So awhile back I made a recipe that I called an “odds and ends” casserole, which was basically a way to make a decent casserole with a couple basic things and whatever is in your fridge. This is basically the same thing, but in the form of a quiche. In principle, it’s “roast a bunch of veggies, sautee an onion, and stick them in a pie crust with some cheese, milk and eggs.” And done. Here’s the basic recipe that I made, but again, you can modify the veggies or cheese based on what you like/have in your fridge.
1 Pie crust
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 zucchini, chopped in large chunks
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2-3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1-2 ounces shredded hard, strong cheese
Toss the bell pepper in some olive oil and salt and stick it in the oven at 400. After 10 minutes, add the zucchini. Stir every 10 minutes or so, and pull them out when they are at the desired level of roasted – probably like 25-30 minutes. While the veggies are roasting, heat oil in a large pan and sautee the onions, until translucent. Add the leeks and keep sautéing at a lower heat until the onions are golden brown, or, if you’re impatient, at least very soft. The longer everything cooks, the sweeter it will be. Once the veggies are done, stick a layer of onions in a pie-crust-lined dish. Then the layer of roasted veggies. Then dot the veggies with teaspoons of the ricotta and the tomatoes. Scatter the hard cheese over it. Beat the egg and milk together, and pour in the dish. Bake at 375 for 30-ish minutes.
So I really liked this recipe. Particularly, I liked that it was a ton of veggies, and not a lot of egg and milk, and that the veggies were sweet. And that it’s versatile. However, the thing I didn’t love was that moving the onions and veggies from the pan into the pie plate also involved getting a lot of olive oil in there. Which…made the bottom crust soggy. I didn’t mind it for me (in fact I’ve eaten the quiche almost every day this week), but I’d be mortified to serve it to someone like that. So, beware of too much liquid! But really, it’s made a great lunch, and also a great breakfast. Song of the week:Sorry by Postmodern Jukebox. Yes! the re-emergence of Postmodern Jukebox, which I still love. No real reason for this song, other than nothing stuck me this week and I happen to be listening to it right now.
I don’t know about you, but really terrible weather makes me want to eat food from warmer places, like Mexico or the Middle East/North Africa. This past weekend was no exception. Like the rest of DC (and much of the East Coast) I got snowed in by the monster storm over the weekend. So before the storm hit I made sure I had everything I needed for something tasty and sort of fusion-y Mexican empanadas. Yes, I know empanadas are a South American thing (I certainly ate a lot of them in Chile) but I decided to make a more Mexican-inspired filling for them.
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4-1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons wine vinegar
Dump the flour in a bowl. Mix the water and vinegar together and pour most of it in with the flour and add the butter. Mix until a ball of dough forms, adding more water as necessary. Cover and set aside while you make the filling. It should be pliable, but the vinegar will make it even more so as it sits.
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 yellow onion, diced
1/2 a yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
2 ounces queso blanco or queso fresco
Saute the onions and garlic in oil for a few minutes. Then add the bell pepper, then the zucchini, salt, pepper and cumin. Once all the veggies are done, stick into a bowl and mix in the crumbled queso.
Roll out the dough as thin as you can without it tearing. Use a biscuit cutter, jar or small bowl to cut out circles in the dough. Heat oil for frying in a large pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons-ish of filling into each circle. Fold it into a half-moon, sealing the edges. Stick in the pan and fry until both sides are golden brown and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Serve with salsa.
This was a really really tasty recipe. There was something immensely satisfying about eating it while the storm raged outside. Beyond that, I just really liked the way it tasted, although I should have added chiles. When you make it you should probably add chiles – that will only improve the recipe. I has this with Anchor’s winter wheat beer, as I really love the combo of wheat beers and Mexican-esque foods. And this was a super Californian thing of me to make, so an SF beer is only appropriate. Song of the Week: Just Like Heaven by The Cure. To be honest, there isn’t any song I was obsessed with or felt strongly about this week, so I decided to just go with a classic.
Over the weekend, I took and impromptu trip to CA to visit my family, and in the process, I made dinner for my mom one night I was there. Since she has many many more cookbooks than I do, it seemed a perfect opportunity to find something for new recipe day. And since she swears by the Greens cookbooks (as does everyone in my family) I decided to make something from one of those. Since it was still effectively summer back in NorCal, I decided to make late-summer Provencal Tartlets. Ok, this recipe does take awhile to cook (about 2 episodes of Star Trek) and it looks like a ton of ingredients, but its pretty straight-forward to do.
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
several tablespoons cold water
Measure flour and salt into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until there are no significant sized lumps. If compressed, the dough should almost be able to stick together. Add water, a little at a time, until the dough comes together. The dough should be soft and pliable, but cohesive and not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
1/2 smallish eggplant, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 a red onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic
1-2 pinches dried thyme
1 pinch dried oregano
2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/2-3/4 cups fontina cheese
Dice all the veggies and stick them in a bowl. Toss with the garlic, olive oil, and dried herbs. Roast at 400 for about 10-15 minutes. The diced veggies means it goes pretty quickly. Stick back in a bowl. Roll out the dough and cut it into circles large enough to fit a cupcake pan. Then line the cupcake pan with the little dough circles. Toss the now-cooked and slightly cooler veggies with the parsley, tomatoes, and cheeses. Fill the tartlets, and then bake for maybe 30 minutes at 375 (until they are golden and the cheese is bubbly. Cool slightly and serve!
Oh man these were good. Lots of veggies to be sure, but since its not a ton of any of them, it can basically be an “odds and ends” sort of filling for the tartlet. I mean, these are all pretty common summer veggies to have, and the only things I bought specifically for the recipe was the fontina cheese (fontina works amazing with eggplant as a general rule). I had this with at California Sauvignon Blanc which I thought was a good pairing. Sav. blancs are good with most summer veggie recipes, and I drink CA wines when I’m in the state as a general rule. Song of the Week: Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. Another catchy pop song I rather like. My mom said it was her new favorite song this weekend, and since I enjoy it too, I figured it would be perfect for this week.
Honestly, I don’t know if I should call this thing a tart or a pizza. I was going to make a zucchini tart, but I didn’t want to make tart dough, I wanted pizza dough. So I decided to pull it all together like that, and make a sauce-less pizza or a yeast-based tart thing. Eh, definitions are overrated.
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package yeast
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4-1 cup flour
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water, and let it sit til the yeast gets all foamy, about 10 minutes or so. Add the olive oil, and then mix in the flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough ball forms. Knead the dough until it is elastic, then set aside to rise for like an hour. This recipe will make either two little pizza-tarts, or one larger one. Adjust the toppings accordingly.
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
6 kalamata olives, halved
1-2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Roll out the dough and put in on whatever you are planning to bake it on (pizza stone, cookie sheet, baking pan). Place the zucchini slices in a pretty pattern on the dough. I opted not to have the slices overlap, but you can do that if you want. Add the olives in the pattern, and then scatter the cheese and garlic over the whole thing. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes, and enjoy warm.
This was actually really good. Not that I thought it wouldn’t, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. I think I could have done more zucchini though, and next time I will. I guess this was more pizza then savory tart-like. As you can see, I had this with a Vinho Verde rose, which is a great summer wine. Seriously, go with something light, fruity, and cold for this one. Song of the week: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. It’s been fitting my mood perfectly for nearly a week now, and I just broke down and bought the album on iTunes.
So this is yet another slightly delayed holiday recipe posting. March 31 is Cesar Chavez Day in the great state of California – it replaced Columbus day (good riddance) as a state holiday. Cesar Chavez is a Latino labor rights organizer for farm workers who did a lot of good for CA and the Latino communities across the U.S. I want to note (I just learned this) that equal credit should be given to Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers and a badass in her own right. So in honor of Huerta and Chavez and Labor Rights in general, I decided to do another one of my Cali-Mex recipes this week. So this was an odd synthesis of a Zucchini salad from my Mexican vegetarian cooking class and a recipe from Everyday Greens cookbook.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup masa harina
dash of salt
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
Measure flour, masa harina, and salt into a bowl and mix them all thoroughly. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until there are no significant sized lumps. Mix the vinegar with 3 tablespoons of water and add the mixture, a little at a time, until the dough comes together. If you need more water, add it in small amounts. The dough should be soft and pliable, but cohesive and not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside while you make the filling.
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 ear of corn, kernels cut off
1/3 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 medium poblano pepper, chopped
1 tsp cumin (or in reality to taste)
salt and pepper
2-3 ounces queso fresca, crumbled
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Add the garlic, and after a couple minutes, add the onions and poblano peppers. Once they start to soften, add the corn, zucchini, cumin, salt and pepper. Saute until everything is softened, but not so long that it turns squogy. Toss with the queso and set aside. Roll out the tartlet dough and cut out little circles from it (once again my glass ice cream bowls are used to fulfill the task of a biscuit cutter). Take each circle and stick it into a spot in a cupcake tin. No worries if its a little large and needs to squish a little, that’s totally fine. Fill each one completely with the fill. Bake at 375 for like 20 minutes or so.
Damn these were tasty. I had to exercise a great deal of discipline to save some of them for meals at work instead of gobbling them all as a meal and then snacks. I had these with Oberon Summer Ale (it’s back! and my all-time fav beer to pair with Mexican food) as a meal, but I think they would make an amazing appetizer at a party or something. The tartlet dough is awesome – I’m loving the flour-masa harina combo, and have been using it when making tostadas for a while. Song of the Week: Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter by Herman’s Hermits. I love this song for so so many reasons, but the main two are the guitar rift in the beginning (and really the guitar throughout) and the theme of being heartbroken without bitterness or recrimination. It’s an uplifting song about lost love – which is amazing. We should all strive to be that decent regarding our former lovers. Also Herman’s Hermits are incredible and tragically underrated.