Tag Archives: goat cheese

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart Recipe

Gentle Readers, on occasion The Practical Cook has a dream. Generally speaking they are about food, and this one involved sweet potatoes and bacon, with goat cheese. That dream was realized this week in the form of a rustic tart. Better still, The Eldest Practical Cook Junior said, “Mama, you need to blog about this. You need to tell people how delicious it is.” Yeah, I won dinner.

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese and Spinach Recipe

For the instructions on how to make the tart part, visit my original Rustic Tart Recipe post. This will guide you on how to make the filling.

3 or 4 pieces top quality bacon
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean, peeled, and cut in circles by hand or on the thicker setting of a food processor or a mandoline
1  shallot, diced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 or 4 handfuls of baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste
splash of balsamic vinegar
goat cheese
2 refrigerated pie crusts (or homemade, if that’s how you roll)

Hello beautiful sweet potatoes.

Hello beautiful sweet potatoes.

1. Fry the bacon in a pan until crisp over medium heat. Set the bacon aside, and reserve the extra fat in a bowl. Leave enough in to coat the pan.

Fine, I fried more than 3 pieces of bacon at once.

Fine, I fried more than 3 pieces of bacon at once.

2. Keeping the heat on medium, saute the sweet potatoes and shallot in bacon grease for a few minutes, until the shallots soften. Add the rosemary, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste. Add extra bacon grease as needed to keep the potatoes from sticking. (You can also add a few tablespoons of water to assist in the steam-frying of the potatoes as needed.)

Saute the sweet potato mixture until the potatoes are partially, but not fully cooked.

Saute the sweet potato mixture until the potatoes are partially, but not fully cooked.

3. Continue to cook potatoes until they’re al dente. They shouldn’t be completely cooked, just partially cooked. Take the pan off the heat and add the splash of balsamic vinegar.

The happy intersection of bacon and sweet potatoes.

The happy intersection of bacon and sweet potatoes.

4. Stuff the Rustic Tart according to instructions, splitting the filling between two pie crusts, adding goat cheese and the reserved bacon (chop it first) to the filling.

Divide the sweet potato filling evenly between pie crusts.

Divide the sweet potato filling evenly between pie crusts.

Top the sweet potato mixture with goat cheese and chopped bacon.

Top the sweet potato mixture with goat cheese and chopped bacon.

Fold up the sides of the rustic tart and brush on the egg wash (Thanks to the Juniors for helping with this step).

Fold up the sides of the rustic tart and brush on the egg wash (Thanks to the Juniors for helping with this step).

Enjoy! Thanks to my friend @VeggieMacabre for the request, and for newly converting to sweet potatoes. There will be more recipes coming. I buy them in restaurant quantities.

Serve the sweet potato bacon rustic tart warm or room temperature with fruit or a salad.

Serve the sweet potato bacon rustic tart warm or room temperature with fruit or a salad.

What do you like to do with sweet potatoes? Post a comment below!

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Tomorrow, Christmas Tapas, A Simplified Holiday Menu.

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Fig Salad, Composed and Lovely

Gentle Readers, after yesterday’s meat-fest, you’ll be happy to know that today’s recipe comes in two versions: lightly pigged and pigless. Fresh figs are beautiful, and they have such an affinity for bold flavors. Fig Week has had several variations on the theme, each very different.

Fig Salad with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Fig Salad with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Read on, for a fig salad that would work well as a base for many other toppings, or even on a pizza crust.

Fig Salad, Composed and Lovely Recipe

Prosciutto Being Seared

Prosciutto Being Seared

arugula, cleaned and tough stems removed, heaping mound of
4 to 6 figs, quartered
2 slices of prosciutto (or a handful of toasted pecans, for the veggies)
goat cheese to taste (try for local, it rocks!)

Dressing:

1 Tablespoon fig preserves
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1. Arrange arugula and figs in a bowl. Meanwhile, pan-sear (medium heat, heavy pan) prosciutto until lightly crisped. Remove and chop, and set aside to cool.

Arugula and Figs, Together Again

Arugula and Figs, Together Again

2. Top salad with cooled prosciutto and goat cheese to taste.

Layers of Flavor: Add Goat Cheese and Prosciutto to Figs and Arugula

Layers of Flavor: Add Goat Cheese and Prosciutto to Figs and Arugula

3. Drizzle dressing atop the salad. Enjoy.

Simple and elegant, this was a nice break from the norm. It was complex, crunchy, peppery, and goaty. What’s not to love?

Are you a fig fan? Do you plan to be after fig week? Post a comment, or Tweet my way.

Ideas, questions, deep thoughts? Email practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, we finish Fig Week with Fig Simplicity. Tune in to see.

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Recipe for Fig Burgers

Gentle Readers, what exactly is a fig burger? You’ll be relieved that The Practical Cook is not creating a mutant veggie (er, fruit) burger in the test kitchen. This is but a reference to one of the dominant tastes. Based on a recent field research report from VeggieMacabre, I started thinking about burger variations. Since figs love pigs, I thought of sausage. But why stop there?

Fig Burger, Slider Sized

Fig Burger, Slider Sized

Fig Burgers Recipe

I’m sharing the full complement of options here, feel free to amend at will. For vegetarians, just omit the meat. The Youngest Practical Cook thoroughly enjoyed her second slider that way.

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls Make Excellent Slider Buns

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls Make Excellent Slider Buns

1 lb mild pork sausage (bulk, not link)
1 lb hamburger meat
salt and pepper
1 package of slider buns or whole-wheat dinner rolls (shown here)
goat cheese
arugula
fig preserves

Pack of Sausage, Pack of Ground Beef, Locally Sourced

Pack of Sausage, Pack of Ground Beef, Locally Sourced

1. Divide sausage and hamburger meat in half. Combine half of each in a bowl, form into small slider-size patties. Form patties of sausage and patties of hamburger meat (seasoning the burger meat with salt and pepper) with the remaining, respective halves. You now have sausage-burgers, sausage, and hamburgers. Congrats.

Sausage-Burgers in the Pan

Sausage-Burgers in the Pan

2. Cook them in batches or in two large heavy-bottomed skillets over medium heat to your preferred doneness. Since 2/3 of these contain sausage, I recommend past the trichinosis stage.

Sausage: Not Suitable for Medium-Rare

Sausage: Not Suitable for Medium-Rare

Burgers Awaiting the Pan

Burgers Awaiting the Pan

3. Assemble fig burgers. Using a slider bun, pick your meat of choice (or omit). Add a slice of goat cheese, a healthy dose of arugula, and a schmear of fig preserves. Enjoy.

Fig Burger Fully Dressed

Fig Burger Fully Dressed

Hands down, my favorite here was the pure sausage patty. It formed a potent flavor rhombus, with each strong flavor balancing the other out. The sausage-burgers were also a hit, but the nuance was lost under the other strong flavors. They’d make great standard burgers, or you could mix fig preserves and ketchup or mustard for a “special sauce.”

Think outside the bun, indeed.

What are your favorite crazy burger combinations? Comment below, or risk me showing up behind you and peering over your shoulder. Or just Tweet.

Comments, photos, and more can be emailed to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, Fig Week marches on with Fig Salad.

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Introducing the Goaty McBeet Burger

Gentle readers, on occasion, dinner is more about marketing than dinner. When not using her alternate identity, the Practical Cook is a practical marketing professional. She has found the skills are most useful in both parenting and cooking. If you think you’re a beet hater, let me introduce you to the Goaty McBeet Burger, no longer a loathed root, but now a proud vibrant part of the cheese-bun tradition.

Goaty McBeet Burger with Slaw

Goaty McBeet Burger with Slaw

Goaty McBeet Burger Recipe

Squeaky Clean Beets

Squeaky Clean Beets

Slice the Beet!

Slice the Beet!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub and peel 3 or 4 small to medium-sized beets. Slice in 1/ 4 inch slices. Put a large piece of foil on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and arrange beets in a single layer, turning over to coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dill (fresh or dried works fine). Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until beets are soft.

Beets Oiled Up for Roasting

Beets Oiled Up for Roasting

Sweet Roasted Beets

Sweet Roasted Beets

Create your scarlet wonder by layering beets and goat cheese on a bun. Top with slaw (may I recommend Extremely Practical Slaw?). Voila, you’ve got borscht deconstructed, in a convenient hand-held application. (Sorry, my marketing brain just kicked in again.)

Goaty McBeet Burger, Open Face

Goaty McBeet Burger, Open Face

What else do you like to serve on a bun besides burgers? Post a comment or send a Tweet!

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