What’s cooking Wednesday (Asparagus & Broccoli quiche)

May is the month of asparagus.
Suddenly, the only things you can order at restauraunts seem to be asparagus soup, asparagus frittata, grilled asparagus… you get the picture. The farmer’s market has been inundated with this stuff, and at $2.00/lb at the grocery, it is a steal. Greed made me pick up a couple of pounds of this at the farmer’s market and in no time, I’d gotten really tired of eating it grilled (which I’ve done at every meal daily since purchasing it).

My friend Jeremy agreed to drive me to the airport Saturday at 6 am (I’m going to Texas for 2 weeks)
As a way of thanking him, I invited him for dinner and decided to use the leftover asparagus to make a quiche. While I was in France, I lived off of quiche, tarte flambees, and crepes. I had forgotten how great of a dish it is when you need to ‘clean out’ the fridge. Since I’m leaving for two weeks, I’ve got to eat up all the food in my fridge in the next week. With a few simple ingredients, I’ve suddenly got a meal for 2 and a few lunches to take to school this week.

Gruyere is the strongest tasting cheese I’m able to enjoy. Even the thought of stronger cheeses (i.e. melted muenster cheese) makes me gag. I decided to use gruyere to give the quiche some flavor, but milder cheeses such as cheddar or Swiss could also be used.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 lb. (1 bunch) asparagus sliced on a diagonal
1/2 cup of broccoli (I had this lying around, but leeks, haricot verts or other veggies can be used)
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup gruyere (or other finely shredded cheese)
1 whole wheat pie crust
1 tomato
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
fresh thyme

Recipe:

* Preheat oven to 350F
* Saute the broccoli and asparagus along with the butter until they are tender (about 8 minutes). Allow this mixture to cool completely.

* In a separate bowl, prepare the egg mixture. Mix 4 beaten eggs with 1/2 cup of gruyere, 1/2 cup of milk, salt, and pepper.

*Add 1/4 c of the remaining gruyere to the bottom of the pie crust.

* Pour cooled asparagus mixture over the gruyere topped pie crust and then add egg mixture.

* Add remaining gruyere to the top of the quiche and add sliced tomatoes for garnish

Bake quiche at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Sprinkle thyme for garnish.

This quiche turned out great…Jeremy really seemed to like it.
I’ll definitely try it with spinach and cheddar next time! -P

What’s cooking Wednesday (Tofu w/ tomato and egg)

My apologies for not posting much as of late, I’ve been uber busy trying to get some simulations to work and experiments to run… not to mention the joy of classes and the upcoming recruitment weekend here at IU. I completely spazzed and forgot about WCW. I’m afraid today’s WCW is a bit unimpressive… mostly because when I’m on a time crunch, I typically have few ingredients in my fridge to work with, and little time to spend in the kitchen. I guess here’s a glimpse of a meal that takes 10-15 minutes to prepare (and can last up to 3-4 meals!)

Ingredients:
1 tomato – diced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. EVOO
3 eggs
16 oz. Tofu – cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Sugar and salt (to taste)

In a saucepan, mix diced tomato, with EVOO and garlic. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes

In a separate bowl, mix eggs and add cubed tofu to the mixture.
Add tofu mixture to saucepan and add sugar and salt to taste

Allow mixture to cook until eggs/mixture are light and fluffy (no liquid should be visible)

After it has been thoroughly cooked, it is ready to eat!

Oh.. I checked my garden out this morning… my seedlings sprouted! I’ll take a photo of my new babies if I can get home before the sun sets or leave the house after it rises!-P

What’s cooking Wednesday (Almond Biscotti)

When I went to Italy, I lived off of gelato, cappucino, pasta, and biscotti…. every waistline’s worst nightmare!

Anyway, when I was there, I had to take a 6 hour train ride and ended up meeting very interesting people along the way… a guy with a gardening show stationed in Venice, another guy who looked to be playing charades but was actually trying to flirt, and finally, a charming lady who gave me her family recipes for my favorite deserts (tiramisu and biscotti). I ended up making the tiramisu (it turned out fantastic) when I went back to Belgium, but never got around to making the biscotti… until today.

I had to do a translation of her recipe from metric units to standard units, and the ratios of ingredients are not exactly what she gave me, but they are ‘close ’nuff’

If you love coffee, you will love dunking one of these delicious biscotto in it!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
2.5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9×13 inch baking sheet

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until light, fluffy, and pale yellow (small peaks should form).

Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt)

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Stir the sliced almonds into the dough

Roll dough out onto the baking sheets to form 12 inch x 2.5 inch x 0.5 inch logs

Bake in the oven at 350 F for 30 minutes

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. When cool to touch, slice the biscotti on a diagonal in 1/2 inch slices

Arrange the biscotti on the side and allow to bake for 10 more minutes flipping the sides over midway through.

After this, store in an airtight container, or serve immediately with coffee.

-P

What’s cooking Wednesday (Beet Soup)

Beets are right next to cabbage on the list of disliked/unregarded vegetables, and I’ve never known exactly why. After giving it some thought, I think it mostly is because people don’t know how to prepare them, or possibly because people don’t want to deal with the red beet colouring that seems to end up EVERYWHERE when you try to prepare them.

Rooted vegetables and some hardy greens seem to be the only locally grown vegetables here in the winter months. Given this, I thought a beet soup would be fitting for this week, and boy was it!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. butter
4 cups chopped beets (in small cubes)
2 cups diced onion
3 tbsp. dried oregano
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. minced ginger.
fresh chives (for garnish)

Beets tend to have thick skin, to easily remove the skin, roast the beets whole with the skin on in a 375F oven for 1 hour (or until they are tender).

Cut off the ends of the beets, and gently peel off the outer layer of skin. They are now ready to be cut in to cubes!

In a large soup pot, saute the onions with the oregano, ginger, and butter for a few minutes.

To the pot, add the vegetable stock and the beets and bring to a boil.

Puree the soup in a blender or with a mixer until smooth.

Garnish with chopped chives, and serve with bread. Bon Appetit!

.

-P

What’s cooking Wednesday (Potato Leek Soup)

So this weeks recipe is for potato leek soup. I’m surprised by how many people don’t eat leeks… they are missing out!

You don’t really need to much to make this soup, but it really does have a lot of flavor!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable stock
2-3 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves

1. Heat a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the leeks, onion, and salt and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and stir well. Cook for 1 minute more.

2. Add the potatoes and vegetable stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 20 minutes

3. Ladle the soup into a blender, 1 cup at a time. Blend the soup with the fresh rosemary leaves until smooth and free of chunks. Pour smooth soup into a heat-proof bowl and continue until all of the soup has been blended.

4. Transfer the blended soup back to the original soup pot and warm over low heat until heated through.

5. Serve hot and enjoy!

-P

What’s cooking Wednesday (Stuffed Zucchini)

Cooking has become one of my new hobbies, I really enjoy shopping for fresh/unique foods at the local farmer’s market, and I’m even considering starting my own little garden or joining a CSA.

What’s Cooking Wednesdays is something new I’ve decided to try on this blog to showcase and share my new hobby. Today, I decided to use some leftover mushrooms from last week, and use up the red pepper and zucchini I picked up at Findlay market last weekend.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this:

2-3 zucchini
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion – diced
1/2 red bell pepper – diced
2 cups mushrooms – sliced
2 oz. buffalo mozzarella – in bits
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup brocolli florets (optional)

*Preheat oven to 375F

*Slice zucchini in half and scoop out the middle. I used a spoon to do this.

*Lay the scooped halves out on a baking sheet

*Saute the onion with the garlic and mushrooms until the onion is slightly browned

*Add in the brocolli florets and peppers and saute for another minute or two

*Scoop the sauteed medley into the zucchini boats, add bits of the fresh mozzarella in, and sprinkle with dried basil

*Bake at 375 for 20 minutes

And you’ve got yourself a tasty dish all in about 30 minutes!
I had extra mushroom stuffing, so I put that on my salad, and had myself a tasty meal.

In other news, I came home yesterday to see some beautiful blooms in my kitchen!

A friend of mine at school gave me an amarylis bulb kit for Christmas. I planted the bulb Dec. 31 and it is finally blooming! I’m amazed by how much this thing has grown… and to think, all I had to do was put a bulb in some soot. Isn’t life amazing!?!

I guess that is all for now… back to studying/watching the Olympics-P