Broccoli and Jalapeno Cheddar Quiche

I have the recipe to a delicious quiche Lorraine in my cookbook, and decided it was time to share this other great quiche recipe. It takes time but it’s a pretty wonderful lunch quiche! 1 quiche makes 6-8 slices!

Basic Quiche Crust – 1 shell
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus additional flour for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
16 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter (8 oz), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water
Canola oil

Place 1 cup of the flour and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the butter a small handful at a time. When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is completely blended with the flour. Reduce the speed,add the remaining flour, and mix just to combine. Add water and mix until incorporated. The dough will come around the paddle and should feel smooth, not sticky.

Remove the dough from the mixer and pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a day. Lightly brush the inside of a 9-by-2-inch high ring mold with canola oil and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and rub on all sides with flour. Flatten it into a larger circle using a rolling pin. Roll the rolling pin back and forth across the dough a few times, then turn it 90 degrees and roll again. Continue to turn and roll until the dough is 3/16 inch thick and about 14 inches in diameter.

Carefully lower the dough into the ring, pressing it gently against the sides into the bottom corners of the ring. Trim any dough that extends more than an inch over the sides of the mold and reserve the scraps. Fold excess dough over against the outside of the ring, it will prevent it from shrinking down the sides as it bakes. Check for any cracks or holes in the dough, and patch with the reserved dough. Place in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 20 minutes. Reserve the remaining dough scraps.

Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the quiche shell with a 16 inch round of parchment. Fill the shell with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the shell for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the edges of the dough are lightly browned, but the bottom is still light in color.Carefully remove the parchment and weights. Check the dough for any new cracks or holes, and patch with thin pieces of reserved dough if necessary. Return the shell
into the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottom is a rich golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow the shell to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Broccoli and Jalapeno Cheddar Filling – for 1 shell
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups whole milk
6 eggs
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 head of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 cup Jalapeno Cheddar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a saute pan over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup water and 4 tablespoons butter, whisk until combined, add the onions and reduce heat. Cook until the onion have softened and the liquid has thickened. Turn off the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together milk, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Scatter 1/3 of the cheese, half the onion mixture, and handful of broccoli into the cooled quiche shell. Pour egg batter until broccoli is covered. Repeat layering one more time, and on top of the batter add the remaining cheese. The quiche shell should be filled to the top.

Bake for 1½ to 1¾ hours, or so until the top of the quiche is browned and the custard slightly jiggles when the baking sheet is shaken. Remove the quiche from the oven and let cool to room temperature on a rack. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 day, or up to 3 days.

Once the quiche is thoroughly chilled, using a sharp knife, scrape away the excess crust from the top edge. Open the ring to release the quiche and carefully lift off the ring. Return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To serve: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a long serrated knife while supporting the sides of the crust, carefully cut through the edge of the crust in a sawing motion. Switch to a long slicing knife and cut through the custard and bottom crust. Repeat, cutting the quiche in to 8 pieces. Place the pieces on the baking sheet and reheat for 15 minutes, or until hot throughout.

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Freezer Cookies!

Ok let me explain! When I go out of town I like to leave John treats, and when I go out of town for an especially long time I have to get creative. These Special Double Chocolate Cookies are rolled up, placed in the freezer, and all he has to do is slice and bake.

They are great for keeping in the freezer at all times, they come in handy when you don’t have dessert on hand! Also I’m not shy to admit I love cookie dough, and this is a great one to cube up and add to an ice cream base while churning…;)

Special Double Chocolate Cookies – about 4 dozen cookies
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, sliced
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted or 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine butter and chocolate in an oven safe bowl, and place over 1 inch of boiling water, whisk until combined and everything has melted. Mix butter chocolate mixture and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and continue to beat. Then add flour, soda, and salt. Stir in oats, pecans (or coconut), and chocolate chips.

Mold into a long cylinder and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 4-5 hours or overnight.

To bake, cut cookies with a sharp knife into 1/4-inch thick slices. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Don’t overbake the cookies otherwise they will be too crunchy.

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Sorry there’s no pic of a baked cookie, as I mentioned they are for John while I’m away!

Apple in Calvados Ice Cream

I decided to post another ice cream so soon because…I made it to celebrate my 25th birthday!

This ice cream was made in a similar way to the espresso ice cream I posted, but it’s all about the calvados and the hint of apple. It’s smooth, creamy and absolutely sinful, and it’s a fun way to serve apples in calvados as an accompaniment to cheese.

I just realized I should probably explain what calvados is…well it’s a sweet apple brandy that is commonly shared as a digestif, it was also one of Jame’s Bond drink of choice.

Apples in Calvados Ice Cream – 1 quart
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup calvados
All the apples from the jar of “Apples in Calvados”, quartered (net weight: 7.4 oz )
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup calvados

Combime 3/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup calvados, and quatered apples in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and turn the heat down to low, simmer for 10 or 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and pass through a fine-mesh strainer, pushing on the fruit to extract as much puree as possible. Place the puree in an ice bath and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, cream and 1/2 cup sugar. Once it begins to steam, remove it from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the egg and egg yolks – whisk. Carefully ladle the hot cream into the egg mixture while whisking constantly! Continue to do this until you have mixed in half the cream mixture. Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Once you can draw your finger along the back of the spoon in the custard and it stays, it is thick enough, and can be removed from the heat. Strain the custard, and place in an bath to cool. After 10 minutes, stir in apple puree and remaining calvados.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (at most 2 days). Freeze ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to instructions. Then transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Enjoy this very adult treat!

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Espresso Ice Cream

I’ve been experimenting with different ways of making ice cream by starting with a caramel. While making this I was a little worried about using so much water in the recipe, but I promise this has a creamy texture you won’t forget!

The ice cream pairs really well with freshly sliced strawberries, so be sure to give it a try.

Espresso Ice Cream – 1 quart
1 cup sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup freshly brewed strong espresso
1 egg
6 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

To make the caramel:Combine sugar, cream of tartar, 1/3 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling uncover the pan, and cook the sugar until it’s a light golden brown. Remove from the heat, because the sugar will continue to brown anyways. Stand back and carefully add the heavy cream. Return the pan to medium-high heat and whisk the cream until the caramel is dissolved and completely smooth. Then whisk in milk and espresso, remove from heat and set aside.

To make the ice cream base:In a bowl, combine the egg, egg yolks, and salt – whisk. Carefully ladle the hot espresso cream into the egg mixture while whisking constantly! Continue to do this until you have mixed in half the cream mixture. Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Once you can draw your finger along the back of the spoon in the custard and it stays, it is thick enough, and can be removed from the heat. Then stir in the instant espresso powder and strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

Place the strained base in an ice bath, and cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (at most 2 days). Freeze ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to instructions. Then transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Enjoy this coffee flavored treat!

Loubieh aka: Green Beans, Tomato and Onion

This is a traditional Lebanese dish that isn’t much to look at, but tastes amazing! And it takes advantage of all the fresh green beans your getting from your garden. Now depending on your traditional Lebanese family, you will sometimes see this dish prepared with lamb – but I don’t do that, and for a very good reason, my mom never did, because Loubieh was typically a Friday night dinner, and we never ate meat on Friday’s. My mom would also pull the leftovers out the next day to serve with whatever meal we were having, so it makes a great side dish also.

John prefers to eat Loubieh on the second day, because the flavors have had time to meld, I agree with him, that it naturally tastes best the second or third day. So please enjoy this veggie friendly meal with plenty of pita bread!

Loubieh – makes 7 cups
4 lbs green beans, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
2 roma tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
Pita bread

In a large pot, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the onion, cook until softened, not browned. Add the garlic and tomato, and stir until garlic is fragrant and tomatoes look softened. Add the tomato pasta and mix well. Then add green beans to the the pot, and toss with everything to coat. Pour enough water to cover the green beans, bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat so that the mixture is just simmering.

Stir the pot every 20 minutes, until all the water has cooked off. Once the water is below the top of the green beans, check the pot every ten minutes, stirring carefully not to smash the beans. Once all the liquid has cooked off, turn off the heat, and allow beans to cool.

Serve Loubieh at room temperature with plenty of pita bread. Or refrigerate for up to 3 days, in a sealed container, and bring to room temperature before serving.

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