I’ll tell you something. I want the country of my childhood back. Soon. The news today is totally distressing on so many fronts. It puts me in a totally bad mood thinking about what I just read over here at Uppity’s.
So, I was going to work up a short story but I won’t — because it would be too truthful this morning.
During this whole election past, (assuming one can trust ANY POLITICIAN) I liked McCain’s stance on Country First. I wrote a little about Nationalism back then and why I felt we needed that as a country. Really. The Country has GOT TO TAKE CARE OF ITSELF AND PEOPLE FIRST right now. But will it?
I don’t know.
So I wanted to try and make an Easter Sunday for my husband. It’s been really hard since we lost our parents and my grandparents because I used to do it for them? I did.
So, I was pretty distracted when I was out shopping for things to fix — I really wasn’t sure whether I was going to make Easter Eggs or not — and I didn’t. I bought a Hula Hoop (still made in the USA!) and Candy from See’s and strawberries and oh well…
He loved it. I hadn’t made Quiches in ages — years actually — because I was looking at my pans and truly I couldn’t remember the last time — maybe a decade? Seriously. I have a bunch of different pans I could have used but it seems to me in the early days of this marriage I got two pans from one of those displays you used to see in supermarkets? So I used those — after ages! And, I used Julia Child, natch — for the launching point.
Here is how!
Totally easy and from scratch…
Uppity had “Poverty recipes” up over at her place. Cooking is a way to lift the soul — maybe out of “emotional poverty” — ?
As you grow older as a cook, you don’t worry so much about having the right things because you can always improvise?
Foolproof crust (seriously) —
2 and a half cups of white flour
2 sticks of butter — chopped into pieces
I teaspoon salt
Put the top three things into a food processor and pulse until you see smallish crumbs form. Have a cup full of ice cubes and water handy. Turn the machine back on and drizzle the water in until the crust forms a ball and climbs the spindle! Unplug the machine and divide the dough in two halves. Place each half on waxed paper — flatten into a circle and refrigerate for 20 minutes to rest it.
Then — roll out on a lightly floured board and fit into your pan. It should look very rustic — so fold the crust in charming ways around the edge. If you have some beans and tinfoil you can use those to “weight” the pastry? Or if not — just “prick it with a fork” and place into an oven at 450 for 15 minutes.
Watch and if you see the sides falling push them back up with a wooden spoon — halfway through…you are just pre-baking them like this so they won’t be soggy…
Now for the fillings…
The first one was sauteed mushrooms, cheddar cheese and bacon. Shred about 4 ounces of cheese — and fry about 6 pieces of bacon. Saute the mushrooms in a small amount of butter or olive oil (about twenty smallish ones — brown and white- mixed — sliced)…
Turn down the oven to 375 when the shells are done. Let them cool a few minutes.
Lay in about about two thirds of that cheese, then mushrooms, then the bacon — cut into smallish pieces. The “quiche” can be made of anything you choose — but the egg “custard” part is always the same. Take a two cup measuring cup. Break three large or four small eggs into that and scramble. Fill with milk or half and half or (if totally decadent) heavy cream until you get to the one and a half cup mark — including the eggs. Sramble that together and pour over the quiche — it should just cover all that stuff in your pan. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top! Bake this at 375 for about 30-35 minutes. It will be puffed up slightly and the crust will look pale golden.
So, I made two…
The second one had Monterey Jack cheese, ham, one bunch of asparagus (lightly steamed) and three shallots.
Steam the asparagus till just done and bright green after snapping off the ends — they should be about 6 inches long after? Saute the chopped shallots as you did the mushrooms. Fry one of those small hamsteaks like you get out for breakfast — or — improvise — the total trick with the asparagus is to plunge it into ice water right after it’s finished (keeps it green) — (works on broccoli too) —
So, lay in two thirds of the cheese over crust two — then all the asparagus in a single layer. Cube the ham and toss that over — then the shallots — shallots are a fab little onion — very delicate. If you can’t find them you could substitute regular onions or even green onions…
Then make the same egg mixture as above until you have One and a half cups… assemble and bake as above.
I was emotionally scattered yesterday — but I did manage to make a potato salad I have done for ages — just for Easter. I first read about it from the Silver Palate chefs…geez…time flies…but this is a GREAT COOKBOOK! Truly! I got that when I was first married and I have some very key things I learned from them that I always have used over time. That was their first cookbook…very charming…especially the illustrations…
Boil about 8 peeled potatoes as if you plan to mash them. Chop one half of a purple onion, and one quarter to one half a cup of fresh dill. You need one cup of sour cream. Mash potatoes slightly, add sour cream, onion and dill. Mix well, salt and pepper to taste– and chill. This is totally no fail — people will adore it — and it has Scandinavian flair! (Also goes with salmon)…
I had these whole plans for deviled eggs and, oh well, dessert, but….?
We were satiated. He went for that quiche like mad — It was worth it.
On Easter I always made Lemon Bars — I got the lemons but, instead we watched a movie.
While we ate the box of candy…. (half anyway)…OMG.
Those quiches may seem really decadent but they aren’t. One quarter of either of them isn’t much different than a breakfast out if you were having a big omelet…they look really beautiful, too. Very rustic, and one of the good things about them is that they can be served piping hot or lukewarm — they hold up well if you are having a brunch…
I was thinking of the rare occasions that my mother actually cooked. My grandmother liked souffles. I swear. Cheese or chocolate souffles!
I like big peasanty rustic things like the above — scratch is simple, and you know what is in it.
Those quiches were 10 inchers. You could make them in pie pans too — or even cake pans if you wanted — or even square pans. The crust will hold together and you can lift the whole thing out — carefully. Some nice bread and a salad would have rounded out this table for at least eight people if not 10.
If you aren’t cooking for a crowd anymore? Hmmm….
Hugs, and don’t miss Uppity today… she and RD always nail it. Every time.