Delectably delicious


Like bacon, leek and blue cheese? Joan Bishop shares a recipe that's a particular favourite.

This is an extremely versatile and could well become one of your regular ''go to'' recipes.

 

It calls for a few basic ingredients, a little chopping, some brief sauteing in a fry pan, then it is left to cook unattended for about 40 minutes.

During this time the leeks soften, blending with the eggs and the cheeses to produce a mellow golden slice - think crust-less quiche.

For me this falls into the realm of comfort food - comforting, but not in any way bland.

The fruity-tangy notes of blue cheese are quite subtle and Parmesan complements the other ingredients.

Leeks, with their gentle sweetness, are a suitable foil to bacon's salty, spicy flavour - all in all a delectably delicious mouthful.

Perfect for lunch or a light dinner when served with a seasonal salad and a big pile of crusty bread.

It is outstanding picnic fare, easily transportable, cuts without disintegrating and does not need to be reheated.

I also love to serve this as a pre-dinner nibble, cut into bite-size squares - it is ideal finger food; no cutlery required.

Bacon, leek and blue cheese slice

Serves 4 for lunch

Ingredients
200g lean bacon rashers, rind trimmed, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium-sized leeks, washed, halved lengthways and finely sliced (250g prepared leeks)
1½ Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
5 large eggs (size 7)
1 cup milk, blue top
⅓ cup sour cream (I use light)
100g self-raising flour
100g blue vein cheese, chopped into small pieces}
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
Heat the oven to 190degC on bake.

Lightly spray the inside of an eight-cup capacity ovenproof dish and line with non-stick baking paper, allowing an overhang on all sides.

Spraying the dish first ensures that the paper fits snugly. I use 26cm x 18cm x 6cm dish.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tsp of the oil and when hot add the bacon and cook for seven or eight minutes until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and leave to cool a little.

Heat the remaining oil in the frypan over a low heat and add the leeks and rosemary. Cook slowly and gently, stirring frequently for seven to eight minutes until softened, but not coloured.

Tip the leeks into the lined ovenproof dish and scatter the bacon evenly over the top.

Combine eggs, milk, sour cream and self-raising flour. I usually do this in a food processor. When well mixed and completely smooth, add the chopped blue cheese and pulse to just mix all together.

The mixing can be done with an electric beater, but the cheese must be cut into quite small pieces before being added to the egg mixture. Season to taste, but don't add too much salt as both bacon and blue cheese are salty.

Gently and evenly pour the mixture over the leeks and bacon in the ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes until puffed, golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the dish for about 20 minutes before lifting from the ovenproof dish (holding the baking paper sides) and on to a serving platter.

Gently pull the baking paper out from under the slice. Cut and serve while still warm.

If you prefer, make the slice ahead of time, cover and refrigerate for up to four days. Remove the slice from the fridge an hour or so before serving to return to room temperature.

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