- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
- 1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed
- 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced soppressata or other salami, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup grated Comté cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out pastry on floured surface to 13x10-inch rectangle. Cut off 1/2-inch-wide strip from all 4 sides. Brush strips on 1 side with some of beaten egg, then press strips, egg side down, onto edges of pastry to adhere, forming raised border. Brush border with egg; reserve remaining beaten egg. Transfer to baking sheet. Chill while preparing filling.
Steam asparagus just until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Cut off top 2 to 3 inches of asparagus tops; set aside. Coarsely puree remaining asparagus stalks in processor. Add remaining beaten egg, ricotta, 3 teaspoons oil, and salt;process until thick puree forms. Transfer to bowl; stir in salami and 1/3 cup Comté cheese; season with pepper. Spread mixture evenly over pastry. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup Comté cheese. Toss asparagus tips with remaining 1 teaspoon oil; arrange tips over filling.
Bake tart until filling is set, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Spring is here. Or is it? I'll believe it when I see it.
The date is officially tomorrow, March 21, but since it's been so unseasonably warm here, I figured I would get a head start on my spring vegetables (I did see rhubarb in the grocery store, a sure sign of spring!).
The local asparagus is not available until May in these parts, but I thought I would share this one with you anyway, just in time for Easter (you can thank me later).
This is my favorite asparagus tart so far, and I have made MANY.
The original recipe calls for a good salami, but I substituted speck (a smoked prosciutto). If you can't find (or don't want to spend the big bucks) on Comte, a French style Gruyere (that is so good!), then substitute a Gruyere or Swiss. Even Parimigiano Reggiano is a nice choice.
And here is that puff pastry again. I took Claudia's suggestion and wrote to Pepperidge Farm, telling them how much I like their product and constantly blab about it on my blog and that I should get a lifetime supply of puff pastry as advertising fees.
Well, don't you know, a week later, I received a coupon in the mail for -$1.00 off the purchase of their product. WOW, what sports. (no comment).
Best Asparagus Tart: (adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced soppressata, or other salami, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup grated Comté cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
Roll out the defrosted puff pastry to fit a half sheet pan. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to use.
I blanched my asparagus spears in some water in the microwave for 2.5 minutes and they came out perfectly, but you can blanch them anyway you like, I was being lazy.
Cut 2-3" from the tops of the asparagus. Mix with a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
In a food processor, puree the ricotta cheese, egg, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and asparagus stalks until a light green puree forms.
With a spoon, hand mix in the chopped salami or ham and 1/3 cup of Comte cheese (do not process in the machine). This is your filling.
Spread the asparagus ricotta filling over the prepared puff pastry on the half sheet pan, leaving a 1" border on the sides.
Carefully fold over the sides and brush with an egg wash or cold water to seal the edges.
Sprinkle a bit more Comte cheese over the ricotta and decorate with the asparagus tops.
Bake for 23-25 minutes in a 400F oven.
Let rest for a few minutes before diving in. This smells divine while baking and tastes even better than it smells!
I’ve been asked a lot how I make this cheese and here is the answer. The recipe produces very delicate and smooth ricotta. It really matters what kind of dairy you use: organic whole milk and not ultra-pasteurized cream are… Continue reading &rarr
I wouldn’t even say it’s a recipe (it’s too simple to be called that) it’s more of a suggestion, one of a hundred possible ways to enjoy fresh cheese. And the cheese has to be fresh. So, either make your… Continue reading &rarr
Lovely Little Things
This ranks up there as one of the quirkiest night lights created. This white porcelin owl lamp gives off a warm glow while adding a hoot of character to your room.
I spent a good portion of my Saturday afternoon addressing invite after invite with my friend Heather for our friend's upcoming bridal shower. As our hands tired, and our degrees of perfection lessened slightly, we toyed with different wordings and styles of writing.
While I can say that my handwriting is nice- it's nothing distinctive and original. It's "teacher handwriting." I make sure to clearly form and connect all of my letters, and take my time (just as I remind my students). I think that's why I am so captivated by the penmanship of Betsy Dunlap, her scripts are unique, inventive, and exuding character.
March Madness MunchiesWith the NCAA Final 4 just around the corner, I'm anticipating get-togethers with friends to watch the final big games (my money is on underdog UCLA). Since sporting matches always call for comfort, stick-to-your-ribs fare, I scouted out some killer recipes that go hand-in-hand with an edge-of-your-seat evening.
In a large shallow, non-reactive bowl combine the chicken, hot sauce, pepper, and salt, and toss well to combine. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let marinate, for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 hours. In a heavy pot, heat the oil to 360 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and 2 tablespoons Essence. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the flour 1 at a time, tossing to coat evenly. Add the chicken in 2 batches to the hot oil and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken wings from the fryer with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with the remaining Essence and serve immediately with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning ):
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container. Yield: about 2/3 cup
Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce:
1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process on high speed u ntil smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into a decorative bowl.
Two Peas In A Pod
Two peas in a pod. literally. These ceramic salt and pepper shakers are too cute! Sold in individual sets, this would be a lovely accent to a wedding gift for the couple who truly sums up the expression "two peas in a pod."
Six Degrees of Separation
I'm sure by now most people have heard the story that our Democratic hopefuls may be related to Hollywood's power couple - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. While I do enjoy a good round of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," I'm not quite convinced that Barack and Hilary are actually distant relatives of the Jolie-Pitt clan. But then again, in the grand scheme of things, aren't we related to everyone on some level?
So now my question is. do any of YOU have long lost celebrity relatives? I'm curious to know! And even more of a challenge: can anyone connect their lineage to one of these 4?
This afternoon, my fellow bridesmaids and I from summer wedding #1, are having an "Invitation Party" to make our bridal shower invites. For those who want the elegance without the effort of making them yourself. I am quite taken by these elegant wedding styles from Dauphine Press.
Festive, spring shades of glassybaby votives are in. While these glass-blown votives are a tad pricy, the website's tag line sums up their longevity pretty well: Flowers wilt, chocolates melt, glassybaby forever.
I concur. Check out my previous shout out.
Too Good To Pass Up
While I realize many of the people who view my blog are not native to Seattle, my latest Seattle dining experience was too impeccable to pass up! The food, ambiance, and service at Monsoon, a cozy, Capitol Hill neighborhood haunt was absolutely amazing! Featuring an inventive blend of traditional Vietnamese food paired with Pacific Northwest touches - Monsoon's menu results in an eclectic, diverse menu of sweet, savory, and spice. Literally every dish my aunt, uncle, and I ate family style was simply wonderful, and I don't feel I can truly make that statement about many establishments. Don't believe me? Check out these rave reviews!
"Grown Up" LuggageAs my excitement mounts for my upcoming trip to Las Vegas, I'm reminded that I have no "grown-up" luggage. I use the term "grown-up" to denote the luggage I would ideally want to be lugging around. I think the term stemmed from conversations with my work friends. We often joke that someday, when our teaching salaries somehow skyrocket, we will play host to "grown-up" furniture in our homes, in lieu of the sturdy, dependable but oh-so-recognizable pieces from IKEA.Right now, this is my dream "grown up" carry-on. (sigh).
The Hills returned last night, after a long hiatus. I had been pumped all day for the 10:00pm debut of Season 3, when, alas. I fell asleep. Yes, you heard me right. I missed the long awaited season premiere! For all you fellow fans who were able to stay awake until 10:00pm, mad props to you! I plan on catching up tonight on mtv.com so I can stay in the loop.
Dine Around Seattle
My friends and I took advantage of the superb Dine Around Seattle deal this past Thursday evening. The concept behind the name is "30 restaurants for $30," essentially 30 notable Seattle area restaurants participate in offering a gourmet meal-deal: an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $30. Partcipants are eligible to select from 3 options for each course. This Dine Around Seattle program is offered Sundays-Thursdays throughout the month of March (and I believe November as well).
This is extremely exciting for all of us budget-conscious foodies, who would to dine at these fine dining establishments, had we the petty cash to do so. Taking advantage of this opportunity, five of my friends and I ate at the Barking Frog, at Willows Lodge in Woodinville (home of Seattle area wine country). The food was amazing, delicious. everything I hoped it would be, and more! We even managed to order a few glasses of wine and still wrap up the evening in under $50 per person!
Not sure if other cities have similar offerings, but if you happen to frequent our lovely city in March or November, definitely take advantage if you have the appetite!
Strawberry LocketEver since I wrote about my dragonfly locket find on etsy, I've kept an eye out for additional lockets boasting charm and character. I thought this one was especially sweet.
The Question: Easter Brunch or Dinner?
I've been trying to convince my friend Kostas (born and raised mostly in Greece) that many Americans celebrate Easter in similar fashion church, followed by brunch , and perhaps then a festive event such as an Easter egg hunt.
He argued that in Greece, Easter dinner is the norm - sans our added commercial elements of Easter egg hunts, bunnies, and pastel colors. This entire discussion was prompted by me trying to organize a gathering of friends for an Easter celebration, which in turn led to the discussion of which is better - Easter brunch or dinner? I am now curious to hear what others consider "the norm," for this holiday - if there is in fact a norm.
Long story short, I conceded and my friends and I are now planning what to bring for our "Cathodox" Easter dinner (a combination of Catholic and Greek Orthodox which sums up the majority of our friends). Though I still side with brunch being better, I've decided to bring an arrangement similar to this, so at least my Easter traditions will be represented - pale pink and bunnies all the way!
When I was little, I remember my Aunt and Uncle had a spiral staircase in their house that lead up to the upstairs Master bedroom. All I can recall it was black, especially narrow, and as a child - difficult to climb.
But there is something to be said about the fluid and aesthetically pleasing nature of spiral staircases - they always prove to be a captivating piece of architectural design. I liked the vantage point in this print, and the contrast of the white walls to the black trim.
Pairs and PearsSince we've already covered the topic of pairs, I thought I'd add pears to the mix. The timing seemed especially perfect since my students are currently learning about homophones (words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings).
Today is my Mom and Dad's 26th wedding anniversary. To honor their special day, I sent them this very fitting perfect pair card made by Alyson. Congratulations on 26 wonderful years!
Spring Has Arrived!
Hooray! Winter is officially over - although given our recent weather in Seattle, I might revise that statement and say it has ended in spirit, not necessarily in weather.
My great-parents house. In this picture is my grandma, my great-grandma, my mom (the baby) and two of her brothers.
My grandpa hugging Uncle Pat and Uncle Tom.
A romantic picnic (taken on one of my grandparents first dates).
Dose of JimI have truly missed The Office, during the writers strike. Granted I did have a healthy dose of reality TV to keep me going those late nights. A special shout out to Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, and The Hills. But you can't help but miss the loveable goofball Jim Halpert, a.k.a. John Krasinski. Thank you soo much to I Heart You for giving me an Office fix, by sharing these debonair shots from a Best Life Magazine photoshoot of John Krasinski. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. that's what she said. images/iheartyou
Fashion Is Not A Luxury
Who doesn't love SJP? I mean come on? I love this promotional ad for her new clothing line Bitten, tailored to her manifesto "It is every woman's inalienable right to have a pulled-together, stylish, confident wardrobe with money left over to live." While her line isn't quite Carrie Bradshaw caliber, some pieces are worth a look.
P.S. In case you're keeping track. a little more than 2 months left until the Sex & the City movie debuts! Woot Woot!
Oui, Mon Chéri
Oui, Oui Mon Chéri! Calling all Francophiles, here is your opportunity to channel your love of France and French things into jewelry. J'adore this vintage French charm, converted into a stylish little ring!
For Your Summer Soles
I would like myself a pair of these! Flirty, floral, and perfect for summer. Unfortunately the Coach stamp of approval bumps these little darlings up to $188 a pair. I'll currently on the prowl for a knock off style at a cheaper price. I'll keep you posted.
I think I have an addiction to holiday arts and crafts. I was on a green St. Patrick's kick and now I am captivated by all things Easter. How cute are these? Honestly I can't even imagine trying to model this project in a classroom. but for those of you with patient, responsible children, might be a fun activity to try at home!
Easter is Near!
/> My mom always goes all out when it comes to holiday decor. I grew up having friends whose parents, though festive, only put up decorations for the "big holidays," i.e. Thanksgiving and Christmas. But at my house, my Mom invested in ALL of them, Valentines Day brought 'round hearts, cupids, X's and O's. St. Patrick's Day shamrocks and leprechauns, and Easter - eggs and bunnies galore! I've been trying to infuse my new apartment with a few Easter touches. this Easter egg tree is my next hopeful project.
Don't you love these speckled tree prints? There are so many crush worthy jellybean prints, you may have a tough decision deciding which ones are your favorite! These prints "Wishing Tree," "A Spring of Love," and "The Apple Tree," are a few of my faves.
The Key to Being Unique
Skeleton keys are intriguing because of their distinct uniqueness. One is never quite like another. As goes for skeleton key inspired pendants, crftyscrapper has turned an affinity for skeleton keys into innovative jewelry.
Where the Green Grass GrowsI've never been a big advocate of wheatgrass. I guess I just prefer the sweeter, fruitier blends a la Jamba Juice. but I've done my research and learned that this vitamin-rich, brilliant green wheatgrass really does wonders your health. Who knows, it might be a healthy addition to an fruit smoothie.
Still excited my the novelty of my new apartment, I find myself searching for unnecessary accessories to add to it's newness. I'm enjoying the splash of green color these wheatgrass buckets add to this kitchen. I've never been known to have a green thumb, but supposedly wheatgrass is no-fail easy to grow. Bright light, moisture, and enough potting soil to put down roots—that's it. According to the experts, a 1-lb package of winter wheat (at health-food stores for about $3) yields an healthy plot of grass.
Good luck with that green thumb!
Just Fondue ItAnother way to put that Irish stout to good use! Rich and hearty and undoubtedly Irish, this Irish cheddar and stout fondue would be an ideal appetizer for St. Patrick's Day dinner.
Steam all vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Arrange vegetables and apples around edge of large platter.Meanwhile, toss cheese with flour in large bowl. Bring 3/4 cup stout, juice concentrate, and mustard to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add cheese mixture, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and smooth, thinning with more stout, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer fondue to bowl. Place in center of platter with vegetables.
Market tip: Sharp white cheddar is a great substitute for the Irish cheddar.
These accessories by pipnstuff have an elegant, old-Hollywood glamor feel. The bobby pins seem that they would add the illusion of live flower buds to your up-do, while the rose ring and blooming daisy brooch retain a simple but chic old world elegance.
Shades of GreenCheck out this festive "shades of green" bouquet. Would make a perfect centerpiece for a St. Patrick's Day shindig!
In case you don't have any green clothing to wear on St. Paddy's Day, here's a lovely green necklace to keep you pinch resistant for the day!
This Little Piggy
Birthday Princes and Princesses
When you're a kid, birthdays are a BIG deal! The crown, the cake, it's all part of the production. I love these little details that truly enhance a child's special day.
Wedding season is just around the corner. Spring hits, the birds start chirping, and brides suddenly start popping up all around Seattle sporting the big white dress. I saw the work of Steven Moore Designs in a past issue of Seattle Metropolitan, and love his ideas. His weddings seem to exude that effortless glamor every bride is striving for.
An Irish Float
How cool is this - the cocktail version of a root beer float. A heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with your favorite Irish stout (in this case Guinness). The ice cream works as a sweetener to the rich beer, resulting in a delicious, drinkable dessert.
Scoop ice cream into a pint glass, and pour in enough stout to fill it. One pint of ice cream and one 12-ounce bottle of beer will yield 2 servings.
Lovely LocketsAs a kid, I used to be fascinated with lockets. I loved the idea that a piece of jewelry could have a dual personality that from the outside it would appear a shiny, beautiful necklace, but the inside could hold personal, intimate secrets or pictures. Perhaps this is why I am so taken by this delicate dragonfly locket by birdsNbeez.
A Dash O'Green
In keeping with my "green" theme, here is a mouthwatering savory tart with a dash o'green. Can't wait to try this recipe! Yum.
Asparagus-Ricotta Tart with Comte Cheese
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced soppressata or other salami, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup grated Comté cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out pastry on floured surface to 13x10-inch rectangle. Cut off 1/2-inch-wide strip from all 4 sides. Brush strips on 1 side with some of beaten egg, then press strips, egg side down, onto edges of pastry to adhere, forming raised border. Brush border with egg reserve remaining beaten egg. Transfer to baking sheet. Chill while preparing filling.
Steam asparagus just until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Cut off top 2 to 3 inches of asparagus tops set aside. Coarsely puree remaining asparagus stalks in processor. Add remaining beaten egg, ricotta, 3 teaspoons oil, and salt process until thick puree forms. Transfer to bowl stir in salami and 1/3 cup Comté cheese season with pepper. Spread mixture evenly over pastry. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup Comté cheese. Toss asparagus tips with remaining 1 teaspoon oil arrange tips over filling.
Bake tart until filling is set, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Market Tip: Comté cheese is a semifirm, Gruyère-style cow's-milk cheese. It is available at some supermarkets, cheese shops, and specialty foods stores.
I've done the simple roll up/pinwheel type appetizers, just spread a sheet of puff pastry with honey mustard, add proscuitto or ham, and cheese of your choice (parmesan is nice and flavorful but won't melt all over the place) , roll up and slice like cinnamon rolls but about 1/2 inch thin. Place the rounds on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and press flat, then bake at 400F for 10 minutes or so until golden and crunchy.
I've also filled squares of puff pastry with fruit filling or with a mushroom/onion or spinach filling, fold over into triangles, seal the edges and bake. The spinach ones are kind of like spanakopita, without the aggravation of phyllo.
I've wrapped strips of puff pastry around asparagus spears and sprinkled them with parmesan and baked them, and I've got some recipes for puff pastry baked in mini muffin cups and filled with various fillings, from pizza to mushroom.
Have fun, and Happy Thanksgiving!
ROTFL!! "Without the aggravation of phyllo". Classic!
Hint: Fillo Factory is much easier to work with than Athens, which is always a mess.
I'm not particularly fond of packaged puff, but it is great for the kind of thing you're talking about, Linnea. Are you having another bread component to the meal? That would be my one qualm. The mini-tarts would be great. They should bake up fine with the filling if the filling isn't heavy, but you can easily par bake them as well. If you do the letter, you can do a milk or egg wash to give them some shine on the edges. If you want to be down-homey, you can make mini pot-pies with small ramekins and demitasse spoons, with the puff as crust. You can cut rounds and bake them, and use puff instead of a roll or biscuit for fancy rich sliders. Similarly, you can bake them as bread sticks (long rectangles) and use them as conveyances for tapanade, onion jam, roasted pepper spread, etc.
You can also bake cut pieces, split them, then make the pieces into, basically, cinnamon toast. I think there's a fancy name, but just dust with sugar and cinnamon and broil 'till melted, at which point the puff should be stiff but not hard (hard is overcooked). Good with coffee, not as an appetizer. But you could do the same thing using parmesan, romano or asiago (or a blend of all) and some finely chopped herbs.
Make roasted caramelized thin slices of onion and peeled sweet pepper, and lay those on the puff to bake.
Or go old school and make a pâté and roll a log of it up in the puff dough, seal well, and bake seam side down. Not like a jelly roll, which won't bake properly, but just a wrapped log of filling. Let it set a bit before slicing. A very popular version with my set is essentially pot roast run through the grinder. I was thinking it would be great if it were duck breast, mushrooms, and shallots. Maybe some celery.
Which Cheeses Have the Most Protein?
The harder the cheese, the higher the protein content—that's the watchword according to cheese expert and James Beard Award recipient Max McCalman, author of Cheese: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best. There are basically three components to cheese, courtesy of the milk it's made from: protein, fat, and water. Less water means more other stuff.
How to Make Cheese with 4 Ingredients and 15 Minutes
"In a sense you're getting more value for your cheese dollar, nutrition-wise, from the harder cheeses," McCalman says.
That's not the only consideration, he adds. It also depends on the animal the milk came from: sheep's-milk cheese contains the most protein, with goat and cow milks trailing behind. Has your cheese been pasteurized? The heating process might have affected the protein too—it's still there but it's been denatured, unavailable for digestion. (This is just one reason to eat raw cheeses, notes McCalman, a raw-cheese enthusiast. Another is their "fuller aroma and flavor and generally more pleasing textures.")
But we don't need to get into all that. You're just looking for excuses to eat cheese—hard cheese, raw cheese, any kind of cheese. With McCalman's help, we put together a list of some of the more protein-rich options—and then dug up some recipes that let them shine.
Corn season is nigh! Celebrate its arrival with this fancified side dish made with manchego, which is named after the breed of Spanish sheep that produce the milk it comes from.
Roasted Corn with Manchego & Lime
Featuring pecorino, a hard sheep's-milk cheese, this is an easy weeknight dinner you wouldn't feel bad serving to company: the pasta is homemade and comes together in a snap.
Frascatelli with Pecorino and Mustard Greens
This riff on the classic French ham-and-grùyere sandwich works anytime, really, but makes for an especially luxurious brunch.
Croque Madame Casserole with Ham and Gruyère
Here's an excuse to pick up some good aged gouda (as well as to go wild at the farmers' market).
Farmers Market Salad with Aged Gouda and Roasted Portabellas
Skip the generic, pre-grated parm in favor of Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy, counsels McCalman—you don't know what's in that other stuff. (How do you know if it's real? It should have "Parmigiano-Reggiano" stamped on its rind.)
Parmigiano-Reggiano with Fresh Fennel
With the help of a little comté, we bid farewell to the last of the spring's asparagus. See you next year, pal.
Asparagus and mushroom quiche
This delicious symphony of asparagus, Portabellini mushrooms, bacon and onion will leave your taste buds hungry for more. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.
Recipe by: GRITS:Girl Raised In The South
A delectable combination of ingredients that result in a tasty quiche. Using a shop bought pastry case makes it unbelievably easy.
Recipe by: Michele O'Sullivan
Zesty Cheddar and asparagus quiche
How do you get the rich taste of a classic quiche with a fraction of the fat? One technique: make the case with thinly sliced potatoes. It's a heart-smart substitute for traditional shortcrust!
Recipe by: Norma MacMillan
Gruyere and Asparagus Quiche
Using shop bought pastry makes this quiche quite easy to make. I love this in spring when British asparagus is in season.
Ham and asparagus quiche
I love this quiche recipe, it makes a beautiful presentation. I use prosciutto di Parma and Comté cheese for this recipe, but you can do it with any ham and any other hard cheese.
Asparagus bacon quiche
A hearty asparagus quiche with bacon and a puff pastry base. You can use green or white asparagus, or a combination of the two.
Asparagus and pancetta quiche
I prefer to make this asparagus quiche with a puff pastry base but you could use shortcrust pastry if you prefer.
Asparagus and goats cheese quiche
A crunchy buttery base and a creamy filling make the perfect balance for a tasty spring quiche. Serve as starter or as a main dish.
Asparagus quiche with prosciutto
This lovely asparagus and prosciutto quiche is full of simple yet powerful flavours making this a tasty option for an easy supper and great served alongside a fresh salad for a complete meal.
Asparagus, mushroom and ham quiche
Asparagus, ham and mushrooms are a great combination in a quiche! Serve with a crisp green salad. If the asparagus tips are thick - you can cook them for a few minutes before arranging them in the pastry case.
Asparagus-Ricotta Tart with Comté Cheese Recipe - Recipes
I had planned on posting a grilled strip steak recipe today, but some loyal members of Crabby Nation pointed out that I'd promised a review of a Tucson Mexican restaurant. Well, my public has spoken, so here we go.
For many of the last seven years the Crabby family has spent a week vacationing in the Scottsdale area. During that time we've watched both Phoenix and Scottsdale explode before our eyes. There is a vibrancy and energy in Phoenix that simply does not exist in the upper mid-west. The downside of all this growth has been the So-cal-ification of Arizona. With each passing year, Phoenix feels less and less like its own city and more and more like an L.A. ex-burb.
If Phoenix is Los Angeles, then Scottsdale is Beverly Hills, an enclave of wealth, beauty and entitlement. It is a city of million dollar starter homes, $3 million dollar second homes with $250,000 Bentleys, all tended and maintained by fashionably pilloried illegals. The women are trophy wives, buffed and polished to a high sheen, with any flaws or signs of age quickly exercised or surgically excised. Parts too small are inflated, parts too big are suctioned. These women, when they die, will not so much be embalmed as they will be recycled.
If Scottsdale is the movie star and Phoenix her slightly older, not quite as pretty sister, then Tucson is the hard living, little talked about but much sighed over cousin. Where Scottsdale is organic produce, spas and designer clothes, Tucson is bodegas, taquerias and tattoo parlors. Scottsdale is green and groomed, Tucson, sere and hardscrabble. Unlike Scottsdale, Tucson is original, forthright and without affectation.
It was with that background that we visited Guadalajara Grill, 1730 E. Prince Rd, Tucson, 520.323.1022. When we travel I spend a lot of time on the internet trolling for the best places to eat, Guadalajara Grill kept coming up. Close to the University of Arizona campus it sits in a somewhat threadbare but safe neighborhood. Don't let the surroundings put you off, it is a place well worth the visit.
Whereas Binkley's dances on the chef's knife edge of pretentiousness (and occasionally falls over), GGrill is a straightforward and clear presentation of Mexican cooking. Salsas are prepared fresh table-side, to your heat preference. Tortillas are handmade on-premises.
The quesadilla appetizer was a delicate blend of Mexican cheeses, onions and chiles with just the right amount of heat. CrabCake2 had Carnitas and Skirt Steak Fajitas, that have nothing to do with the fajitas you get at Chiles. The pork and beef were ridiculously tender and perfectly seasoned.
The high point of the evening was the main course which SSSal and I shared, Molcajete Ultimo . A Molcajete is a Mexican mortar bowl made out of volcanic basalt rock. Our meal consisted of shrimp, beef, sliced chicken, onions and peppers sauteed and then served simmering in a tomato-chicken based broth. The molcajete had been heated in a hot oven and the broth stayed simmering for five minutes after the meal had been served, and remained warm for at least 25 minutes.
While the bowl is only the serving vessel, it succeeds in keeping everything warm while you serve yourself. The meats were succulent and the simmering sauce a great balance of spicy heat and delicate tomato flavor. SSSal and I finished the meal by trying to sop up all the broth using our remaining flour tortillas. If you've only ever had Mexican food of the Chipotle's, Qdoba ilk, then you need to make an effort to find true Mexican cooking and experience what you should be eating. You'll never eat Taco Bell again.
Dinner for three with a margarita, agua and a cerveza came to $40 with tip. This does not include the tip for the salsa lady or the money I slipped to the strolling Mariachi Band that sang at our table. When they asked me what I wanted to hear, (not wanting to look terribly caucasian I skipped over La Bamba), I asked for Besame Mucho (translated lyrics below).
There you have it, Guadalajara Grill. If you're ever in Tucson, check it out. Also, if you have great or poor restaurant experiences you'd like to share with the rest of Crab Nation, feel free to post those experiences in the comments section.
Next Time: Balsamic and Mustard Grilled Strip Steak.
(1940), written at the age of 15 by Consuelo Velazquez
English Translation (It just doesn't sound as romantic in English - even Sinatra sang it in Spanish)
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
As if tonight was
the last time.
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
Because I fear to lose you,
To lose you again.
I want to have you very close
To see myself in your eyes,
To see you next to me,
Think that perhaps tomorrow
I already will be far,
very far from you .
Can scone dough be made in advance & refrigerated?
Yes, you can make scone dough the night before you want to bake them. I think this works best if you roll & cut out the scones, pop them onto a lined baking tray and then chill for up to 24 hours (instead of chilling the un-cut dough). You can then glaze and bake as usual straight from the fridge – the chilling shouldn’t really impact the baking time much. This can actually provide a better rise to your scones as the flour has more time to absorb the liquid in the dough, plus the buttery bits in the dough re-solidify, which both help produce a better texture. Don’t leave the scone dough in the fridge for more than 24h though as the baking powder will start to lose its efficacy meaning your scones won’t rise as much!
The addition of baking powder/bicarbonate of soda can cause a yellowing of the dough after steaming. You may notice that if you don’t knead the baking powder into the dough thoroughly, there will be little yellow spots on the buns (this is just an aesthetic issue, they’ll still taste fine). The yellowy tinge can also come from the flour – if your flour is unbleached, as most is in the UK, the buns will not be super white. You can buy bleached white flour from some Chinese supermarkets if you’re really after that snowy white look.
Yes! Just replace 1/3 of the flour in the recipe below with wholemeal (wholewheat) bread flour. They’ll be a little bit denser/ chewier but still delicious. I wouldn’t recommend doing 50% or 100% wholemeal flour as it’ll make the buns too dense and they won’t be fluffy.