Wednesday, 28 March 2012

ROTW, Week 11: Asparagus Bacon and Goats CheeseQuiche

this morning, I got up earlier than usual because Brandon needed me to walk the dog while he did something for work.

I went to clip my nails and my nail clipper broke, literally snapped in half, when I tried to use it.

someone left a pan filled with water in our wet sink overnight, and a rust ring formed on a sink I now have to live with for two #@$T% years.  guess who is going to be using his elbow grease to scour it off before I kill him? (this is not a first offense)

some pushy horrible commuter shoved her way in front of me at the train and stole the seat.  then she screamed at someone for not moving out of the way fast enough when we both exited at the same station, and I felt more justified in wishing I could trip her surreptitiously.

my coffee is AWFUL.  I'm sorry super nice barista at Sbucks who usually does a superb job and always has a friendly snippet for me, but this is not drinkable.

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh is it Friday at 6 yet??

Oh yeah.  And recipe of the week for last week, which AGAIN I did not post.

Here it is.

yay for the iPhone, but I want my real camera back please...time to look through all the remaining boxes.

Asparagus, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Quiche
based on this recipe from Joy the Baker (most of the text is hers with no editing.  My additions will appear in italics.)

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups Cup4Cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (or, since the beauty of expensive Cup4Cup flour is its easy  1 for 1  substitution, you can just use all-purpose.)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk

For the Filling:

1 1/2 cups diced asparagus
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
6 large eggs
1 cup milk (I used 2 percent)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
pinch of salt and coarse ground pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or Gruyere cheese
1 large shallot, chopped
3" of bacon, chopped.**
4oz of goats cheese.

**the way I use bacon for cooking, in every single one of my recipes, is as follows:  I freeze the bacon after I buy it, in its little package.  I remove the bacon from the freezer as needed, hack 2 or 3 inches off the block across all the slices of bacon, and then I put the remaining block back into the freezer for next time.  Then I simply slice the bacon block into strips across the slices, and get little bacon pieces that defrost quickly, perfect for cooking.  This may seem self-explanatory, but the first time I did this around Brandon it blew his mind (and caused him to realize why we never eat full slices of bacon in my house.**
To Make the Crust:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.  Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture.  Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk and buttermilk.   Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture.  Use a fork to bring to dough together.  Try to moisten all of the flour bits.  On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture.  It will be moist and shaggy.  Sprinkle generously with flour.  That’s perfect.  Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Allow dough to rest in the fridge while you assemble the filling.  Dough is easiest to roll out when it’s cold and rested.

When you’re ready to roll out the crust, on a well-floured work surface, gently roll out the pie crust into about an 11-inch circle.  Press together any spots that might tear.  Carefully lift down and place into the 9-inch pie plate.  Use a pairing knife to trim the edges of pie dough, leaving about 1/2 inch extra dough overhang.  Fold the excess dough under and crimp with fingers.

To Make the Filling:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter or render the fat down from your bacon.  Drain excess fat, and add shallots, cooking until translucent.  Add the asparagus and the white parts of your green onions and saute until bright green and slightly tender, about 4 minutes  probably less than 4 minutes.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper, remove from heat, and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, heavy cream, and a bit of salt and pepper.  Whisk until well blended.

Add the cooked vegetables to the unbaked pie crust.  Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over the vegetables and add lumps of your goats cheese.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables and top with more cheese.  Carefully place quiche in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until quiche puffs up and does not have a loose giggle when shaken lightly.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least an hour.  Serve warm or cool.  Quiche will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to three days. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

ROTW, Week 10: Turkey Pot Pie

First and foremost, I apologize for the crappy photo.  I still cannot find my spare battery or charger and it's killing me.

Second:  this recipe did not turn out as well as I'd hoped, but mostly because I am an idiot and did things in the wrong order.  So, this will work better for you than it did for me, almost guaranteed.

Turkey Pot Pie *
(or as I like to call it, "A Great Way To Use Up The Random Turkey Legs {That Have Been In Your Freezer For 2 Years Since Your Sister Moved And Gave You All Her Leftover Food} That Comes To You In A Flash Of Genius When Your Husband Requests Stew For Dinner."  But that seemed too long here somehow.)

Turkey Filling:
1tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, medium diced
3-4 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped, if you're into that kind of thing. I hate buying celery for these recipes and then having the leftover celery inevitably go bad in my vegetable drawer, so I've chosen to forgo celery for the indeterminable future.
2 turkey legs or other turkey parts on the bone, thawed if from frozen
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth/stock
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon thyme

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour (heaping - add more if it doesn't seem thick enough)
2 cups lowfat milk (or whatever you've got lying around.)
1 cup frozen peas
1 package mushrooms, quartered, if desired
salt and pepper to taste

Basic Pie Pastry, Recipe from Tyler Florence 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon, zested and finely grated
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
Egg wash (if desired)
1 egg
1/4 cup water

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and ice water and work that in with your hands. (Or do the whole thing in a food processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients, then pulsing in the butter, and then the egg.) Check the consistency of the dough by squeezing a small amount together between thumb and forefingers: You want there to be just enough moisture to bind the dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky. If it's still crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. When you get it to the right consistency, shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.

This may seem like a huge list, but most of it is pretty easy.  Start by getting the turkey on to cook.  To begin, take a large pot and add the butter and oil, heating over medium heat until the butter is melted.  Add the onions, cook for two or three minutes, then add the carrots and celery if using.  Cook until the onions are beginning to brown, another 4-5 minutes.  At this point, add your turkey parts and the white wine, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom.  Then add chicken stock, oregano, thyme, and cover  If your turkey parts are not covered, add enough water to your pot to just cover the turkey.  Cook on medium-low for an hour.
At this point, make your pastry following the instructions above, or your preferred pastry recipe.
When the turkey has cooked for an hour, remove the turkey bits from the pot.  Shred the turkey into pieces, BEING VERY CAREFUL TO REMOVE THE TINY BONES.  After cooking this long, the turkey bones and the turkey meat look very similar.  It is horrible unpleasant to come across one of these bones in your food, so take your time and get rid of them all.  When you've cleaned the turkey off the bones, add it back the pot, turn the heat up to medium, and leave the lid off to allow the liquid to reduce. 
In another pot, a the roux by melting butter over medium heat.  Add the flour, stirring to reduce any lumps, and cook for 1-2 minutes until the roux is a beautiful golden colour.  Make into a bechamel sauce by whisking in the two cups of milk, making sure to remove any lumps, and cook for 6ish minutes, stirring, until sauce is thickened.
Add the stewed turkey and veggies to the bechamel sauce with the frozen peas and button mushrooms, is using.  Stir until well combined, then turn off the heat and leave the pot on the stove.
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Prepare your pot pies either using one casserole dish of individual oven safe bowls.  Roll the pastry onto a floured surface into 1/8 thick sheets.  Cut to appropriate size for your vessel.  Fill the vessel with turkey filling, then drape with pastry.  Brush with egg wash if desired, then bake for 17-20 minutes or until your pastry is beautifully golden brown.

If your spouse does not burn their mouth on the pot pie with the first bite, they will tell you its delicious.

*bonus use of individual footed soup bowls!  I love those darn things.  I recently (earlier today) saw them used on another blog as storage cups in the bathroom for toothbrushes/odd and ends/etc and I thought yes!  More footed soup bowl usage!  I've gonna have to buy some more.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Excuses excuses

Yes I know.  I missed posting recipe of the week last week.  I did make the recipe, so I suppose that counts for something.  I'll get to posting is soon.

But the little one has been under the weather, and I've been spending most of my time following him around, giving him hugs, and scrubbing the carpets.

Honestly though, even if I hadn't been, could you resist this face and get a lot done?

Didn't think so.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Awesome weekend (sleepless week)

I have thought a ton about what I would write for this post.

And in the end, it turns out I would rather spend time with my boys.  So yes, we got a dog.  And yes, he will be all I talk about for the next few months or so.

SO FLUFFY.  That is all.