Artichoke and Arugula Quiche

artichoke_arugula_quiche

I’m the kind of person that usually has some leftover pie dough in my freezer and it comes in very handy when I want to make a quick quiche. My policy is to make a bigger batch of pie dough anytime I need it because then I have some for later. This recipe is so flippin’ easy and is muy delicioso. Its great for breakfast, brunch or a baby shower. (What is it with quiches and baby showers? I swear that apart from making them at home thats the only time I see them.) I like this recipe because its sort of like a spinach artichoke idea but with arugula instead. So its a little more peppery and exciting. Try it out and enjoy!

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Artichoke & Arugula Quiche

Recipe:

3/4 cup shredded quattro formaggi (parmesan, fontina. pr0volone, asiago, mozzarella)

¾ cup milk

4 eggs 3 egg whites

1 tbs butter

1 can artichoke hearts drained and cut in quarters

1 large clove garlic minced

1 cup chopped arugula

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 pie dough recipe (See below. Makes two pie crusts)

Roll out 1/2 the dough on floured surface to make a 12-inch round. (Freeze the other half). Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie pan. Pierce crust all over with fork.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Bake crust until golden brown, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Transfer crust to rack. Reduce temperature to 375°F.

Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, cheese, salt & pepper. Set aside

Heat saute pan to medium heat and melt butter. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute until garlic is fragrant but not browned. Add artichokes and cook until combined. Turn off heat and add arugula. Combine just until arugula is lightly wilted.

Put artichoke mixture in the pie crust. Pour egg mixture on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cook for 10 minutes. Serve.

Pie Dough

2 3/4 Cups Flour

½ Tbs Salt

4 Tbs cold unsalted butter cut into pieces

1 Cup Shortening

½ Cup Water

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and using your fingers cut in into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Break up the shortening an add it in little bits and cut it into mixture with your hands. Continue working the mixture until it has small clumps and curds. Switch to a wooden spoon and add the ice water, stirring to incorporate it. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and fold it over on its self a few times. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for as long as 5 days.

Orange Marmalade

orange_marmalade

I got this orange marmalade recipe from Ina Garten who got it from her friend Anna (go figure!) This recipe is so good that I gave some to my landlord and he loved it so much that he dropped a heavy hint that he was running low so I made him more. ;) Enjoy!

Ingredients
4 large seedless oranges
2 lemons
8 cups sugar
Directions
Cut the oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. (If you have a mandoline, this will be quite fast.) Discard any seeds. Place the sliced fruit and their juices into a stainless-steel pot. Add 8 cups water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.

The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. Turn the heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer. If you want to be doubly sure it’s ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it’s cool but not cold. If it’s firm — neither runny nor too hard — it’s done. It will be a golden orange color. (If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it and if it’s too hard, add more water.)

Pour the marmalade into clean, hot Mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Store in the pantry for up to a year.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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I HATE HATE HATE raw banana’s.  BUT I like them cooked. You can fry, flambé or bake a banana and I’m good to go. But a raw banana makes me gag. So needless to say I had my husband do the mashing of the banana’s when I made this recipe… Banana bread  is so comforting and delicious and I like to make it that much more decadent with a some delicious chocolate chips. And if you want, spread some butter and maybe even some nutella on top and you’ll be in heaven. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 beaten eggs

1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 5 medium)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter

1 cup chocolate chips

Streusel Topping (recipe follows)

1. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. STirr just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle Streusel-Nut Topping over batter

3. Bake in 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the bread. (If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over browning). Cook in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. (Truthfully we never get to this last step because we’ve already gotten into the hot bread before we have a chance to cool it down….)

Streusel-Nut Topping Recipe:

In a food processor or small bowl combine 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Pulse the processor (or just mix with a fork)  2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.

Two things I learned this morning… (egg’s benedict)

I had a hankering for some eggs benedict this morning. I had all the ingredients so I started cracking with a poached egg (pun intended). ;) Now, I’ve poached eggs before but never that often and usually not that successfully. And then I found this simple recipe which suggested using a mason jar ring top to sort of guide the egg so it doesn’t spread in the water and get all yucky. It worked! It came out beautifully. Then for the hollandaise. This has been something that I’ve wanted to do but for some reason had one of the brain road blocks that made me think it would be hard. It probably is hard if you try to do it by hand but I found this great recipe that just requires adding ingredients to a blender. Voila! BTW the directions below seem lengthy. Its actually SUPER easy so just read through everything once and you’ll get it. Brunch at home just got better!

Below are the step by step instructions:

Eggs Benedict Recipe

Ingredients:

4 fresh eggs

rice vinegar (optional)

mason jar ring (optional)

2 english muffins

1/4 lbs thick sliced ham

Hollandaise (recipe follows)

Fresh eggs will be easier to poach (they’ll hold together better) than older eggs. Vinegar is optional, it will help the eggs hold together, but if you don’t like the taste, omit.

METHOD

1 First bring water in a saucepan to almost boiling. If the water is already boiling, lower the heat until it is no longer boiling. At this point, you can add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water, if you want. The vinegar will help the egg whites to congeal more easily. We use seasoned rice vinegar.

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2 Working with the eggs one by one, crack an egg into a small cup, then place the cup near the surface of the hot water and gently drop the egg into the water. With a spoon, nudge the eggwhites closer to their yolks. This will help the egg whites hold together.

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3 Turn off the heat. Cover. Let sit for 4 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked.

4 Lift eggs out of pan with a slotted spoon.

One trick to make the eggs stay somewhat contained is to take a ring from a mason jar and place it in the pan. Drop the egg over the mason jar ring and let it settle in the ring, then turn off the heat and cover.

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Hollandaise Sauce:

Put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and cayenne in a blender. Pulse a couple times to combine.

Put the butter in a small microwave proof bowl and heat in a microwave until just melted. With the blender running, gradually add the melted butter into the egg to make a smooth frothy sauce. If the sauce is really thick blend in a teaspoon of lukewarm water to loosen it up. Season with the salt and serve immediately or keep warm in a small heat-proof bowl set over hot (but not simmering) water until ready to serve.

Assembly:
Toast english muffins and set aside. Place thick sliced ham on top of each english muffin half. Top the ham with the poached egg and pour the hollandaise on top. Enjoy!

Baked Orange French Toast with Chocolate Sauce

This recipe materialized from me not having any food in the house and a loaf of stale bread… I sometimes feel that my best recipes come when I have LESS to choose from. I had also just made a big batch of orange marmalade and was trying to figure out a way to incorporate it with something. I love orange marmalade but its one of those things that you get a hankering for at first and then lose interest after your 10th piece of toast. So I was trying to figure out how to utilize it and came up with this. Anyway, it turned out great. Its pretty adventurous with the bite from the orange rind and chocolate sauce. Next time you have a stale loaf of bread, give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

Baked Orange French Toast with Chocolate Sauce Recipe:

1 Loaf French Bread (Day Old Preferably)

4 Cups Milk

4 Eggs

¼ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

¾ cup orange marmalade

Cut french bread into medium pieces. Place in a greased casserole pan.

Combine milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange marmalade. Whisk to combine. Pour over bread. Move bread around in pan to ensure each piece gets soaks in the mixture. Refrigerate for 3 hours or over night.

Bake at 350 degrees for ½ Hour.

Chocolate Sauce:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 Tbs unsweetened chocolate powder

Combine water and sugar in a sauce pan. Put on medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce by half. Reduce heat and add two Tbs of unsweetened chocolate powder. whisk until smooth. Continue to simmer until reduced another half and slightly thick and syrupy. Put into a vessel of your choosing for drizzling over the french toast. Sift powdered sugar over the french toast if desired.