Saturday, September 19, 2009

trash: food: quiche

Quiche is infinite possibility and infinitely forgiving. I'm putting it under trash cause it's super handy for using up veggies that are on their way out, and in my typical hedonist mode of over-indulgence always, the more your toss into the quiche-heap, the better. 

I actually decided to make quiche in the first place because my neighbor gave me a dozen eggs from her boyfriend's farm, on top of the 8 or so I had in the fridge. So this one is made with farm fresh eggs, local buttermilk, and mostly farmer's market veg - although the shallots are not. Neither is the cheese, which is also not a veg. I used buttermilk because it's the only true liquid dairy I keep on hand; I also had soymilk but that seemed silly, although not something I'm above. Most quiche recipes call for milkmilk and/or cream. As for the crust, I used a quiche dough recipe from a baking book I have which involved flour, butter and an egg + the littlies (salt, baking powder, water). I'm not including it because crusts are standard and you can find your own. 

Quiche Filling 

3 shallots or 1 onion (or 2 shallots and half an onion in this case), chopped and caramelized
4 sweet anaheim peppers, chopped large and sauteed in olive oil to soften
1-2 medium red potatoes, boiled and then cubed and browned in olive oil
To taste: basil leaves (maybe about 15), sliced/shredded

1 c. buttermilk
4 eggs
1/4-1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Bragg's 
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 scant c. cheddar, shredded
1/2 scant c. smoked mozzarella, shredded
pre-heat oven: 375

Here is exactly how I did this, because I like to layer, but the details, while God is always in them, are still up to you:

one: whisk together buttermilk, eggs, paprika, Bragg's and salt in a medium bowl. 

two: layer smoked mozzarella over bottom of your choice crust in pie pan. spread potatoes on top and cover with a portion of your milkegg mixture.

three: mix shallots, peppers, basil and remaining cheese into remaining milkeggs.  

four: pour this remaining mixture into crust. transfer to oven and bake for about 1 hour or until jiggle free and toothpick clean. 

allow to cool.

I'm eating this for lunch with a light white: Seignuers de Bergerac, 2006 Bergerac Sec - a Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon-Muscadelle mix, which is totally drinkable and completely in my under $12 price range. 

The best thing about quiche is, like I labeled, its trash factor. You can swap any other thing in for any of the choices I've made here. Good swaps: mushrooms, chard, spinach, zucchini or summer squash, okra. All sauteed. And whatall else you're trying to make use of, including different cheese choices. 

The smoked moz is my vegetarian pick, because it has that nice ham-y taste of smoked cheese without being over-powering and without being ham. I'm also not a big fan of peppers, and it happens to be pepper season here in the BR, so the farmer's market is packed with them. I always think I'm going to like stuffed peppers, and don't get me wrong, they're totally palatable, but after the one orzo-stuffed batch and then the one cornmeal-stuffed batch, I'm pretty much over it. The sweetness of the peppers, combined with the caramelized shallots, balances the smoked cheese. Sticking them in here also adds a nice texture and allows me to feel like I'm helping to save the world.  

sweet: pb cookie ice cream sandwiches

Homemade peanut butter cookies and homemade Candied-Orange Peel Ricotta Ice Cream. It sounds a little weird, but the citrus flavor goes really nicely with the peanut butter - think peanut sauces, which generally have a vinegar component - and the vanilla/ricotta base holds it all together. Yes, literally. 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

sweet: candied orange and ricotta ice cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
5 egg yolks!
1 tsp. vanilla
up to 1 cup ricotta 
1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel (see recipe below!)

one: heat 1 c. cream + milk + sugar + salt until small bubbles appear around the edges. bout 3-4 min. stir as you like!

two: in the meantime, separate your eggs, beat yolks and get a metal bowl set up in an ice bath. last c. cream goes here! 

three: pour half of your warm milkcreamsugar mixture into the egg yolks to bring up to temp. stir! pour egg yolk mixture back into remaining milkecreamsugar! continue to heat, stirring constantly, scraping bottom, until the mixture thickens slightly! bout 4-8 min. 175-180 degrees.

four: pour into cream in ice bath and stir until cooled to 70 degrees-ish. now stir in vanilla + ricotta. a whisk works wonders. 

five: put in fridge to cool thoroughly - maybe 4 hrs.

and six: pour into ice cream maker! add candied orange peel to ice cream maker! just before removing ice cream to a container to freeze! to proper ice cream consistency! 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

sweet: candied orange peel

This recipe is from my 1960s edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. Candied orange peel is a pain in the ass to find if you live in the BR, and I'm sure that if one did find it, they would also find it to be prohibitively expensive. The recipe is easy and requires little hands-on time, aside from the cooking peels in sugar part. It's tried and true, although I cut the recipe down by a third since I only had two oranges. Also recommended - don't use the cast iron skillet that you usually use for fried noodles and such, because it will give your orange peel a little bit of a something else flavor.  

Here is the recipe in it's entirety - further comments below:

3 oranges
1 tbsp salt
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water

Cut peel of each orange in sixths: loosen from pulp with bowl of  spoon. (Save orange sections for breakfast.) Add salt to 4 cups water; add peel. Weight with a plate to keep peel under water; let stand overnight.

Drain; wash thoroughly. Cover with cold water; heat to boiling. Drain. Repeat three times. This helps remove bitter taste.

With kitchen scissors, cut peel in strips. In saucepan, combine 2 cups peel, sugar, and 1/2 cup water. heat and stir till sugar dissolves. Cook slowly till peel is translucent. Drain; roll in granulated sugar. Dry on rack. 

the end.

First off, that spoon part is not a lie. This kind of thing is the reason people still have a need for Hints from Heloise. Other things? My peel still seems a bit bitter, so be sure you bring it to a full boil each of those three times. Then, prepare to stand over the stove for a while stirring. I'd say I let the peel simmer in the syrup for at least half an hour. 

And you get an orange flavored syrup out of it too!