My first recipe to share from the Epiphany Season Menu rotation. This recipe is from a Southern Living "One-Dish Meal" magazine. It was quite tasty and I'm glad we'll be getting to enjoy this! I will say that for my family of 6 I made the recipe as is and it served just enough. Next time I'll double this and make it in larger dish.
4 med leeks
3 thick hickory-smoked bacon slices
1 c shredded Gruyere (or swiss) cheese, divided
2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dry)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 package (17.3 oz) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg white
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove and discard root ends and dark green tops of leeks. Thinly slice the leeks, and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove grit and sand. (I like to let mine sit in a big bowl of water giving them a little swish here and there. If needed drain, rinse and soak again.)
Cook bacon slices in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 8-11 minues or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbsp of the hot drippings in the skillet. (I was not picky about how much was left.) Crumble bacon.
Saute leeks in hot drippings over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese, thyme, salt and pepper. (I didn't want the cheese to melt all over my cast iron pan, so I didn't add the cheese at this point. I waited and added it to the puff pastry just before I put on the leeks.)
Unfold pastry sheet; fit into a 9-in square pan with a removable bottom (I used a 10' round tart pan and served it like a savory pie instead). Whisk egg white until light and frothy. Brush egg white onto pastry sheet.
Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Remove from the oven. Press pastry with back of a spoon to flatten. Top with leek mixture; sprinkle with crumbled bacon and remaining 1/2 c cheese. Bake 5 - 7 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
* So, my tart was layered: cheese, leeks, bacon, cheese.
* Do NOT use turkey bacon. It is just too tough. The flavor of the turkey bacon was fine, but it was hard to cut. Next time I will not make that mistake.
* I served this with a big green salad and canned peaches. A crusty loaf of bread would be nice, but it just seemed like too much bread with that flaky crust.
* This seems very fancy, but it was really quite easy to make. And quite tasty!