Time for food, but given the recent set of medical stupidity one must go a bit lighter. So maybe eggs, but sunny-side up, over easy, scrambled, just is NOT going to do it for me.
I WANT TASTE!. I WANT TEXTURE! I WANT SAVORY…. So a quiche, but one with real bacon, real veggies, and lots of cheese and eggs..
Quiche is essentially an custard made with milk and eggs poured into a pie crust and baked. You want just enough eggs to set the milk, but not so many that the quiche becomes truck tire. You want a bit of wobble in your quiche as it comes out of the oven. Wobble means silky, melt-away custard in every bite.
The fool-proof part comes courtesy of the French. They long-ago settled on the perfect formula of one part egg to two parts milk. A standard large egg weighs two ounces and a cup of milk is eight ounces, so a good rule of thumb is two eggs per cup of milk. One can bump this up a bit to make a more substantial quiche and go with three eggs and a cup and a half of milk in a nine-inch pie crust.
Or as one person wrote:
I always use the Julia Child ratio: put the eggs in a large measuring cup and add enough dairy (cream/half & half/milk) to bring the total up to 1/2 cup per egg. So, if you used 4 eggs, you’d add enough dairy to make 2 cups of custard. So simple to remember and a perfect blend of dairy and egg: not too thick, not too liquid, just right.
Now as per quiches, they have a reputation as a fancy French entree, and for being rather persnickety to prepare, but quiches are actually very easy to make. With a little science, some good chemistry, a proper ratio and a bit of technique, quiches can be a very good selection for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late night snack.
There are some things key to good quichery :
- Flaky Crust
- A tasty Filling
- Proper Baking
First of all, the pie crust must be tender and flaky. A good tart crust, works well.
The filling must have some kind of structure so the pie will hold together when sliced. As the eggs cook, they set, forming a custard. A basic quiche recipe using the proportions of 1-2 cups of dairy with 3-4 eggs will work. Any other add ins, (bacon, sausage, mushrooms, onions, etc) need to be fully cooked and cooled, BEFORE adding to the filling. In this case, 1 cup dairy to 4 eggs, plus my add ins. I am looking for hearty here.
Following baking times and temperatures are KEY to a quiche that is cooked but not rubbery. I.E. The center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.
You can fill your quiches with just about anything; they’re wonderful refrigerator Velcro. Leftover bacon, cooked chicken, ham, cooked vegetables, bits of cheese transform into a “slice of heaven”
It is a funny half hot / half cold day, where in the morning you want a hefty jacket, in the afternoon you want a t-shirt, and by early evening you are back in the bomber jacket…
My tastes are that way as well, I wanted a heavy breakfast, a light lunch and a meal with staying power for dinner.
I remember a wonderful dish I had at a local french restaurant, it was a chicken, broken down and browned then simmered in a broth along with Spicy Sausage, “Cajun Trinity”, sinful spices, meaty mushrooms and fresh vegetables to make a really wonder full sauce. Think similar to a beef stew with really big chunks of meat and veggies… The gravy was so thick and wonderful I was soping it up with the french bread on the table. (Yes, I know it sounds soo uncivilized, sooo unsheik, but it seems everyone else at the table was doing the same thing….)
Do note: Do not try this with boneless chicken breast, it just does not work well…
Fricassee or Fricassée is a catch-all term used to describe a stewed dish typically made with poultry, but other types of white meat (like veal, rabbit, or Cornish game hen) can be substituted. It is cut into pieces and then stewed in gravy, which is then thickened with butter and cream or milk). It often includes other ingredients and vegetables.
Gratin Dauphinois aux Lardons
My holiday dinner is fast approaching and I need to start “perfecting” side dishes. This one can serve as a side or with an increase in the bacon content and the addition of a salad, fresh bread and butter, could serve as a full entree’.
Crisp and creamy potatoes, golden crust, tender sweet onions, thick hunks of salty bacon, and a hint of garlic, (roasted for even more of a taste sensation and smooth cheese, what is not to like.
Gratin is a widely used culinary technique in food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter . Gratin originated in French cuisine and is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. A gratin is baked or broiled to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish.
Potatoes gratiné is one of the most common of gratins and is known by various names including gratin dauphinois, scalloped potatoes, potatoes au gratin or au gratin potatoes, pommes de terre au gratin, or a potato bake.
A gratin containing potatoes, cheese, and some kind of meat such as bacon, is often popular at ski restaurants during the season since it is savory, high in calories and relatively easy to cook and keep warm for an hour or more.
First Grill Of the year – Bavette
This is a wonderful recipe, a bit of a asian-fusion, a bit old style fajitas, and just all around good.
The flank steak or bavette is a beef steak cut from the belly muscles of the cow. Long and flat, the flank steak’s best known application is London Broil — a misnomer, as the dish did not originate in London. The popularity of London Broil has driven up the price of flank steak over the past few decades. It is significantly tougher than the loin and rib steaks, therefore many flank recipes use marinades or moist cooking methods such as braising.
The French are quite partial to this cut, known as “Bavette”. It is quickly seared in a hot pan and eaten rare to maintain its tenderness. Bavette is frequently served in Parisian bistros with shallots – “Bavette a l’échalotte”. Strips of flank steak, known as arrachera, are very popular in Mexican cuisine and may be used to fill tacos, or served in large pieces as a main course. Flank steak used in Mexican cuisine may be tenderized by a marinade, or by mechanical tenderizing, using a machine similar to that used to produce cube steaks.
Flank steak is best when it has a bright, red color. Because it comes from a strong, well-exercised part of the cow, it is best prepared when cut across the grain. Additional tenderness can be added by marinating the meat in a tenderizing liquid, including acids like tomato-based products, lemon juice, wine, vinegar, pineapple or ginger.
Because the marinades in Asian cuisine tend to be tenderizing, flank steak is frequently used in this cuisine.
In Chinese markets, the flank steak is often sold as “stir-fry beef” because it is how it is usually prepared. Most stir-fried beef dishes in Cantonese restaurants are prepared with this cut of beef.
Flank steak (Spanish Arrachera) is the regional term in northern Mexico and South Texas for the popular fajita Tex-Mex dish. Once cut into strips it was then called “fajita”.
The weather is on again off again, cold one day hot the next night, prime time for colds, flues, pneumonia and and such
Comfort food, what I crave when I do not feel right. (been doing that a good bit lately, chicken soup, chicken and dumplings, mac and cheese, etc ,etc), now one of my favorites is onion soup, and according to the French, you need a beef stock or brown stock to do this properly. Browned meat/bones and mire poix are roasted to take on a light caramelized brown color to make a brown stock.
Sweet Onion and Potato Lyonnaise
I have a number of events over the next several weeks and I need to refresh myself on various side dishes. This is an EXCELLENT side for a pan seared rib-eye steak or perhaps a side for an Easter Ham.
Lyonnaise potatoes is a French dish of sliced pan-fried potatoes and thinly sliced onions, sautéed in butter with parsley and possibly other seasonings. “Lyonnaise” means “from Lyon”, or “Lyon-style”, after the French city of Lyon. The potatoes are par-cooked before sautéeing for the best results.
So how to execute… I really do not want to par-boil the potatoes, maybe a sautee then finish in a ripping hot oven. Traditionally butter is used as is heavy cream, and onions.
It is spring and the Vidalia onions are fresh, so I’ll go with those, and perhaps some fresh garlic, maybe just for a twist a tablespoon of bacon drippings, (one could omit that for the vegetarians), and just maybe, maybe a bit of shreadded cheese, a Maasdam cheese to be exact.
I got to try this Dutch version of Swiss cheese, and became the proud owner of a half pound. It is a cheese that is nutty and sweet, but softer than Emmental (Swiss) due to a higher moisture content, and tends to melt smoother. Just for kicks I’ll add a bit of parsley from my counter top garden, (The parsley is becoming a jungle.)