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BEST SHOWS OF 2013: ‘Bacon Nation’s’ Recipe Developer Marie Rama

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) – Everything Tastes Better with Bacon.  Recipe developer Marie Rama is in town promoting her new cookbook, ‘Bacon Nation’ and today she put together a tasty bacon butternut squash galette’ straight from her new book. For more recipe’s from Marie visit http://therewillbebacon.tumblr.com/MarieRama .

Recipe

In the vegetable world, we think of butternut squash as a solid citizen: a food that serves as the dependable backbone of a recipe but becomes much more interesting when combined with deeply flavored ingredients. This savory tart is a quintessentially autumn dish. The last tomatoes of summer, the ripe squash of autumn, the heartiness of bacon, and the crispness of a flaky, free-form pie crust make for a fine lunch or supper on an October weekend—whether it’s an Indian summer evening or a crisp afternoon when the fallen leaves want to be raked into piles that young children can’t resist diving into. Here we provide two different, equally delicious ways to roll out and fold the pastry around the savory filling.

For the pastry crust dough

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus flour for rolling out the crust

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 to 4 tablespoons ice-cold water

For the galette

5 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch dice

Olive oil, if necessary

1 3/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into pieces 2-by-1/2–inch-thick inches long (4 to 4 1/2 cups)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut in half, well rinsed, and thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 1/2 cups)

8 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters

1 medium-size clove garlic, minced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 Make the pastry crust dough: Combine the flour, butter, tarragon, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Drizzle
3 tablespoons of the cold water evenly over the mixture and pulse until the dough holds together. If necessary, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, and pulse a few more times, just until the dough holds together. Remove the dough from the food processor and gently press it into a 5-inch disk. Wrap the disk of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

2 Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450˚F.

3 While the dough chills, make the filling for the galette: Cook the bacon in a large skillet
over medium heat until browned but not too crisp and most of the fat is rendered, 5 to
7 minutes, stirring often and adjusting the heat as necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet. You should have about 21/2 tablespoons of fat. If necessary, pour off enough fat or add enough olive oil to the skillet to measure 21/2 tablespoons.

4 Place the squash on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet over the squash. Sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon of salt over the squash and season it with pepper to taste, tossing the squash to coat it with the bacon fat. Spread the squash out in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake it until golden brown around the edges, 16 to 18 minutes, turning the pieces once after about 8 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375˚F.

5 Heat the remaining bacon fat in the skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the leeks have softened and are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook, partially covered, until the tomatoes and garlic have softened slightly, about 1 minute.

6 To assemble the galette, lightly flour a work surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pastry crust dough out into a very thin 12- to 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a large ungreased nonstick baking sheet. Arrange the squash in an even layer in the center of the round of dough, leaving about a 1 to 11/2-inch border of dough bare (see Note). Distribute the leek and tomato mixture evenly over the squash. Sprinkle the drained bacon evenly over the vegetables. Fold the border of dough toward the center of the galette so that the dough covers the outer rim of the filling. If the filling looks a little dry, drizzle the top with a little olive oil. Pleat and pinch the border of dough as necessary where the edges overlap. Brush the dough with the beaten egg (you don’t need to use it all) and bake the galette until the crust is cooked through and golden at the edges, 30 to 35 minutes.

7 Place the baking sheet with the galette on a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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