Tomato and Corn Custard Pie

A few weeks ago I posted about a Tomato Fontina Torte with Rosemary Crust that was quite delicious. I got the recipe from a recent issue of Food Network Magazine, well, when I went to put the recipe back into my recipe binder (I’m one of those super-organized individuals) I noticed another recipe that I must have overlooked when I flipped through the magazine, a recipe for a Tomato and Corn Custard Pie that I knew I had to try and finally got around to it earlier this week. It ended up being the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

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To begin I baked the pie crust. I wish I had used my crust cover while baking the crust so it wouldn’t have browned as much during the final cooking with the actual pie in it.

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While the crust was in the oven I prepped all of my ingredients. I began by coring the tomatoes and slicing them into quarters. I then tossed them with kosher salt and spread them on a paper towel lined baking sheet so they could release their juices.

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Next I chopped up 6 scallions and divided them into two bowls and lightly beat three eggs. I took two major shortcuts for this recipe… I used pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese and instead of using fresh corn I opted to use frozen corn that I steamed in the microwave.

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Following that I reserved 1/2 cup of the cooked corn in a large bowl and placed the remaining corn, about 1 1/2 cups, in a sauté pan with heavy cream and brought it to a simmer on medium heat.

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I then poured the mixture into the bowl of my food processor and blended it until it was smooth.

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I transferred the pureed corn-heavy cream mixture to the bowl with the reserved corn and whisked in the eggs, half of the cheese and scallions and some fresh ground black pepper.

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I poured this mixture into my cooked pie crust and placed it in a 350 F oven for 35 minutes until it was just set.

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While the custard was cooking in the oven I mixed the remaining scallions and cheese along with panko breadcrumbs and seasoned it with paprika, salt and pepper.

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I reserved 1/4 cup of the mixture and tossed the remaining mixture with the tomatoes.

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Once I removed the pie from the oven I increased the oven temperature to 400 F…

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And then topped the pie with the reserved mixture and placed the coated tomatoes on top of the pie and topped it with the remaining panko mixture left in the bowl. Finally I dotted the top of the pie with a tablespoon of butter.

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I placed the pie back in the oven for another 15 minutes, until the top was golden, and let it cool for a bit before slicing into it.

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Final verdict… Absolutely delicious! The custard is a tad bit sweet because of the corn and the panko breadcrumb topping is on the savory side because of the addition of the scallions, paprika and cheddar cheese. This is a definite winner I can see myself making many times to come!

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Tomato and Corn Custard Pie

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

1 round refrigerated pie dough (half of a 14-ounce package)

2 beefsteak tomatoes (about 12 ounces)

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ears of corn, kernels cut off (1 to 1 1/2 cups) *I opted to use a 10 ounce bag of frozen corn that I steamed in the microwave)

1 cup heavy cream

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

6 scallions, chopped

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme*

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper*

*I omitted these two spices from my version

Directions:

1. Position racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough, crimping the edge with your fingers. Poke the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake on the middle rack until golden around the edge, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights; continue baking until golden all over, about 10 more minutes.

2. Meanwhile, core the tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch wedges; toss with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels to drain until ready to use.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the corn and cook stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup of the corn to a large bowl.

4. Add the heavy cream to the saucepan with the remaining corn and bring to a simmer. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blends and puree until smooth; transfer to the bowl with the corn. Whisk in the eggs, half each of the scallions and cheese, and a few grinds of black pepper; pour into the crust. Bake of the middle rack until the custards is just set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 400 F.

5. Mix the remaining scallions and cheese, the panko, thyme, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the mixture on top of the pie. Pat the tomato wedges with paper towels to absorb the excess moisture, then coat with the remaining panko mixture and arrange on top of the tart. Sprinkle any remaining panko on top; dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Return to the oven on the upper rack and bake until the top is golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before slicing.

 

 

Chicken Parm Pizzas

Aaaahhh pizza. What is there not to like about it? I have been a pizza lover since a very young age. I can remember quite a few times when I was younger (I am talking under the age of 10) when I didn’t want to eat whatever my mom cooked for dinner so then dinner for me would be a slice of pizza. When I got to college, pizza was one of the tastiest (and safest) things to eat in the cafeteria. Thankfully they switched it up every day with Hawaiian pizza, pepperoni pizza, white pizza, focaccia pizza and so forth. So, what if you combined pizza – one Italian classic – with another classic, Chicken Parmesan? Well, you would get Chicken Parm Pizzas. And no, it’s not just a breaded chicken cutlet shaped into a circle. The key to this classic combo mash-up is using ground chicken to get that perfectly round pie.

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To begin I mixed a pound of ground chicken with Italian herb blend, salt, garlic and onion powders. I divided the mixture in half and then pressed it into two 8-inch cake plans that I lined with plastic wrap. Following that I covered the two pans with plastic wrap and placed them in the freezer for 4 hours.

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Before removing the ground chicken from the freezer I preheated the oven to 400 F and assembled the three separate coatings I would need for the chicken: Wondra Flour, 3 eggs lightly beaten and a breadcrumb – cheese mixture.

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The frozen chicken…

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Which I then coated in the flour, then in the eggs and finally in the breadcrumb – cheese mixture and then placed on a baking sheet.

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I then heated olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cooked the chicken rounds until they were golden. After draining them on paper towels I transferred them to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.

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And then it was time for them to become “pizza.” I topped them with marinara sauce and sprinkled them with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

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I cooked them on the wire rack set inside the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, until the cheese was melted and the chicken was fully cooked through.

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While Chicken Parmesan is customarily served with pasta I opted to serve these pizza versions with steamed broccoli.

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Overall, these were quite tasty, but, I didn’t find them to be better than your typical Chicken Parmesan that definitely doesn’t require as much time or work. It’s definitely a nice twist on two classics though. One thing though, if I do make them again I will reduce the salt content in the seasoning for the ground chicken from a teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon (or even a 1/4) since I did find them to be a bit salty.

 

Chicken Parm Pizzas

Ingredients:

1 1/4 lbs. ground chicken

1 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb blend

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

3 eggs

1/4 cup Wondra flour

1 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

1/2 cup panko

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan*

4 tablespoons grated pecorino*

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup marinara sauce

*I didn’t have pecorino so I opted to use 8 tablespoons of Parmesan

 Directions:

1. Line 2 eight-inch cake pans with plastic wrap. In a medium bowl, mix the chicken, 1 tsp. herb blend, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. each garlic and onion powders. Divide chicken mixture and press into the prepared pans. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze 4 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place the flour on a large plate. On another plate, combine the breadcrumbs, panko, 2 tbsp. Parmesan, 2 tbsp. pecorino, and the remaining Italian herb blend and garlic and onion powders. Unwrap the chicken; remove from the pans. Coat the chicken in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet.

3. Set a rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high. Cook 1 chicken round, turning once, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer the patty to paper towels. Repeat with the second chicken round. Transfer both to the rack.

4. Combine the remaining cheeses. Spread the marinara on the chicken, leaving a 1-inch border; sprinkle with the cheese mixture. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.