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A Quiche to Keep

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By Jen White · May 10, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

It took me a long, long time to find a quiche formula that worked like a dream every time I used it, but I found it, via this Epicurious recipe. I've tweaked it just a bit according to what I generally have on hand, which is half and half instead of whipping cream, but I've also tried it with other liquids and egg amounts and can say that it's quite forgiving. And that's a very good thing to know. 

Paul and I use this quiche as frequent breakfast material, and also as garde manger for leftovers and small amounts of produce that missed their chance of getting incorporated into dinner. If you have extra mushrooms or bacon lying around, or some leftover roasted potatoes, salmon, or asparagus, or a few nearly-empty bags of shredded cheese in the fridge (these are just a few ideas, but the variations are endless), then you have the makings of a fantastic quiche. Just be sure the vegetables and meats you use have been pre-cooked--sauteed, grilled, baked, etc--before you put them in your quiche. They don't have to be hot, they just shouldn't be raw.

Also, you can freeze slices of quiche after they're baked, so even if you don't think you'll eat it all now, go ahead and bake it. You'll thank yourself later.

As a side note, I'm not really a pie crust whiz, so I rely on store-bought refrigerated crusts. If you make your own crust, go ahead and be awesome, and remember there's no pre-baking required. And also note that if you like, you can bake the quiche crustless. I would increase the eggs, half and half, cheese, and filling ingredients by a small percentage to fill up the pie dish a little better if doing so, and reduce the baking time by about 10 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the eggs didn't get too dark. You may need to reduce the temperature after a bit.

Fool-Proof Quiche

  • 1 pie crust to fit a 9" pie plate, unbaked
  • 4 eggs, well-beaten (I've also used 3 and had success)
  • 1 cup half-and-half, heavy cream, light cream, or evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional), or to taste
  • 1 cup grated or crumbled cheese (approximate amount-you can use less or more if you like)
  • 1 1/2 cups filling (leftover, cooked chopped meats and/or cooked vegetables, such as chicken, bacon, ham, canadian bacon, steak, pork, salmon or other fish, shrimp, cooked chopped potatoes, greens, mushrooms, beans, squash, onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, roasted peppers) (approximate amount-let the size of your pie dish be your guide here)
  • any herbs or seasonings you desire
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line pie plate with crust and set aside.
  2. Beat eggs and half-and-half together and add 1/2 teaspon salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. (If your filling ingredients are very salty, like bacon, you can decrease this salt amount.)
  3. Spread half the cheese you're using in the bottom of the pie crust. Distribute all the filling ingredients evenly over the cheese, including any herbs or spices you're adding. Top with the last half of the cheese.
  4. Whisk the egg mixture one last time and pour evenly over everything in the crust. Smoosh down any filling ingredients that aren't submerged in the custard.
  5. Bake at 375 for 45-40 minutes or until egg mixture appears set in center and crust is light to medium brown. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot, warm, at room temp, or cold.

Serves 6-8

time for treats: boudin and greens potstickers

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By Jen White · October 29, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Paul and I love to eat treats! Anything small, bite-sized, warm, and savory pretty much does the trick.  And the best thing about these potstickers is that they're easy to cook--really, really easy.  You have to be in a bit of a crafting mood to fill them and pleat their little edges, but the cooking itself is easy-peasy.

Normally, potstickers are filled with raw pork or shrimp and cabbage, and the filling gets cooked as the dumplings steam...but I always have trouble getting the filling to cook through before the wonton wrappers become sad little soggy flaps.  Using a cooked filling, such as boudin (sausage made from minced pork and rice), solves the cooking problem PLUS makes great use of local ingredients, or even leftovers.  If you don't have boudin or greens, or don't like one or both of those things, use other cooked meats, seafood, or vegetables.  Just make sure everything is chopped really fine before stuffing the potstickers.  

These are my filling ingredients: 1 link of boudin (roughly 1/3 pound), simmered in water for about 10 minutes and removed from its casings, and about 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked mustard greens. For the greens, I simmered a few handfuls in a pot with chicken stock and garlic for about an hour, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. I let them cool completely and then chopped them up to make sure there weren't any big pieces of stem.  You can easily use canned greens, well drained, or frozen chopped greens, or substitute cabbage or any other kind of green you have sitting around and being leafy.  The main thing to note here is that this filling amount, roughly 1 cup total, will fill about 20 potstickers.

The workstations: filling, a little dish of water, and round wonton wrappers. Mine look janky because I accidentally bought square wrappers and had to cut them into circles with scissors. 

Working with 2 to 3 wrappers at a time, dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges completely. You can use a brush, but it takes longer.

Put just a teaspoon of filling in the center of each wrapper...

and fold them over, pressing the edges to seal.

To pleat the top, fold a tiny bit of the top edge backwards, then squeeze hard between your thumb and forefinger to get the pleat to hold.  They don't have to be perfect.

Keep going until you have 4 to 5 pleats across the top, then press down on the potsticker to flatten the bottom and get it to stand upright, with a little pleat "mohawk" on top.

The cooking has two steps that go quickly: Saute the potstickers in oil for a few minutes to brown them slightly on the bottom,

then add a little stock, cover, and steam until they're tender. Done!

These are great as an appetizer or snack with a traditional ginger-and-soy dipping sauce, or, if you use boudin, you might want to try dipping them in Creole mustard just like you would with a plain boudin link.  Or if you really want to feast, go ahead and float some of these in a big bowl of gumbo.  We won't judge.

boudin and greens potstickers

  • 1 link boudin sausage (about 1/3 pound), cooked according to package directions, cooled, and removed from casings
  • 1/2 cup cooked and seasoned mustard greens, cooled and finely chopped
  • about 20 round wonton wrappers
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chicken or beef stock, divided
  • Creole mustard and/or soy sauce, for dipping (optional)
  1. Combine the boudin and greens in a small bowl.  Have a small dish of water nearby.
  2. Working with 2 to 3 wrappers at a time, dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the wrappers completely.  Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the edge over, pressing the wet edges together to seal.
  3. Put 4 to 5 pleats in the top of each potsticker by folding a tiny bit of the edge backwards and pressing firmly to make it "hold."  When each wrapper is pleated, press it down slightly to flatten the bottom and make it stand upright. Repeat with all the filling and wrappers.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place one tablespoon of oil in the pan, swirl it around, then add half the potstickers (or a third of them, depending on size of pan).  Saute gently for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottoms of the potstickers are light brown.
  5. Pour in about 1/3 cup of stock, cover the pan, and simmer gently until the potstickers are tender and the filling is very hot, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Make sure they don't run out of liquid in the pan or they might burn.)  
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature with Creole mustard, soy sauce, or a combination of both for dipping. Or put them in your gumbo and be awesome.

Makes 20; serves 3 to 5 people (easily doubled or tripled)


the crust is your canvas: steak pizza with blue cheese

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By Jen White · April 2, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Last week, when I wrote about sharing more recipes using leftovers, I had no idea I was going to get to eat some yummy steak pizza this weekend! Paul cooked steaks on Friday night, while I sauteed mushrooms and made a salad.  I love Paul's steaks: they're simple but so delicious, rubbed with olive oil, seasoned with salt, black pepper, and thyme, and cooked in a lot of butter and olive oil in the pan.  If you find yourself with one leftover steak but two or three people to feed, a pizza is a great way to go. Nothing stretches leftovers like a big ol' piece of bread. Plus, you can put all sorts of colorful veggies and cheese on there; make it beautiful and it will be good.

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Tagged with: blue cheese, leftovers, steak, pizza

time: what is it good for? roasted pork fried rice.

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By Jen White · March 28, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Today I want to get a little personal--just a little bit. And it has to do with time, and cooking, and how there never seems to be enough food even after you spend hours cooking something that's supposed to last for days. It happens to us, our small family of two, and it happens to everyone else, I know.  It also has to do with what I've chosen to post on this blog for the past few years, and why, and some possible changes ahead.

The other day, at a crawfish boil (lucky!), a neighbor of ours was saying that he checked food orleans when he was looking for something to make for dinner (that is, quick) and couldn't really find many choices. Of course, I said, "That's about right."  He said, "Does it seem to you like everything on your blog takes about 3 hours to make?" I said, "[Gulp] Um...yes." And then followed with, "We usually cook those things on the weekends." Which is completely true, but for a busy dad looking for something to rustle up in a half hour, that kind of talk don't do much good.

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Tagged with: leftovers, asian, Pork, rice

riz jaune to the riz-scue

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By Jen White · February 6, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Riz jaune has appeared in my life right when I really needed a new "dinner magic" kind of recipe--something cheap, on-hand, and easy to adapt to all sorts of quick dinner fixes. Riz jaune (say "ree zhahn") is basically a Cajun version of fried rice. You make a sort of trinity-plus-Pope concoction (that's onion/celery/bell pepper + garlic), add veggie bits or leftovers you have around the kitchen, ditto with meats (sausage is especially nice), and then you stir in cold cooked rice and eggs. Mix everything up, cook till the egg is firm and scattered all throughout, then eat it as-is or in dozens of other ways that I haven't even thought of yet. Here's what we have had: Riz-jaune-and-red-bean burrito, and gumbo served over riz jaune instead of plain rice. Good stuff. I can also see this being a great stuffing for vegetables or an interesting bed for some gravied chicken or pork.


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