Farmers Market Finds & A Goat Cheese, Bacon, Onion & Tomato Pie

This past Saturday, if you haven’t already figured out, I went to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s Markets are obviously an addiction for me. I could be a Farmer’s Market Hoarder. Because I want everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I’ve bought cutting boards, bowls, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, BBQ…pretty much anything I’m in the mood for at the time! Last post, it was strawberries. Before that it was honey. And this week, I just couldn’t make up my mind! Clearly….

Pepper Place Farmer's Market, Birmingham, AL

Farmers Market Goodies

But one thing that was very clear to me was that I wanted some tomatoes. And what a week to want them. They were just gorgeous! Heirlooms, Clusters, Beefsteaks, Cherry, Green…they were everywhere! Swoon!

Combination of Beefsteak & Cluster Tomatoes

Farmer’s Market Tomatoes, Basil & Onion

Now I just had to figure out what to make! I always make BLT’s. I mean who doesn’t?!?! But I wanted more! So the longer I walked around “sampling” the market with my The Home T Tote Bag (Seriously go check them out), it dawned on me. Tomato Pie. With Bacon. And Caramelized Onions. And GOAT CHEESE. Ahhh…this was going to be good. And it seriously was.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Just look at that Tomato Pie Goodness!

This is really an easy dish to make. And one that is so versatile you can eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Take it to a picnic, serve it at a party or a reunion! It’s really just good anytime!

First thing to get started. Slice your tomatoes about 1/4″ thick into a colander. I used a combination of Beefsteak & Cluster. You use whatever kind is in season and looks the best from your market. Lightly salt & pepper them and let drain of any excess juice and seeds for at least 30 minutes. You don’t want the pie to be soggy, and this will help.

Sliced tomatoes drained in a colander

Let these sit for at least 30 minutes!

While you are letting those tomatoes sit, prepare your other ingredients. Slice your onions, chiffonade your basil, prepare your pie crust & chop your bacon. If you have forgotten…click here for the easiest way to prepare bacon and always have some ready to go! For the pie crust, I wanted to keep it simple this time. So I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust. All you have to do is place it in your pie plate and then pre-bake it for 10 minutes. Simple as that. If you want a homemade pie crust…you can click here for my homemade version from my Aunt Inez. Either way will work just fine.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

While your pie crust is baking and cooling, you need to caramelize your onions. Drizzle your olive oil in a sauté pan. Once the oil is hot, add your onions and sauté for about 25-30 minutes. Don’t stir these too often. Just enough so that they aren’t sticking to the pan. You want them to be a rich, warm & brown in color.

Once the onions are done and the pie crust cooled, it’s time to start layering the ingredients for the pie! Start with your tomatoes. You want these in a single layer barely overlapping each other. Next, add your onions and bacon. About half of each. Then spread out your basil, pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella. About a 1/3 for each layer.

Goat Cheese Tomato Pie Layering

The First Layer of the Goat Cheese Tomato Pie

Continue with the next layer and then finish with a layer of tomatoes. Here is where you will add the rest of the cheese & basil. I also added a little bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese, but that is up to you!

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until your crust is golden brown, pie is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned! Let the pie rest and cool on a wire rack or trivet for at least 30 minutes – up to an hour. Then serve! Serve it with a salad, drizzle some balsamic on top, or just eat it by itself! Which is what I did. All. By. Itself.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

We need Smell-o-Vision AND Taste-o-Vision for this!

This is definitely my new favorite way to make a Tomato Pie! And my inspiration came straight from the Farmer’s Market! If you haven’t been to your local market…go this week! It’s well worth your time. You’ll be supporting your local farmers…and who knows what other inspiration you may find!!

Let me know what you think! Enjoy! 🙂

Fresh Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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4-6 Fresh Tomatoes (Heirloom, Beefsteak, Cluster) Sliced 1/4″ Thick
Refrigerator Pie Crust (Or Homemade…Click here for recipe)
1 Medium Onion Sliced Thin
3/4 lb Thick Cut Bacon, Cooked & Chopped (Around 6-7 Slices)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Handful of Fresh Basil, Sliced in a Chiffonade. About 2-3 tbsp.
4 oz Herbed Goat Cheese
1 c Shredded Mozzarella (I used a little less)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Fresh Grated Parmesan for Dusting

1. Slice Tomatoes about 1/4″ thick and place in a colander. Salt & Pepper and let stand for at least 30 minutes to drain seeds and extra juice.
2. Slice onion into thin slices to caramelize. Set aside.
3. Chiffonade fresh basil & set aside.
4. Place refrigerated pie crust in a pie plate. Bake according to instructions. Then set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While tomatoes are draining & crust is baking/cooling, caramelize the onions.
6. Drizzle olive oil into a sauté pan and begin caramelizing onions until brown on medium heat. Stirring occasionally. About 25 minutes. Set Aside.
7. Begin layering tomatoes in the pie crust in a single layer overlapping a little.
8. Add bacon & onions on top of tomatoes. Then top with basil chiffonades.
9. Add pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella on top of basil, bacon and onions. About 1/3 of each.
10. Repeat layers until tomatoes are the last layer. Then top with remaining cheese and basil. Dust the top of the pie with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
11. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until cheese is browning & pie is bubbly.
12. Let cool for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving.

“Grab & Go” Sausage and Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

I am the world’s worst about eating the most important meal of the day.  Sometimes I will scramble some eggs on the weekend, but I almost NEVER think about breakfast during the week.  My biggest problem is time.  I always seem to be short of it.  Because I am just not a morning person.

Not. At. All.

That blaring alarm in the morning scares the crap out of me.  Then I cut it off and back to sleep I go.  This routine happens for at least 30 minutes every. single. morning.  So there goes the 30 minutes I could have had for breakfast.  And if I tried to get up earlier…well…you don’t want to know.

I decided this weekend that I really need to change that horrible habit.  And to ease into my new routine, I knew I needed something I could make ahead to “grab & go”, JUST IN CASE, I caved and hit that snooze button.  So I came up with these “Grab & Go” Sausage and Cheese Buttermilk Muffins!

Ingredients for Grab & Go Sausage & Cheese Muffins

Ingredients for Grab & Go Sausage and Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Brown your sausage (If you’ve read my other posts, then you know I use Wright’s Sausage) and drain very well. Next, you will want to mix your dry ingredients together (White Lily flour, salt, sugar & nutmeg). In a separate bowl, whisk together your beaten egg, buttermilk & melted butter.

Now…pour your wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. This will not be a smooth batter! So just make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated together and not over mixed. Finally fold in your sausage & cheese. You will want to grease your muffin tins with some cooking spray. I always use Pam Butter Flavored Spray. Then just spoon in the batter to the top of each tin.

Sausage & Cheese Muffin Batter

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffin Batter

Bake these for 15-18 minutes depending on your oven. You want the bottoms brown and the tops golden.  Let cool and then spoon each muffin out of the tin to serve.  I can just taste these now!!

 

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

Luckily…it’s the weekend. And this Sunday morning I’m not in a rush. So I’ll start my new routine off slowly. A cup of coffee, a magazine & my Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffin(s).

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffin

Easy Sunday Morning to Enjoy These Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

Thankfully, I’ll have the rest of the week to rush around and quickly enjoy these as a “grab & go”!

Hope you enjoy!!

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: Simple Southern Living

2 1/2 c. Self Rising Flour
1/3 c. Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 ¼ c. Buttermilk
1 Egg Beaten
¼ c. Unsalted Melted Butter
1 lb Browned Sausage (I used Wright’s Spicy)
1 ½ c. Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Brown the sausage & drain well.
3. Mix flour, nutmeg, sugar & salt.
4. In a separate bowl you want to mix beaten egg, buttermilk & melted butter together.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until incorporated.
6. Fold in cheese & browned sausage.
7. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and then spoon in mixture to about the top of each hole in the tins.
8. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.

Let cool and then spoon out each muffin from the tin. Brush tops with melted butter or spray butter then serve.

Oven Roasted, Flavored Bacon! My Mouth is Already Watering….

I. Love. Bacon.

Let me say that again. I. Love. Bacon.

I mean who DOESN’T?!?! Well…those crazy kids that don’t eat meat dislike bacon. And I just feel sorry for them. Because bacon just makes EVERYTHING better! And there are so many different ways to use bacon! Chocolate-covered, maple-glazed, pepper-crusted, in a drink, crumbled, sliced, candied…the list just keeps going! I’ve even had a bacon topped ice cream sundae. And it made that plain ‘ole ice cream…BETTER!

But there is only ONE way that I actually prefer to COOK bacon. And that is in the oven. Yep. In the oven. I used this trick many, many years ago at the beach and it has just stuck with me since! Very little clean up, less bacon smell in the house (that’s an oxymoron, I know), little effort & almost fool-proof!

Crispy Oven Roasted Bacon

Oven Roasted, Mouth-Watering Bacon

The only things you need are a package of your favorite thick cut bacon (my personal fav is Wright Brand Hickory Smoked), aluminum foil & a large baking sheet. Very simple.

Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking sheet with several layers of the foil. Then layer your bacon. You don’t want your bacon overlapping too much, so if you need an extra baking sheet then use it.

Layered Thick Cut Oven Roasted Bacon

That was really, really complicated. 🙂

Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how crispy you want your bacon (remember that it will keep cooking for another minute or so after it comes out of the oven). Drain on paper towels. Serve.

That’s all you say???!!! Yes…That. Is. All.

In this particular bacon extravaganza…I added some coarse pepper to a few of the slices, brushed some organic maple syrup on some, sprinkled a little brown sugar on a couple & left the rest alone. Clearly I couldn’t decide which flavor I wanted my bacon to be that day. And this also shows you how easy it is to mix it up without having to buy several different packages!

Crispy Oven Roasted Bacon

Mouth-Watering, Oven Roasted Bacon

**One last bacon cooking tipif you just HAPPEN to have any of that deliciousness leftover…just place it in a zip lock bag and freeze it! Then you can use the pieces as needed. Just place them on some paper towels and microwave for about 20-30 seconds! Simple way not to waste any **cough, cough**, leftovers. And really, really easy for the kids!

Let me know the different ways you decide to cook your bacon! Enjoy!

Crispy Oven Cooked Bacon

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: Simple Southern Living

1 pkg Thick Cut Bacon
Large Baking Sheet
Aluminum Foil

1. Pre Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wrap your baking sheet several times with the aluminum foil so that the grease is easy to clean up later.
3. Place your bacon strips on the lined baking sheet, careful not to overlap too much.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until desired crispiness.
5. Drain on paper towels then serve.

**You can add brown sugar, maple syrup, coarse pepper or other flavors to the bacon slices before it goes in the oven. Just make sure to use a plain, hickory smoked bacon so the flavors don’t overlap. Cooking times remain the same.

Sunday Brunch with a Sausage, Potato, Onion & Italian Cheese Frittata

Weekends.  I LOVE the weekends! But…I REALLY, REALLY love the weekends when SUNDAY BRUNCH is involved!!  Brunch is one of my absolute favorite meals especially in the Spring & Summer!  And since the weather is starting to warm up…I’m really getting the fever for my favorite times of year!! Hundreds of different egg dishes, french toast, shrimp & grits, bloody mary’s, mimosas, BACON, sweet, savory….Oh. My. Goodness. There are just so many things I LOVE about Brunch!

So in preparation for those soon-to-be weekly Sunday Brunch’s…I’m reminded of one my easy to make favorites.  The Frittata.  Sounds Fancy doesn’t it?!?!  But in reality…it’s one of the easiest & cheapest meals you’ll ever make!  A Frittata is just an egg dish with no crust!  And it is not just for Breakfast or Brunch!  It’s a supper, a lunch, a snack…basically ANY time of day.  With ANY meats or veggies you want to add to it!

For this particular one, I used what I had in the pantry.  Eggs, onions, cajun sausage, hash browns, creme fraiche, italian cheese blend & fresh herbs.

Frittata

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Take your sausage and slice into 1/4″ to 1/2″ pieces.  And also slice your onion into small slices…not chopped.  I always buy Conecuh Sausage...because it’s simply the best around!

Make sure you have greased your cast iron or non-stick skillet well with the butter before you start so nothing sticks. Now, brown the sausage and onion together until the sausage is heated through and the onion is close to translucent.  Keep stirring occasionally so neither burns or overcooks. Add hash browns at the very end just to heat through and slightly brown.

Browning the onion & sausage just for a few minutes

Brown the onion & sausage together

While the sausage & onions are cooking, whisk together your eggs, thyme, creme fraiche, salt & pepper.  Make sure to use a whisk and not a fork to mix.  You want the egg mixture to be frothy and mixed well. If you have trouble finding creme fraiche, here are some tips…You can order it online, buy it at gourmet food stores or if you have a Fresh Market nearby! I prefer to use Vermont Creamery for all of my dishes.

The rest of the ingredients...

The rest of the ingredients…

Once the eggs are mixed well, pour on top of the sausage, onion & potatoes.  Let cook on the stove top for about 5 minutes until eggs are set on the bottom. Top with Italian Cheese Blend and place in the oven to finish cooking.

Frittata is almost ready!

Frittata is almost ready!

Finish baking in the oven for another 10-12 minutes until eggs are cooked through and cheese is browned on the top.  If eggs are cooked and cheese still isn’t brown, just turn on the broiler to finish.  Remove from the oven to cool slightly.  Top with more parmesan cheese, fresh chives or parsley!

Ahhh....Frittata with some fresh tomato slices

Ahhh….Frittata with some fresh tomato slices

Slice a tomato & dig in!!  Let me know what you think!  Enjoy!

Cajun Sausage & Potato Frittata

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Simple Southern Living

1 medium onion sliced thin
1 lb Cajun Conecuh Sausage
2 cups frozen hashbrowns
6 large brown eggs
2 tbsp Creme Fraiche (or sour cream)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 c of milk
1 sprig of thyme
Shaved Italian Cheese Blend (Asiago, Parm, Romano, etc)
Butter for Greasing the Pan

**Spinach would be good to add as well.  Just adjust the potatoes to about half and cook spinach down with sausage & onions mixture.

1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees & lightly grease your skillet on the sides & bottom with the pat of butter.
2. Slice Sausage in bite size pieces and begin to brown over medium-high heat in cast iron skillet.
3. When there is some grease at the bottom of the pan, add onions until tender.
4. Then add potatoes and mix stirring frequently to heat through and lightly brown.
5. Whisk the 6 eggs, crème fraiche, milk, salt, pepper & thyme leaves together until mixed smooth (use a whisk and not a fork).
6. Pour egg mixture on top of browned potatoes & onions.
7. Sprinkle shaved cheese mixture on top of eggs while they are setting.
8. Let eggs set on the sides & bottom for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
9. Finish baking eggs in the oven until cooked through and lightly brown.  But not overcooked. 10-15 minutes.

Garnish with more thyme leaves, parmesan or chives.