I'm the kind of person that is constantly thinking of flavour combinations, and how best I can use my favourite ingredients. Chorizo, squash and feta are three of my all time favourites, but I've never used them together. As soon as I knew that I was going to make this, and I could envisage the golden colours of the chorizo and butternut squash melding into deliciousness, the phrase popped into my head.
"In television history, the "tart with a heart of gold" has become an important archetype in serial drama and soap opera, especially in Britain. During the 1960s, the character of Elsie Tanner in British series Coronation Street set the mold for future characters such as Bet Lynch (also Coronation Street) and Kat Slater (EastEnders). Characters of this nature are often depicted as having tragic lives, but put on a front when in public to create the illusion of happiness. More often than not, these female characters are vital to their respective shows, and inevitably become some of the biggest stars in British Television" (from Wikipedia)
However, this particular tart has a hint of elegance about it. More Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman) than Elsie Tanner or Bet Lynch. I think it is the cool saltiness of the feta, against the sweetness of the squash, and the spicy chorizo. This is definitely one of my all time favourite flavour combinations.
You may remember that I recently posted about the pastry course I went on at Eckington Manor. I didn't want to leave it too long without trying out what I was taught, so a tart using the shortcrust pastry method we used seemed like a good idea. As Mike is away at the moment, the chorizo, combined with butternut squash and feta, is an indulgence just for me.
I began by preparing the chorizo and butternut squash. Cutting each into similar sized chunks and dry frying the chorizo, while roasting the squash in some olive oil (seasoned with 1/2 tspn salt and 1/4 tspn black pepper). The squash took about 30 minutes at 190 (fan), turning half way through.
|Chorizo fried until tinged golden brown and the oil has run
|Roasted Butternut Squash - some thyme added just at the end of cooking
Once baked, I added the filling, using about 80g chorizo, 80g squash and 60g feta (crumbled). I then made a simple mix whisking 2 eggs and 150ml of milk together (and then passed through a sieve to ensure no lumps), then adding a pinch of salt and pepper. I poured this over the filling, and returned to the oven (160 fan) to cook until the custard had set.
Once the tart had cooled for about 30 minutes, it held up well to cutting. The taste was fantastic - sweet, salty, spicy, with a crisp buttery pastry.
Some of the golden oil from the chorizo had spread through the custard to help give that lovely golden colour I had imagined. The chunks of feta held up well. I was really pleased with it, and will definitely make it again.
It was perfect for lunch. I hope you enjoy it.