turdacres


easter quiche
April 9, 2013, 12:25 pm
Filed under: asparagus, recipe | Tags: , , , , , ,

Long time no talk huh? Alas, just waiting waiting waiting for spring. And it didn’t come! Easter was very cold. But managed to make a nice dinner for the fam. Mom brought the nice flowers. And I made a quiche.

easter table 2013

easter table 2013

And here’s a close up of that quiche. I’m sort of proud of it, even though it kicked my butt.

asparagus and mushroom quiche

asparagus and mushroom quiche

Whenever I’ve made quiche it’s always been one of those little flat ones. Kind of uninspiring! I love those deep ones you get at a restaurant. How to make I wondered. A quick google of “deep dish quiche” helped me to find documentation of Smitten Kitchen’s similar quest. According to her notes, this was no easy feat. I don’t know what I was thinking, that I could manage to whip up something that a real cookbook author had trouble with, but guess I am temporarily mad from the lack of springtime. So–my first attempt–why not?!–for my family easter dinner, what could go wrong, eh??

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup ice water
Neutral oil, for brushing springform

Sheesh. First the dough, an amazingly buttery thing, didn’t really come together. I did it in the food processor and not in a mixer like SK. Put the flour and salt in, and then whiz in the butter chunks until pebbly. Drip in the water, and it should come together a little bit.

I didn’t put enough water in, and it was all pebbly. But I’d already dumped it out, so I just pressed it together and popped it in the freezer for a bit. Rolling it out was hard and crumbly every where, but i dusted some water on it, and forged ahead. Pressed it into the tin and patched it up. I hung the crust over the edge as suggested, and then –as i don’t have pie weights or beans on hand–i dumped a bunch of split peas and lentils in there and baked it up. The instruction said 30-40 mins to cook the crust. It really did take forever. And halfway through I noticed that it had shrunken and fallen down. I didn’t have enough beans in there holding it up. So I just took it out of the oven and patched some more dough in there up over the edges and then put it back in the oven. Took beans out–hand picked out the ones that fell past my parchment boundary. And cooked it some more.

It looked ok, not super brown, but sort of cooked, and I was ready to move on.

The filling.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound mushrooms chopped
1 pound asparagus chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter
4 green onions, chopped (incl. some green parts)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (use 1 teaspoon only if dried/jarred)
3/4 cup grated swiss cheese
3 cups (475 ml) milk
1 cup (475 ml) heavy cream
7 large eggs, lightly beaten

Saute the mushrooms in oil with S & P, and add in the asparagus when mushrooms are nearly done.
Whisk eggs, milk and cream (SK used 2 cups cream–i used less and added an extra egg)

Now you’re ready to assemble. Layer in the cheese the asparagus mushroom, green onion and some egg. More cheese veggies, and egg. All is well. Decided to leave top cheese for later. Into the oven. Minutes later look in there, and naturally–I’ve managed to create a non-tight crust, and the egg is leaking out on the baking sheet (at least I knew enough to put one under it!) ACK! My nice deep quiche is rapidly becoming a thin sad little one. Not much I could do though, so just hoped it would cook up fast enough to seal itself. And it did. I put on the top cheese and finished cooking it. The unmolding was not too hard. And looked kind of like a crown or something! Nice rustic looking crust. No one cared I think, as the crust was sooo good!

Alls well that ends well I guess. A bit of a mess to clean up, but an educational experience for me. If I can do it, I’m sure you can too!

It was really really good and worth a shot!!

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asparagus eggs benedict take two

Woo-ee we have been enjoying the asparagus crop. We’ve had maybe 6 meals? I made a Jamie Oliver inspired tart for easter. And then…eggs benedict! The first time I had no idea what I was doing. I’ve never made hollandaise sauce before, and I was trying to make one third of the recipe. Recipe for disaster that was!! I curdled the egg yolk and we had more of a hollandaise paste. It was still pretty yum though.

Tonight, alone, I made it again. Take two was mucho better.
Hollandaise sauce version 2.
one egg yolk. I used a knuckles egg (one of the smaller ones we get)
juice from one lemon (maybe this was a tad too much for the egg)

Whisk together in a double boiler. I didn’t have the pan too hot this time.
Meanwhile melt two tbsp butter. Then whisking constantly mete the butter into the eggs a teensy bit at a time.
Season with a bit of salt.

I started the asparagus first in simmering water in a large fry pan. Start the english muffins just before you add the eggs. Then add two eggs into the mix after I had the hollandaise under way.

Remove asparagus and cut into bite sized pieces and lay on top of english muffins when they’re done. Scoop eggs on top and add hollandaise and some salt and pepper. Enjoy while the cat looks on enviously! BTW, she did approve of the taste I gave her. She likes herself a good bit of egg.

The Jamie tart was ok. Well better than ok, especially for breakfast the next day!!!
Recipe is here. I used puff pastry instead of phyllo which would have been better probably. I thought it was pretty tasty, but maybe overkill for some great homegrown asparagus!!



asparagus time!!!!!!!!
April 20, 2011, 6:50 pm
Filed under: asparagus, farm, food, gardening, it lives!, recipe | Tags: , , ,

What a banner day. After getting treed in, we decided to have asparagus for lunch. It’s been a long haul waiting for these bad boys to mature. I planted 25 crowns in spring 2009. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. And to add insult to injury I read in an extension document that you don’t REALLY have to wait three years. They said go ahead and start eating after two. Bummer. Anyhow we did the full wait. And today we picked them!

with great ceremony the first cut


delicate operation (note nice new gloves!)


ceremonial red asparagus collecting basket


waiting for the boil--lunch!

I simmered them in a bit of water in a fry pan. Then served em up with a drizzle of olive oil a shred of parmesan and some salt and pepper.
Verdict?: Holy cow!! Totally worth it! Amazing. (Perfectly cooked I might add). Delicious!

asparagus row in the potager

As you can see from this bed shot, Mom and Dad there just may be a spear or two for you when you get here!

We should get another dinner or two from the patch but I think we’ll need to grow some more. 25 plants–is it enough for us? Maybe not.



fancy beans on toast
February 26, 2010, 10:10 pm
Filed under: asparagus, beans, recipe | Tags: ,

Beans on toast is another one of the bottom of the barrel dinners around here. That and some kind of quesadilla. I do saute an onion and spice up the Bush’s Vegetarian beans–but it’s a pretty lame dinner–though tasty enough. The doode tests me and asks for cheese in them too–which is highly un-traditional. But sometimes I oblige him.

It’ll be awhile before we can harvest our own crop of asparagus, but I ┬ánotice the asparagus is starting to hit the grocery store. This is a meal we like that’s sort of a fancy beans on toast. The lemon zest makes it. You could add a garlic clove in there too maybe.

White Bean and Asparagus Salad via epicurious.

  • 1 lb medium asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (15- to 19-oz) cans white beans, rinsed and drained well (3 to 3 1/2 cups)
  • 4 slices country-style bread
  • 1 (1/2-lb) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cut asparagus on a diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices.

Bring oil, lemon zest, juice, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, then stir in beans and asparagus. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 10 minutes. While beans stand, toast bread. Meanwhile, remove enough cheese from piece with a vegetable peeler to measure about 1/2 cup shavings. Add shavings to beans along with parsley, then toss.

Serve bean salad with toasts–epicurious suggests rubbing toasts with garlic and salt, but that seems too fussy.