Wish Upon A Dish

May 7, 2015

Italian Supreme Hero Quiche with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Employee birthday's where The Nudge works was always celebrated by bagels and spreads or donuts. When I showed real refusal of this tradition, he told me to make something healthier that would feed the office peeps. First year I made a quiche and a pan of brownies. Please don't ask me what year that was but since then the annual bootee has grown to three quiches and two large trays of brownies.

OK the brownies are not all that healthy, but better than donuts, don't you think?
I do take shortcuts, like buying frozen crusts (Oronoque Orchards Deep Dish Pie Crust made by Mrs. Smith are the best) and pre-cut vegetables.

The crusts are sold two to a package, I needed three so that 4th crust was our dinner. I made enough filling for four and he took three into work, 1 - Quiche Lorraine, 1 - Asparagus and Mushroom and 1 - Italian Supreme.
I took all the extra leftover fillings and bake them into ours. This was a true hodge podge. 

Lately The Nudge needs to know exactly what is in his dinner (to tell the lunchroom gang what he's eating) and last night was no exception.

Here is the laundry list:
Sweet & hot peppers
Fontina cheese
Basil & thyme

I know this quiche was excellent becauseThe Nudge insisted I take a picture and post the recipe. I handed him the camera and told him to make it a good one.
He did pretty good and since he deserved credit, I held up my end.

The egg/cream mixture was based on a Martha Stewart deep dish quiche recipe with addition of nutmeg and fontina cheese. While you may be tempted to sub half & half for the cream and milk, I have made these both ways and the half and half has a looser texture after baking.
While hers was enough for 2 (9") spring form pans, I halved the recipe for one (was a perfect split). I would suggest you think about baking off the two and freeze one for a time when dinner needs to be easy.

I served a side of marinated tomatoes and cucumbers over a spring mix.

Basic Quiche Filling
makes enough for one 9" deep dish quiche

* 3 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 cups whole milk
* 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 8 oz. brick Swiss cheese, freshly grated
* 3/4 cup cooked vegetable/meat mixture of choice
* 1 frozen of homemade deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 375°. Defrost the crust.
1. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle half the grated cheese over the bottom of the crust. Place in the oven until it just starts to melt.
3. Pour the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg into a blender and mix thoroughly.
3. Spoon the filling mixture of choice evenly over the softened cheese. This will anchor the filling so it will not move when the dairy is poured in.
4. Fill the pie shell with the egg/cream mixture up the edge of the crust. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the quiche and place the sheet pan in the oven. Once the pan is on the oven rack add any additional cream mixture without going over the edge.
5. Bake for 10 minutes and reduce the oven to 325° and bake another 60 minutes.
6. When the time is up jiggle the pan and if the center still moves, return it to the oven for another 10 minutes. The quiche is done when the center of puffy and stable.
Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

April 21, 2015

Shrimp & Chorizo Tacos ♥ Spring Cleaning - Recipe ReDux Challenge April 2015

Nothing new on the food scene as far as our eating goes, so nothing much to blog about.
We opened the grill and made prosciutto wrapped cod on a plank and a spatch-cocked roaster.
All familiar dinners already on this blog.

I finally had a day to learn how to make corn tortillas from scratch. After making the masa dough, you press golf ball sized balls of dough using a glass Pyrex pie plate or by buying an inexpensive aluminum press. I have also read that a few use a pasta roller.

I wanted small tortillas (around 4") for tacos so I used a medium ice cream scoop. Just make the balls, line them up and with a cut up plastic quart bag, press one, cook in a cast iron skillet, press another and repeat until all the dough is used.
I made 16 tortillas, 7 small and 9 larger (for enchiladas tomorrow).

I do agree with those who make their own. It is worth the time but you can make them ahead and if wrapped well (in serving sizes), they can be frozen for another use. Pressing the tortillas is something a child of 4+up could easily do. Let them help.

My first batch was small, just for a test and while I had concerns about the pliability (they go into a container stiff), I was encouraged the next day when rewarmed in foil, they returned to a form that easily wrapped around a filling without breaking. It also gave me a chance to make adjustments in the seasoning for the next time.

Tonight I made a full batch. I chose to add a tablespoon of vegetable lard (or veggie oil) to the dough along with 2 teaspoons of a premixed Mexican spice blend.

Turns out this dinner also was perfect to complete this month's Recipe Redux challenge.....

Spring Cleaning - Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.

I have had this package of D'Artagnan Chorizo in my fridge since Christmas. When I found a recipe for Seafood Chorizo Tacos over at Food & Wine, well, that and the chance to finally make my tortillas was enough to cook something that was not anything I have ever cooked before.
It felt good to get back into the kitchen to create something new and will be the last chance until next month. My attention is needed to find a new home for my aging father so I made the decision to finally move my blog over to Word Press and let the professional deals with all the new Google changes. I see I have found the right time to start this new phase in my life with a whole new look.

Shrimp & Chorizo Tacos
makes 4 servings

* 16 corn tortillas, homemade using this recipe as a starting point or store bought
* 1 pound large shrimp, veined and chopped
* 2 chorizo links, skinned and finely chopped
* 1 small red onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* Pinch of cumin to taste
* Hot sauce to taste
* Salt & pepper
* 1/4 cup lager beer
* Lime juice
* Agave nectar

Serve with:
pickled onions, avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo, lettuce and lime wedges

1. Season shrimp with salt & pepper. Heat a heavy skillet with vegetable oil and saute the chorizo, onions, garlic, cumin and sriracha until the onions are soft and the chorizo is browned. Add the shrimp and cook until it turns white.
2. Add the 1/4 cup beer, lime juice and agave and boil, stirring constantly until the liquid makes a glaze.


April 4, 2015

The Best Classic Buttermilk Pancakes I Ever Made

I have tried hundreds of pancake recipes and while a few have been passable, none were ever "hmmmm, hmmmm, good" enough.

Until last weekend.

The Nudge used to ask for pancakes. I give him a choice of whatever he wants on Sunday.
Yes, anything he wants. Dangerous? I think not. He's easy, he only ever asks for 3 things and in order of breakfast love, are:

Eggs Over Easy

(all with a side of bacon,) and

Eggs Benedict (only on holidays, ty)

Lately I noticed a slight adjustment. Pancakes had been cut from the cast and I have a new breakfast I need to perfect. French Toast.
There are rules. No sliced white bread, rustic thick sliced bread, no filling, no fruits and crunchy on the outside, creamy in the middle.
That's when I went looking for a new pancake recipe.
Hey it's Sunday morning, my day to read the paper and drink coffee in bed, you know, a small snippet of time, where I don't do one thing for anyone but me? It may be a small window of time but since he gets the rest of my attention, I insist on keeping mine.
Last two weekends I had to make the milk/cream soaking mixture, slice dry bread into equal thicknesses and watch as my second cup of coffee gets cold while my pan gets hot, sigh.

If I can find the ultimate pancake recipe, I will have my Sunday mornings back again.
I need those 3 hours to recharge my batteries.

Wow, warm weather better get here fast, so I can slice bagels, open the tub of cream cheese and the mixed container of fresh fruits along with a glass of Sangria, sitting outside in the sun with the paper and a cuppa and still have "my time".

I am happy to report that not only are these the best pancakes I ever made (I actually think I can get a 4 hour morning!),  I can make this batter the night before and it's even better the next morning.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Fine Cooking, I am totally in debt. Now find me a French Toast recipe that passes the rules and can be made the night before and I might even subscribe to your magazine.. 

Basic Buttermilk Pancakes
makes 3 Tbs. unsalted butter; more for serving
Adapted from FineCooking.com

* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used ICBINB lite)
* 9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 2 cups buttermilk
* 2 large eggs (I use x-large)

* Vegetable oil for the griddle (I use a butter-flavored spray)

Maple syrup for serving

Heat the oven to 200°F. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove and set aside to cool briefly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.

Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium heat (or set an electric griddle to 375°F) until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.Cooked pancakes will keep, sealed in freezer bags, for up to 2 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes.

Size : per pancake; Calories (kcal): 110; Fat (g): fat g 3.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 30; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1.5; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 16; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 170; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 30; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;