour so it would crumble into smaller and more even pieces in order to be able to spread it evenly over the crust and topping the mushrooms and onions. More cheesy deliciousness in every bite!
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Tomato Bacon Jam

IMG_6769One of the great things about twitter has been finding like-minded folks and the opportunity to learn wonderful things which includes food lovers from around the world who are generous in sharing their knowledge and recipes.

I first encountered @FoodGuruChannel on either a food chat or a travel chat, and I was able to give her some recommendations for places to try when she and her family headed up to Vancouver and Whistler BC for a few days of holidays. With her twitter stream, I saw many delicious things and this Autumn, she posted a picture of Tomato Bacon Jam that she had received from @Farminista’s Feast . Tomato B A C O N jam!!

Intrigued, I looked up the recipe and decided it wasn’t too difficult… I just needed to get the tomatoes from the farmers’ market.

TomatoBaconJam

The finished product! Mmmmm…. Bacon

SAVOURY TOMATO-BACON JAM

  • 6 pieces cooked, smoked bacon; finely chopped
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped* – see note below
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup white sugar*
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels. You can slice up the bacon before cooking or crumble bacon strips when cool.
  2. Stir tomatoes, sweet onion, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce together in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Stir in chopped bacon and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the spread is very thick, about 1 hour. Adjust salt and black pepper.

The one thing I do love about cooking is that you can adjust to your own tastes to what you know you like, as well as to what ingredients you have on hand.  This would also account for what time of season it is and what type of tomatoes you can find. I have always loved tomatoes and even as a kid, I’d be happy to just cut them into wedges, sprinkle with salt and snack away.  I think Heirloom tomatoes are great like that, and to let their great colours show through. This could be fun to do with all yellow or orange tomatoes to let the colour of the bacon contrast against the rest of the jam (and maybe this is when I would stick with white sugar only). There is also a note in the recipe about seeding and peeling the tomatoes; I like texture so kept the skins on and seeded about half the tomatoes so the texture was just right for me.

IMG_6771

The Additions

I added:

  • Brown sugar for depth of flavour – next go round, I think I will try 1/2 cup of each white and brown sugars
  • Shallots because I had them
  • Garlic because I love the flavour
  • Woodford Reserve Bourbon for a touch of vanilla sweetness
  • Bowmore Islay Single Malt Legend Whisky for a touch of smoke
  • Liquid smoke because I wasn’t able to get the double smoked bacon
  • Spray of balsamic bacon vinegar

There are a few other bacon jam recipes that I have collected that I will need to try, and I will post about them here  🙂

Like @FoodGuruChannel, my favourite way to have this jam has been spread on a good bread as a base for a grilled cheese sandwich. MMmmmmmmmm!

Have you had any recipes that you saw on twitter that you just had to try?

Day 4 – FMS Photo A Day – Can’t Live Without…


Many thoughts swirling in my head today but nothing concrete and today’s #NaBloPoMo prompt didn’t do it for me so I am going with another daily prompt.

Popcorn+jugToday’s FMS Photo A Day Prompt for Day  4 – Can’t live without…POPCORN! my snack of choice for almost my whole life. (I am also a big fan of corn too and love corny jokes.)

Toppings of choice:   Butter but sometimes olive oil in a mister

  • Butter, Parmesan  cheese (introduced to me by one of my eldest sister’s friends) and Cajun spices.
  • Bacon salt – sometimes with maple sugar for a bit of savoury sweet
  • Lime Citrus salt + finely ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil infused with garlic and rosemary

I have had my popcorn maker since I was 17 years old. A good ol’ Proctor Silex, when small appliances didn’t break down after 2 years. It has moved across the country with me to Montreal and back home to Vancouver.  Part of the reason why I have never “upgraded” to a fancy new model is nostalgia. Popcorn and iced tea was always on the menu when my best friend and I got together for our all night (and I mean all night) gab sessions through high school and university.

Do you have an all time favourite snack? Does it tie in with any special memories?

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