Eggs

May 27, 2008

Real Women Eat Crustless Quiche: Asparagus & Cheese

Real women eat crustless quiche. If you're wondering what real men eat, there's a very simple answer: whatever is most fattening on the menu plus a side of bacon.

Am I right?

All the men in my life eat like kings without a shred of remorse afterwards. Not fair.

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This crustless quiche is my new favorite party recipe. It's great to bring to a party or serve at your own and it pairs with just about everything.

You can make it for brunch, lunch, or dinner and serve alongside sliced tenderloin, smoked salmon, or tomatoes. It looks pretty on the plate or dramatic, left whole, featured in the middle of a buffet table.

It's effortless to whip up, and most importantly for my friends out there who suffer from Celiac disease, this recipe is GLUTEN FREE.

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The crustless wonder quiche reheats well so it can be made in advance. I also found it to be quite tasty cold at 3 A.M in the morning after the party was over.

Jeez, what else can I say? This could quite possibly be the miracle quiche – the quiche that allows real men to finally unite with real women on the subject of real food.

Besides, finally that bizarre rectangular tart pan will get put to good use.

More recipes like this:
Kalyn's Kitchen Mushroom & Feta Breakfast Casserole
Simply Recipes Cheesy Crustless Quiche
Baking Bites Crustless Spinach, Onion, Feta Quiche
Epicurious Crustless Quiche

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October 11, 2006

Oeufs Brouillés: Scrambled Eggs French Style

I know that I've been disgusting everyone lately with recipes taken from our staff lunch meals at the Parisian restaurant I cook at (brains, sweetbreads, etc), so I decided to include something more reminiscent of my earlier pre-apprenticeship posts. Something easy and tasty that you might actually want to make at home...

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French people eat scrambled eggs different then we do in the States. First of all they're mushy and all the ingredients are mixed together in a pot over heat with a whisk instead of carefully folding them in a skillet to make them fluffy. My boss at work made me a version of this quickly when I nearly puked after attempting to eat the cerveaux (brains) at lunch two weeks ago. At first, I was like, "Eeewwww mushy eggggs – blech!" but they were delicious and definately much tastier than the brains.

Instead of adding smoked salmon into the oeufs brouillés (scambled eggs) I folded the slices gently to form a little cup on the plate to keep the eggs from escaping. The eggs are simply whisked over medium heat in a pot with a chopped parsley and chives. Add a touch of cream to eggs when they start to firm up. Mix in whatever other ingredients you desire and voila! C'est partit.

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Oeufs Brouillés: Scrambled Eggs French Style

I know that I've been disgusting everyone lately with recipes taken from our staff lunch meals at the Parisian restaurant I cook at (brains, sweetbreads, etc), so I decided to include something more reminiscent of my earlier pre-apprenticeship posts. Something easy and tasty that you might actually want to make at home...

P1030292.JPG

French people eat scrambled eggs different then we do in the States. First of all they're mushy and all the ingredients are mixed together in a pot over heat with a whisk instead of carefully folding them in a skillet to make them fluffy. My boss at work made me a version of this quickly when I nearly puked after attempting to eat the cerveaux (brains) at lunch two weeks ago. At first, I was like, "Eeewwww mushy eggggs – blech!" but they were delicious and definately much tastier than the brains.

Instead of adding smoked salmon into the oeufs brouillés (scambled eggs) I folded the slices gently to form a little cup on the plate to keep the eggs from escaping. The eggs are simply whisked over medium heat in a pot with a chopped parsley and chives. Add a touch of cream to eggs when they start to firm up. Mix in whatever other ingredients you desire and voila! C'est partit.

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August 08, 2006

Easy French Breakfast: Baked Eggs

This recipe is extremely delicious, easy to prepare for a crowd, uses four main ingredients, and takes twenty minutes from start to finish – Viola! To go straight to the recipe scroll down to the bottom and click on "continue reading Easy French Breakfasts..."

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I first had this dish years ago in Paris before I was living there and couldn't get enough. It used to be on the bistro menus everywhere and now I rarely see it which is unfortunate because they are seriously addicting.

It tastes fancy and I guarantee that you will hear lots of mmmmm's at the breakfast table. Serve along side an arugula salad and warm baguette with butter & raspberry jam or just a simple bowl of fruit salad.

The eggs are baked on a bed of softened julienned leeks and covered with a teensy bit of cream and freshly grated parmesan. While cooking the egg white and cream combine to form a delicately set white and the yolk stays soft. The cheese forms a crust on the top which adds texture and a little color as it bubbles and browns.

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Cook covered in a roasting pan (bain marie) filled 1/2" with boiling water for 10 minutes and then take the cover off for two more minutes to let the cheese brown.

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May 17, 2006

Eat Your Peas: Sweet Pea Gnocchi

My final superior examination next week at Le Cordon Bleu. I've been experimenting at home with some of the ingredients, like petit pois, attempting to create original recipes. I'm sure my husband's getting tired of eating the same things over and over although I haven't heard any complaints. I'm waiting for the: Peas and pigeon again? Isn't there anything else at the supermarket? Can't I whisk you away to a three star dinner tonight? (wishful thinking I suppose)

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We are given a list of ingredients and two weeks to prepare our own recipes. Our menu must include two composed side dishes and one simple. The meat, which is Pigeon (oh, joy) can be cooked in any method we desire, as long as it's perfectly rosé. We also need to create a sauce. All this must be completed in four hours – not before or after.

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Ms. Glaze's Sweet Pea Gnocchi served along side filet mignon and tarragon glazed shoestring carrots

One of the ingredients we will be given is 400g of petit pois. I've overheard many students talking about making a purée or a flan, but I want to do something different so I'm making petit pois gnocchi with fresh basil. There are many ways to make gnocchi using ricotta, potato, or choux pastry. I've chosen the potato method but I'm substituting most of the potatoes for peas. It's taken awhile to figure out the measurements and play around with the dough, but it creates the most beautiful tasty bright green dumplings. (Recipe to follow)

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Gnocchi doesn't have to be presented in the normal dumpling or small cylinder shape. It can also be served as an amuse bouche with a little shaved parmesan or tomato confit on top. I got the idea of this little tube from Bea at Tartine Gourmand – clever! It's easy to cook this way because you roll the gnocchi dough up in cling film and press out all the air. Then tie off the ends tight and simmer in water for 7-10 minutes. Cool in an ice water bath, cut to desired length, refrigerate, and reheat before serving with a little olive oil. Or top and bake quickly before serving. Cool, huh? Who knew gnocchi could be so versatile and easy?

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One garnish down, two to go...oh yeah, and that little bird too...I don't want to give away all my secrets just yet, so I'll fill in the details soon.

Ms. Glaze's Sweet Pea Gnocchi Recipe on following page

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May 09, 2006

Pays Basque

3 days, 3 gorgeous coastal cities, and 3 unique Basque cultures: Biarritz, Hendaye, San Sebastian...

Forget Nice & Cannes and come to the original Cote d'Azur for surfing, delcious food & pinxtos, fabulous inexpensive wine, and happening nightlife. From Paris catch the TGV to Biarritz and the local trains between cities, each within 18 kilometers of each other.

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Biarritz, prized for it's natural beauty and healing waters, was popularized by Napoleon III who built a palace for his wife Eugenie upon the gorgeous coastline. Now us "little people" can enjoy the same luxury at Eugenie's palace which was converted into the famous Hotel Palais. The hotel is famous for more than just hosting Emperor's and Empresses, it was turned into an American army college after World War II to re-educate war veterans so that they could earn degrees and enter back into American society with new skills.

Biarritz is by no means a sleepy surf town, there is still a glitzy french feel to the seaside cafe's and nightclubs. However, one can easily tell that it's hay day has come and gone. New construction and spa hotels are attempting to bring it back to it's former glory, but I hope it remains as is.

Take the train to Hendaye for a more unique Basque experience. Here, most of the population still speaks Basque, but you can get by with Spanish or French. Our friend's just bought a house by the beach, so we spent the day walking the coastline and the night eating delicious home cooked food: potato tortilla, rabbit stew, cider, Basque wine, jambon – cut from the leg itself (which, they actually have in their house!!!). I was really impressed by the potato tortilla which is also called a Spanish omelet, a mixture of potatoes and eggs. Simple and delicious (recipe to follow)

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If you're a fan of Spanish tapas, then you'll appreciate the Basque version called pinxtos (little pinches) and the tradition of munching from one restaurant to the next in search of the best bite. These little treats run the gamut from baguette slices piled high with crab salad, smoked salmon, and caviar to bites of freshly carved jambon with pimento and melted sheep's cheese. We walked up and down the streets paved with history eating, laughing, drinking, and enjoying each other's company.

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San Sebastian, our final Basque destination, retained all the beauty and glitz of Biarritz (if not more) but had a dominant Spanish influence as opposed to French. Warm people, picture perfect coastline dotted with sail boats and sun worshisers, and the best nightlife of all three places. San Sebastian reminded me of Barcelona but with more places to grab pinxtos and wine. I was also impressed by the age range of the night life. This is place for all ages to enjoy a little stroll down the beach and glass of rioja or sparkling cava (the Spanish version of champagne) at night – it doesn't matter if you're 91 or 19, everyone's strolling about at night and having a good time.

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We returned to rainy Paris by train, disappointed that we weren't able to soak up more sun and fun. Lazily, we watched the sun set through our window and munched tasteless train food dreaming of pinxtos, rioja, cava, warm coastlines, and good friends...we'll be back soon, I'm sure.

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Spanish Potato Tortilla recipe on next page..

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March 05, 2006

Hollandaise Queen: Final Exam

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One day before my final at Le Cordon Bleu and I have a bad case of the I-don-wanna's. Bad, bad, bad. I keep doing everything there is to do but, study. I should not be blogging right now. Okay, this will be the last thing I do and then I will study.

We have been given ten recipes to memorize and they are all delicious. Except for the braised choux which is a molded cabbage leaf stuffed with ground fat back (lard), pork fat (uh, lard, I think), and some ground pork and onions. Then it's draped in caul, weblike fat from the neck of a cow, and braised – ball o' fat with cabbage.

However, the trout with morrel stuffing, steak with truffle sauce, and lamb tien are off the hook. The chicken Basquaise and dorade wrapped in lettuce leaves are also deliceux, but tricky. And then there's this one recipe that I can't find in my notebook which is worrying me. Knowing my luck, I will propably get that one. I can't remember making it either and I have no pictures of it. Perhpas that was the day the aliens came down and abducted me from class.

I have been good about studying for the technical aspect: hollandaise sauce. I went out and bought a flat of eggs and stacks of butter last night with my cooking partner, Jamie, and we whisked away. I've never had trouble with hollandaise which is worrying me a little. Sometimes it's better to mess things up–especially delicate sauces–so that you know exactly how not to do it next time. Like the time I made a meat sauce with bones and mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery) and I caramelized it too much. When I deglazed the pan and tasted the sauce it was bitter. The color was gorgeous, the taste horrible!. Now I know just how brown you can caramelize bones/mirepoix before deglazing. Not too sure about hollandaise...

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Mine turned out awesome last night (and Jamie's did too) despite the bottle of bourgogne we polished off beforehand. Who knows, maybe I've just got the hollandaise touch!?!? Maybe I will be to hollandaise what Mrs. Fields is to cookies or what Nancy is to quiches? I know, I'll make up for the recipe I can't recall with my gorgeous sauce! The judges will be so in awe of my delicate buttery hollandaise sauce that they won't even notice the un-identifiable mess beside it.

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Here's my recipe and tips. I should say beforehand, that hollandaise sauce is not difficult or time consuming if you follow the precautions. The real trick is keeping it warm before serving because you cannot reheat or it splits. Bad hollandaise sauce looks like mayonnaise. It should be light in color, airy, and melt in your mouth – not gloopy, glossy, or bright yellow. Serve over eggs, or fish, or eat it right out of the bowl.

Keep your fingers crossed for me on the exam!!!! I'll let you know how it goes on Monday.
Hollandaise:
1. 4 egg yolks
2. 1 Tablespoon water for every egg yolk (4)
3. 1 stick of clarified butter or 200g
4. Salt to taste
5. 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste.
Prepartion:
1. Prepare a double boiler by filling a large wide sauté pan half way with water. Make sure it is not the type with one pot sitting snuggly onto another filled with water. You want the steam to escape around the sides of the mixing bowl. Simmer water GENTLY.
2. Make clarified butter by gently melting it in a double boiler (whichever kind you want). Once the butter melts and the whey falls to the bottom, skim off the oil. Put back into the double boiler and keep warm– very important! To test it, put your finger in. Too hot or cold to the touch and it will ruin the sauce.
3. In a stainless steel mixing bowl, that is smaller than the base of the double boiler, whisk the egg yolks and water together until frothy. Holding the bowl with one hand float it in water of the double boiler and start whisking. Whip it good! The eggs should turn a light yellow color and start to double and triple in size. Once you can begin to see the bottom of your mixing bowl while whisking then take off the heat and place on the counter with a towel around the bottom to keep it steady.
4. Drizzle warm clarified butter into the eggs while stirring rapidly with a whisk (stirring, not whipping here).
5. Add salt and lemon to taste.
6. To keep warm: place sauce in a bowl and put on a small circular roasting rack that sits just above warm water. You could use the water from the double boiler. Cover with saran wrap. Viola!

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February 12, 2006

Crepes, Crepes, Crepes!

I have a very special French friend, Marine, who besides being an amazing person is also our barometer for all things francais. She has helped tremendously during our first year abroad and has even been known to make reservations at itimidating restaurants, translate important documents, and include us in french traditions and holidays.

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In honor of "La Chandeleur" Marine held a huge Crepe Party. The significance dates back to the middle-ages. Traditionally, in France, La Chandeleur is celebrated every February 2nd, in honor of the dead (including the end of the winter), and for good fortune. Crepes are a symbol or wealth, and making crepes while holding a gold coin should bring good fortune and health during the year. Marine found historical details dating back to Pope VII! Nowadays in early February people make crepes, put on costumes and throw fresh eggs and flour to people on the streets! (well, some do, like students).

When I arrived, Marine had prepared all imaginable accoutrements for the crepes: tomato confit, sauteed mushrooms, grated gruyere, chevre, lardon (bacon), blue cheese, and eggs. For the dessert crepes we had our choice of homemade mandarin, blackberry, and strawberry jams or flambéd crepes with Grand Marnier. She also served an "inbetween" crepe filled with chevre, honey, and walnuts–
yummm!

I watched as she tossed crepe after crepe in the air....

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We did get a little too crazy with the flambéd crepes and at one point switched from Grand Marnier to Rum which was NOT a good idea. As we discovered the higher alcohol content in rum causes a much MUCH bigger flame. We melted the air filter on her stove which ended our flambé fun. Luckily the filter is easily replaced, however it dripped all over our last crepe of the evening.

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I DO NOT recommend lighting anything on fire, but for those curious about the process you heat up a small amount of alcohol (usually a congnac or some sort of liquer) to a simmer then pour it over gently while simultaneously lighting on fire with the longest possible match or lighter. Do not put your face over it or have anything around that can catch on fire– you can never tell how big the flames are going to be.

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We gobbled our delicious crepes with Cidre (hard sparkling cider) and had good fun with baby Zoe..the real light of the party!

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Thanks again Marine for all delicious fun :-) and to Stuart Isett (Pro photographer) for capturing our flambé moments.

Sweet Crepes:
120 g flour (2/3's cup)
pinch of salt
30g sugar (one big Tablespoon)
2 eggs
250ml milk (one cup)
60ml water (two big Tablespoons) or subsitute Grand Marnier or eau de vie
30g butter melted

1. In a bowl sift flour, salt, and sugar. Pour eggs in a well in the center and whisk in incorporting flour from sides of well. Slowly whisk in milk and water util batter is smooth. Lastly whisk in alcohol. Strain if it is lumpy
2. Heat a crepe pan or large nonstick pan and swirl a little melted butter over surface. Pour in about 50 ml of batter and rotate pan so batter coats evenly. Cook for 1 minute then gently lift edges with spatula and flip onto the other side. Or toss like Marine if you're feeling lucky! Crepe should be a pale golden color.
3. Place desired filling on one half of crepe and fold the other half on top. Fold again to make a triangle and serve warm.
Fillings could include: nutella, bananas, jams, sucre, sliced almonds, chevre, lemon, and honey

Savory Crepes:
120 g flour (2/3's cup)
pinch of salt
big pinch of sugar
2 eggs
250ml milk (one cup)
60ml beer (4 big Tablespoons) 30g butter melted

Follow instructions above
Fillings could include: eggs, gruyere, ham, tomato confit, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, blue cheese, nuts, chevre, whatever else your heart desires!

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January 23, 2006

Soufflé Au Fromage Recipe

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Let's face it, soufflé's are a little scary to make. The thought of them falling before they get to the table is almost worse than forgetting to put pants on before going outside. However, this same unpredictable quality adds a wonderful magical surprise to any party when they DO make it to the table in tact. The oooo's and aaahhhhh's can be worth a little uncertainty.

Follow these basic intructions: use softened butter to flour and butter soufflé dish, whisk egg whites stiff but not dry just before folding into ingredients, and don't open the oven door until it has risen 3"-4". Voila! Soufflé's are broken down into two three parts: béchamel sauce, egg whites, & egg yolks.

SOUFFLE AU FROMAGE (Cheese Souffle):
Serves 4 people
40g butter
40g flour
250ml milk
100g gruyére grated
3 egg yolks
5 egg whites stiffly beaten
1 pinch of salt
Butter and flour 6-cup soufflé dish. (use softened butter)
Freshly ground pepper, salt, nutmeg to taste

Instructions:
1. Butter and flour soufflé dish up to the very top. Refrigerate.
2. Make roux for béchamel sauce in saucepan: melt butter over medium heat until foamy then whisk in flour. Let flour cook in butter (while whisking) to cook the glutens. 2-3 min. Don't let it brown.
3. Pour COLD milk into HOT roux and whisk briskly to form béchamel sauce. When it boils take off heat and add a generous pinch of salt & pepper. Add a small pinch of nutmeg.
4. Whisk egg yolks one by one into béchamel (off heat) and grated gruyére.
5. Whisk egg whites until very stiff but not dry. Add a pinch of salt as they become stiff.
6. Immediately mix 1/4 of egg whites into bechamel sauce to lighten it.
7. Pour béchamel sauce back over remaining egg whites and fold in with spatual. If you want the rustic look (like my pic below) then leave some white streaks. If you want the refined top hat look then fold quickly/gently until few eggwhite streaks remain.
8. Pour into soufflé dish leaving 1/2" space from the top. Make a 1/2" groove with your thumb around rim of batter to help it rise straighter. Be careful not to rub the inside of the dish.
9. Cook for around 20 min at 200˚-180˚C / 400˚-385˚F.
Check for done-ness after it has risen 3"-4". Touch the top lightly. If it feels firm with a slight wobble in the middle then it should be moist inside and dry outside. If you like it dryer then cook a little longer. BEWARE: an overcooked soufflé will deflate.

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December 23, 2005

Cooking Video: Quiche Lorraine

Quiche is easy to make and pleases just about everyone. It's great during the holidays when you need to feed a lot of people for brunch or lunch. Also, you can use up left overs in the fridge and mix them in with the filling. For example, sometimes I make the filling out of wild mushrooms and spinach or smoked salmon instead of the bacon for quiche lorraine. I've even seen quiches in paris with broccoli and sliced potatoes.

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Shortcrust Pastry:
200g flour/ 1 1/4 cup flour
100g butter/ 1/2 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 egg
1-2 Tbsps water as needed

Filling:
3-4 eggs
150ml cream/ 1 cup cream
180g/ 3/4 cup thick bacon, rashers, or lardons
150g/ 2/3 cup gruyere cheese diced or shredded
salt & pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg

Shortcrust assembly:
1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in butter until mixture resembles sand
2. Add egg and water and mix until just incorporated
3. Form a ball with dough and "fraser" crush dough with palm of hand against counter to incorporate all butter.
4. Chill for 15 minutes or up to one day.
5. Roll dough out to fit desired tart pan and prick with tines of fork.
6. Fill to the top with baking beans or beads to prevent shrinking (it will shrink considerably otherwise)
7. Blind bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown at 160C/ 325F.

Filling:
1. Whisk eggs, cream, nutmeg together
2. Fry bacon in a saute pan until cooked and then drain excess fat off in a sieve.
3. Brush pie crust with mustard
4. Fill crust in a single layer with bacon and then add cheese to cover
5. Pour egg/cream mixture over the bacon and cheese and fill to 1/4 inch of the top of the crust. If necessary make more egg/milk mixture to cover.
6. Bake at 180C/350F for first 10 minutes then reduce to 160C/325F and bake until center barely jiggles and the egg filling is set, about 15-25 minutes more depending on pan size.
7. Let cool slightly before serving to help the egg filling properly set
8. Enjoy

Note: If adding other filling make sure that they are cooked and drained of any liquid before adding to the cream/egg mixture. Also if the egg/cream mixture does not fill the tart pan to a 1/4" of the top of the crust then whip up another egg and some extra milk and add.