Sunday, November 23, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios and Blue Cheese

I recently ate at a new restaurant in Austin and tried their dish with roasted Brussels, pistachios, and blue cheese. I loved how the blue cheese melted while you were bringing the fork to your mouth, and, the mix of tangy with savory.

It seemed simple enough to re-create at home. Here is my very imprecise recipe.

 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios and Blue Cheese

1/2 lb Brussels sprouts
handful pistachios
2 T blue cheese

Trim and halve the Brussels, and then set in a cast iron or other oven-proof dish. Toss with olive oil and place in a preheated 425 oven. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour into serving dish. Stir in pistachios, and top with blue cheese.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yellow Velvet

This cooked corn dish is something I would serve to guests -- warm and creamy and very, very flavorful. Also, rather simple to prepare.

I adjusted the original recipe, which called for more dishes than I was in the mood to wash. The amendments are below; original recipe can be found in the hyperlink.

Yellow Velvet
Vegetarian Times, October 2001

2 yellow squash, about 1/2 lb, thinly sliced
2 c corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 T butter
2 T heavy cream
parsley, for garnish

Bring a medium saucepans of water to a boil. Add squash and corn and reduce heat. Cook, partially covered, until tender, 6 minutes. Drain both well in colander.

Transfer squash and corn to serving bowl. Add butter and cream and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsely sprigs and serve hot.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Asparagus, Leek, and Gruyere Quiche

I can't even begin to tell you how often I make this. This fall, I've been making it just about every Sunday -- good for Sunday dinner, and then breakfast leftovers for the next few days. It really is that good.

TIP: I actually use my blender for the stage involving beating the eggs and combining with dairy, etc. This is particularly helpful if, like me, you may want to prepare the quiche the night before, but not fully assemble or bake until the morning. If you don't use the blender, then your eggs will separate out by morning and you have to re-beat. No big deal. But with the blender, it's still ready to go in the morning.

Sometimes, I get over-exuberant with the blender, and it creates too much of a froth. When this happens, the quiche does take longer to bake. Use judgment, and, a knife test.

Naturally, if assembling the night before, do not add the eggs. Simply lay out the pie crust, add the cheese, and top with the vegetables. Put the egg mixture in a bowl, and, as the oven is pre-heating, pour over the quiche.This should give it just a few minutes to sort of spread all over the other ingredients, without making the crust soggy.

Asparagus, Leek, and Gruyere Quiche
Martha Stewart
(Mine looks freakishly unlike the one on the Martha Stewart website.)

1 T butter
1 leek, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 lb asparagus, rimmed, sliced
4 eggs
1 1/4 c half and half
1 pie crust, fitted into a 9" pic plate
1 c gruyere cheese, shredded (4 oz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium. Add leek and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Place pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese; top with asparagus mixture. Pour egg mixture on top.

Bake until center of quiche is just set, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Apple Sharlotka

This Sharlotka -- a Russian sponge cake -- is nice because it is actually very, very light. With less than 1 cup of flour, this is more of an apple crumble, but with form. 

My Springform pan is 9", as opposed to the 8" in the recipe below. Therefore, the cake pictured here sprawls more, and is less tall, than what you might get if you have the proper pan.

Apple Sharlotka
Food and Wine, November 2014

4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
1 T lemon juice
1 c sugar
3/4 c + 2 T flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
3 eggs
1/4 tsp almond extract
powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and side of an 8-inch springform pan.

In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the almond extract and the remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow and a ribbon forms when the beaters are lifted, 8 to 10 minutes. Gently fold in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.

Spread the apples in the prepared pan in an even layer, then pour the batter evenly over them. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the batter to sink in a little.

Bake the sharlotka for about 1 hour, until it is golden and crisp on top and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let rest for 15 minutes. Unmold and transfer to a serving platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.