Recipe #19 is Caramelized Onion Quiche, inspired by this recipe on Simply Recipes. I actually don't have a picture for this one. I made the quiche last weekend, intending to take it along with me to a trivia game to share with the team. I pulled it out of the oven, cut into it and realized that it was just a little bit too messy to be the portable snack I was hoping for. Ah, well, I said to myself, every recipe can't work well in my hands, and decided not to post it. Well, it turns out that I judged too quickly and harshly, because after we ate the last bite of the quiche the next morning, I knew it was a keeper and a recipe I would make again and again.
I use onions in 3 out of 4 savory dishes, but the humble vegetable really shines and takes center-stage in Elise's recipe. My modifications:
a) I tried to cut the onions in the French-cut technique as described, but for the most part, what I ended up were separated strips of onion, which work just fine.
b) I used a mixture of cheddar cheese, parmesan and Pepper Jack cheese in place of the gruyere, to use up bits of cheese I had lying around.
c) The custard mixture started to overflow my pie crust; next time I will use only 2 eggs and less milk and cream than the original recipe calls for.
The quiche tasted absolutely fantastic! The taste of caramelized onions, enhanced by balsamic vinegar and enveloped in a creamy custard is quite remarkable. I'll be making this for holiday brunches in the next couple of weeks and will update this post with a pic at that time.
Recipe #18 is Ricotta Vegetable Tart, inspired by this post on Proud Italian Cook. That blog post reminded me that a savory quiche/tart does not really require a strict recipe. This tart that I made for dinner last night was a perfect example of a come-as-you-are tart, using up ingredients that I had on hand and most importantly, dispatching some ricotta cheese that I urgently needed to use up.
The basic ingredients are
1. A pie crust, usually blind baked so that the bottom crust does not get too soggy. I have a small jar of kidney beans that I keep reusing as pie weights. The crust I used last night was a whole wheat pie crust from Whole Foods. I always avoid store-bought crusts that contain lard or trans-fats.
2. Vegetables, sauteed ahead of time because raw vegetables would make the pie quite soggy. Last night, I used onions, green onions, green pepper, carrots and fresh basil.
3. Cheese. Last night I used ricotta and parmesan. I like lining the pie crust with a thin layer of shredded hard cheese to prevent sogginess and I like topping the pie with some cheese because it browns beautifully.
4. Custard, made with milk/cream and eggs. 2 eggs and a half cup of milk/cream is plenty when you like a vegetable-heavy tart, seasoned generously with salt, pepper and spices.
The final touch I added for this tart was a topping of pine nuts, because the combination of ricotta and pine nuts is a classic one.
To assemble the tart-
1. Take the blind-baked pie crust.
2. Line with cheese.
3. Spread with sauteed vegetables.
4. Pour the custard over.
5. Top with a layer of cheese, or nuts and a sprinkling of paprika for a pretty color.
6. Bake at 350F until the filling is set and the crust is golden.
*** Menu for Hope 6 ***
The annual food blogger fund-raising campaign is on! Read all the details here.
I have not put up a gift for bidding, but I certainly want to do my small part and spread the word about this campaign, and buy a few raffle tickets myself.
There is a truly tantalizing list of prizes this year with something for everyone.
I know I want to buy a ticket for one of the chocolate prizes for V. The prize that is making me weak in the knees is this bounty of vanilla. The practical cook in me knows that a new knife set would be very welcome in my kitchen. How I wish I lived in/near San Fransisco, because there's one of the prizes is a artisan baking workshop. I already own a food processor, but if you would like one for your own kitchen, there's a cool one you can bid on. There are dozens of other prizes, but I'll let you have the joy of browsing through them and picking out your favorites.
If you enjoy reading food blogs, if you think you benefit from reading the voices of home cooks everywhere and trying their recipes, please consider buying one or more tickets to Menu for Hope and supporting food bloggers all around the world in their annual mission to raise funds for a worthy cause.
The campaign ends next Friday, so please hurry! Again, details are here.