Memorable Quotes:

"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tom Keller's Quiche Lorraine (Bouchon Bakery)

Bouchon
Quiche Lorraine















Single serving of the quiche Lorraine

















Cooks note: I copied this recipe from the CBS website. The recipe is identical to what is in the Bouchon cookbook. I highly recommend purchasing the cookbook as Tom Keller's cookbooks are so instructive. Quiche is an important topic to Chef Keller. There are 11 pages dedicated in the cookbook to making the perfect quiche and detailed explanation for the importance of each step.

The pictures were taken by me.

Suggested order of operations:
1. Turn your oven on to 375.
2. Make the pie dough and get back in the refrigerator for one hour.
3. Slice your onions for the cofit, make your bouquet garni and get the onions on the stove as they take 2 hours.
4. Cut up your bacon and roast at 375 for the specified time.
5. Roll out your pie dough and form carefully into the 9 inch ring as described below.
6. par cook the pie dough, remove the pie weights and continue to cook the shell. Be careful to repair any cracks so your custard doesn't leak.
7. Combine onion confit and bacon plus thyme as described below and rewarm in skillet.
8. Make your quiche batter (you can do full batch in Vitamix). Turn oven down to 325.
9. Place half of the confit/bacon into the bottom of the cooked pie shell and add half of the batter.
10. Place the second half of the onion confit/bacon mix into the pie shell and add batter the the top of the pie.
11. Bake the quiche and allow to come to room temp prior to refrigerating overnight.
12. Remove excess crust from the top of the quiche and remove quiche from the ring as described below.
13. Slice quiche while cold and rewarm in a 375 oven for 15 minutes and prepare yourself for what I think is one amazing quiche.




Bacon and Onion Quiche - Quiche Lorraine
Makes 8 servings
Ingredients:
1 pound slab bacon, cut into lardons about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/8 inch thick
2 cups Onion Confit (see below)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped thyme 
1/2 cup grated Comté or Emmentaler cheese
Basic Quiche Shell (see below)
Basic Quiche Batter (see below)
Canola oil

Directions:
Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 deg. F. 
Spread the bacon on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it has rendered its fat; the bacon will not be crisp at this point. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 deg. F.
Combine the onion confit and bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme, then stir together until warm, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Scatter 1/4 cup of the cheese and half the onion mixture evenly into the cooled quiche shell (still on the baking sheet). Blend the quiche batter again to aerate it, then pour in enough of the batter to cover the ingredients and fill the quiche shell approximately halfway. Top the batter with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and the remaining onion mixture. Blend the remaining batter and fill the quiche shell all the way to the top. (If you don't have a very steady hand, you might spill some of the batter on the way to the oven; fill the shell most of the way, then pour the final amount of batter on top once the quiche is on the oven rack.) 
Bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until the top of the quiche is browned and the custard is set when the pan is jiggled. Remove the quiche from the oven and let cool to room temperature on a rack. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 day, or up to 3 days.
Once the quiche is thoroughly chilled, using a metal bench scraper or a sharp knife, scrape away the excess crust from the top edge. Tilt the ring on its side, with the bottom of the quiche facing you, and run a small paring knife between the crust and the ring to release the quiche. Set the quiche down and carefully lift off the ring. Return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To serve: Preheat the oven to 375 deg.F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper. 
Using a long serrated knife and supporting the sides of the crust, carefully cut through the edge of the crust in a sawing motion. Switch to a long slicing knife and cut through the custard and bottom crust. Repeat, cutting the quiche into 8 pieces. Place the pieces on the baking sheet and reheat for 15 minutes, or until hot throughout. To check, insert a metal skewer into the quiche for several seconds and then touch the skewer to your lip to test the temperature of the quiche.

Basic Quiche Shell
Makes enough for one 9-inch quiche
In this pate brisée dough, it's crucial that the butter be completely incorporated, with no visible specks remaining. Although pieces of butter will make a dough flaky, they would leave holes in the quiche crust and the batter would leak out. Save the dough trimmings to repair any cracks. This crust is a little thicker than some: You want the custard to set before it soaks all the way through. Also, as the quiche chills, moisture from the custard will weep into the crust. If the crust is too thin, it will become soggy rather than crisp.

Ingredients (Pie Shell)
2 cups (about 12 ounces) all-purpose flour, sifted, plus additional flour for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces chilled unsalted butter, cut into »-inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water
Canola oil

Directions (Pie Shell)
Place 1 cup of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the butter a small handful at a time. When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is completely blended with the flour. Reduce the speed, add the remaining flour, and mix just to combine. Add the water and mix until incorporated. The dough will come around the paddle and should feel smooth, not sticky, to the touch.
Remove the dough from the mixer and check to be certain that there are no visible pieces of butter remaining; if necessary, return the dough to the mixer and mix briefly again. Pat the dough into a 7- to 8-inch disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to a day. (If the dough does not rest, it will shrink as it bakes.)
Lightly brush the inside of a 9-by-2-inch-hgh ring mold with canola oil and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 
Place the dough on a floured work surface and rub on all sides with flour. Flatten it into a larger circle using a rolling pin or the heel of your hand. Roll the rolling pin back and forth across the dough a few times, then turn it 90 degrees and roll again. Continue to turn and roll until the dough is 3/16 inch thick and about 14 inches in diameter. (If the kitchen is hot and the dough has become very soft, move it to a baking sheet and refrigerate for a few minutes.
To lift the dough into the ring, place the rolling pin across the dough about one-quarter of the way up from the bottom edge, fold the bottom edge of dough up and over the pin, and roll the dough up on the rolling pin. Lift the dough on the pin, hold it over the top edge of the ring and unroll the dough over the mold, centering it. Carefully lower the dough into the ring, pressing it gently against the sides and into the bottom corners of the ring. Trim any dough that extends more than an inch over the sides of the mold and reserve the scraps. Fold the excess dough over against the outside of the ring. (Preparing the quiche shell this way will prevent it from shrinking down the sides as it bakes. The excess dough will be removed after the quiche is baked.) Carefully check for any cracks or holes in the dough, and patch with the reserved dough as necessary. Place in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 20 minutes to resolidify the butter. Reserve the remaining dough scraps.
Put a rack set in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 deg.F.
Line the quiche shell with a 16-inch round of parchment. Fill the shell with pie weights or dried beans, gently guiding the weights into the corners of the shell and filling the shell completely. 
Bake the shell for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the edges of the dough are lightly browned but the bottom is still light in color. 
Carefully remove the parchment and weights. Check the dough for any new cracks or holes and patch with the thin pieces of the reserved dough if necessary. Return the shell to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottom is a rich golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the shell to cool completely on the baking sheet. Once again, check the dough for any cracks or holes, and patch if necessary before filling with the quiche batter.

Basic Quiche Batter
Makes enough for one 9-inch quiche: 8 servings
Using a blender aerates the batter and makes a very light quiche. The directions here are for a standard-size blender. However, the ingredients can be combined in one batch if you use an immersion blender or a large-capacity professional blender. Be sure to reblend the batter for a few seconds before pouring each layer of the quiche.
There may be a little excess batter, depending on how much air is incorporated into the batter as it is blended. The quiche may sink slightly as it bakes, so check it after about twenty minutes and, if there is room, you can add a bit more of the batter to the top. Any remaining batter can be baked in custard cups.
The quiche needs to be thoroughly chilled before it's cut, so make your quiche at least a day, or up to three days, before serving it.

Ingredients (Batter)
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
6 gratings fresh nutmeg

Directions (Batter)
Combine the milk and cream in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until scalded (meaning a skin begins to form on the surface). Remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes before continuing. 
Put 3 eggs, half the milk and cream mixture, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, and 3 gratings of nutmeg in a blender and blend in low speed for a few seconds to combine the ingredients. Increase the speed to high and blend for 30 seconds to minute, or until the batter is light and foamy.
This is the first layer of the quiche. Once you have assembled it, add the remaining ingredients to the blender and repeat the process to complete the quiche.

Onion Confit
Makes 2 3/4 cups
Onion confit is simply onions cooked very slowly in a little water and butter to bring out all the onions' sweetness without coloring them. It can be used in all kinds of dishes--from fish to potatoes and green vegetables to quiche.

Ingredients (Onion Confit)
About 2 1/2 pounds (2 to 3 large) Spanish onions
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Bouquet Garni

Directions (Onion Confit)
Cut off the tops and bottoms of the onions and cut the onions lengthwise in half. Remove the peel and outer layers. Cut a V wedge in the bottom of each half to remove the core and pull out any solid flat pieces from the center.
Lay and onion half cut side down on a cutting board with the root end toward you. There are lines on the outside of the onion; cut along these lines (the grain) rather than against them to help the onions soften more quickly. Holding the knife almost parallel to the board, slice the onion lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, following the lines of the onion. Once you cut past the center of the onion, the knife angle will become awkward: Flip the onion onto its side (toward the knife), return the knife to the original position, and finish cutting the onion. Separate the slices of onion, trimming away any root sections that are still attached. Repeat with the remaining onions. (You should have about 8 cups of onions.)
Warm 1/4 cup of water in a large pot over low heat. Add the butter and whisky gently to melt. Add the onions, salt, and bouquet garni, stir to combine, and place a parchment lid on top, pressing it against the onions. Cook very slowly, stirring the onions every 20 to 30 minutes at first, more often toward the end of cooking, for about 2 hours. The onions will wilt and steam will rise, but they should not brown.
Check the onions after about 30 minutes: If they seem lost in the pot, transfer to a smaller pot and cut down the parchment lid to fit. If there is a lot of liquid remaining at this point, you can turn up the heat slightly to cook a bit more rapidly. 
After about 2 hours, the onions will have softened but should not be falling apart; there still may be liquid left in the pot. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Let the onions cool in their liquid.
Transfer the onions, with their liquid, to a plastic container and refrigerate for up to a week. Drain the confit before using. 

Bouquet Garni
Makes 1
For out standard bouquet garni, we use leek greens as a wrapper to hold the herbs and spices. We use a bouquet garni for seasoning when the broth or other liquid will be strained. When the liquid will not be strained, we wrap the ingredients in cheesecloth instead, making a sachet that keeps the spices from falling into the liquid and can easily be removed at the end of cooking.
Ingredients
2 or 3 pieces dark green out leek leaves (6 to 7 inches long), washed 
8 thyme sprigs
2 Italian parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

Directions

To make a bouquet garni: Lay out 1 leek green. Place the herbs and peppercorns on top and wrap in the remaining leaf or leaves to form a circular bundle; tie securely with kitchen twine in at least three spots. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mom"s Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins
















Mom would make these and many types of coffee cakes to provide a sweet treat for breakfast. Mom would serve these with a butter and some real good crab-apple jelly. It is difficult to eat these and not be transformed back to childhood.

Ingredients:
1 cup of quick cooking oat meal (not the instant)
1 cup of buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of melted shortening
1 cup of sifted flour 
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of baking soda


Directions:
Soak oatmeal in the buttermilk at least 1 hour. It can be longer.
Add eggs and beat well.  Add sugar and mix.  Add cooled shortening.  Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt and fold into the oatmeal mixture with as few strokes as possible to mix well.  Fill paper lined muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Cooks Note: I measured the flour before sifting because you primarily sift to remove lumps. I also did not wait too long for the shortening to cool but I did add slowly so as not to shock or cook the egg.

Makes 1 dozen.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Margherita Steak with Tomatillo Salsa

Recipe from California Longevity Center

For the Marinade:
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. orange juice
3 Tbsp. tequila
1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
½ tsp. sea salt
1 lb. grass-fed skirt steak or flank steak

Salsa:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ ripe avocado, diced
2 Tbsp red onion, minced
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
½ lb. tomatillos (6-7 each), husked, rinsed
1 yellow bell pepper
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1.    Place ½ the zest and the juice of ½ of the lime in a 9x13 glass baking dish. Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients (except steak).
2.    Add the steak, coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 1-24 hours.
3.    In a separate bowl, combine the remaining lime zest and juice, with the avocado, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. Set aside.
4.    Spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray and preheat to medium-high.
5.    Brush tomatillos and yellow pepper with olive oil.
6.    Grill tomatillos for 5-6 minutes until lightly charred.  Remove from grill. Cool slightly and dice the into ¼-inch pieces and add to avocado mixture.
7.    Grill the yellow pepper until black and charred all over, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from grill and place in small bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for 5 minutes. Remove charred skin from the pepper and cut into ¼-inch dice. Add to avocado mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
8.    Remove steak from marinade. Grill 5-7 minutes on each side or until medium-rare 130°-135°, or desired doneness. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing crosswise against the grain.

9.    To serve, place steak slices on platter and serve with salsa on the side.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Colleen's breaded honey tarragon chicken



Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, patted dry.

In a bag place bread crumbs and tarragon.

In small bowl, warm the honey.

Dip the chicken in the honey, coating both sides.  Drop pieces individually in the bag of crumbs and tarragon.  Shake, shake, shake.  Do this with each piece of chicken

Place chicken the coated chicken in a baking dish and bake in a 350 oven for about an hour.  Smells like cake while baking.

Leftovers are great for salads or sandwiches.

There are no measurements...just eye ball and tarragon to taste.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Chicken Lombardy


















Ingredients:
8 oz package(s) sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoon(s) butter melted
6 skinned and boned chicken breasts
1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup(s) butter
3/4 cup(s) marsala wine
1/2 cup(s) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon(s) pepper
1/2 cup(s) shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 cup(s) parmesan cheese
2 green onions chopped



Directions:
Cook mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or just until tender. Remove from heat; set aside.
Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/8 inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Dredge chicken pieces in flour. Cook chicken in batches, in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Place chicken in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish, overlapping edges. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and butter. Reserving pan drippings in skillet. Sprinkle mushrooms evenly over chicken.
Add wine and broth to skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Combine cheeses and green onions; sprinkle over chicken.
Bake uncovered, at 450 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes until cheese melts.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sweet and Sour Meat Balls (Chelsea)

Ingredients:
1 bag of cooked meatballs
1 jar of chili sauce
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 can Cranberry Sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup grape jelly

Directions:
Combine ingredients and warm before serving in a crock pot.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Poppy Seed Coffee Cake (Tea Ring)





Makes two Coffee Cakes

Ingredients:
7 grams (0.25 ounces) active dry yeast (or 1 packet if you don't have bulk)
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening (crisco)
1 teaspoons kosher salt
3 eggs beaten
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (675 grams)
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 can Solo Poppy Seed Cake and Pastry Filling

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk 

Directions:
Combine the yeast and warm water in a small bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add the milk, sugar, shortening and salt to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the shortening has melted. Once the shortening has melted remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool until it is lukewarm (100-110 degrees). Once cooled add the yeast mixture and the beaten eggs and whisk to incorporate.

Add the flour to the bowl of a stand mixer (if using) and add the liquid ingredients. Using a dough hook stir the ingredients until they have formed a ball of dough on the hook. 

Lightly dust a workspace with flour and remove the dough from the mixer and knead for 6-8 minutes. I don't normally have to make adjustments but if the dough is too sticky or too dry you can either add a bit more flour or water. After kneading the dough should be soft and elastic.

Place the dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with canola oil. Turn the dough so that all surfaces of the dough have a light coating of oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a draft free area of the kitchen and allow to rise for 1/ 1/2 to 2 hours. The dough should roughly double in size. 

Gently punch down the dough then recover the bowl with the towel and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees

After the dough has rested, divide into two equal portions. Roll each portion into a rectangle approximately 8 inches by 18 inches. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and spread half the Poppy Seed filling on each of the two rectangles. The first time I made this the filling was not easy to spread. The next time I make this I will try warming the filling or diluting with some melted butter. When you spread the filing you will want to make sure you leave about 1/2 inch near the top of the long end of the rectangle free from both melted butter and filing. This will allow you to better seal the seam.

Once the filing has been evenly applied to the dough, roll the rectangle along its longer side into a roll and then pinch the seam to seal. You should now have two long cylinders. Form each cylinder into a circle on a greased cookie sheet and pinch the two ends where they join. It is also important to have the seam of each cylinder facing down. Note: I use parchment paper on my cookie sheet and did not grease.

Cut the rings with scissors at four spots 90 degrees apart. So if the ring was a clock you would cut at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. These cuts should be made from the outside toward the inside but should only cut approximately 2/3 through the ring. Now make two additional cuts in each segment and again cut only about 2/3 through the ring. This should give 12 slices per ring.  Now for each ring, carefully turn each slice slightly to show the filing. 

Once again, cover the rings with kitchen towels and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Bake the rings for 18-20 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool then drizzle with Icing. 

Note: I baked the rings one at a time so that I could get the timing correct the first time. Mine were done in 18 minutes. It is ok to cook separately and will not affect the taste or texture.