Posts Tagged ‘ cheese ’

Bruschetta….

Another family staple in my house is bruschetta. You can’t go wrong with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some fresh bread. Throw some cheese on it, and you’ve got a pretty filling sandwich alternative.

The recipe I used to use for bruschetta is sadly no longer online… or if it is, I can’t find it….

I’m horrible at writing down quantities, I just kind of chuck everything into a pan until it tastes right, but here’s my best effort:

Ingredients:

-1 baguette/focaccia bread

-4 cloves garlic (I always double this)

-1 /3 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best!)

-1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

-1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

-Salt and black pepper to taste

-700g roma tomatoes, chopped

Directions:

1. Mince or crush the garlic and add it to the olive oil, set aside.

2. Slice the baguette into 1.5cm slices.

3. Brush the slices with some of the olive oil/garlic mixture. Make sure to reserve 1 tbsp.

4. Put the bread slices oil side up on the top rack of the oven, and broil until the bread browns a bit. This should take about 5 minutes, depending on the oven. You just want to dry the bread enough so that it’s not soggy when you put the tomatoes on it. Be careful not to burn the bread!

5. In the meantime, put the remaining olive oil and tomatoes, balsamic vinegar  into the pan on medium heat. Add in the balsamic vinegar and  basil, mixing the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the tomatoes until they have softened a bit, no more than 5 minutes.

6. Spoon the tomato onto the bread slices and serve. Alternatively, you can put the bruschetta back in the oven after you’ve put the tomatoes on, and sprinkle it with some finely grated parmesan or some other low-moisture Italian cheese of choice.

These days I’m trying to stay away from bread, but I still love tomatoes, so I often prepare tomatoes bruschetta style to serve as a side dish. Here they are, and the next time I make proper bruschetta, I’ll add the pic.

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Quiche.

The first time I made a quiche, I failed miserably. I had made a batch of mini pies in Korea, and had one pie shell left over, so I cracked an egg, threw in a few veggies and stuffed it in the oven. No milk/cream, no pre-baking the shell. It was a mess! The thing ballooned out of the pie shell and ended up looking like a prop out of a sci-fi movie. It still tasted alright, despite the dryness.

Fortunately, I decided to try again. This time around, I used a recipe that comes from Let’s Break Bread Together, the cookbook put together by the United Church of Canada.

I used the same pie dough from my previous entry on pies, making sure to pre-bake the shell for 8 minutes before I added in the egg and other ingredients. For some reason, the dough shrank a bit after the 8 minutes, so I ended up having to patch it. Next time I roll out the dough for quiche, I’ll make sure to take shrinkage into account.

Again, I don’t have the recipe book with me, but I think it goes something like this for the filling:

-1/4 cup green onion

-1 cup cooked shrimp, drained

-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (I used jong belegen)

-1/8tsp black pepper

-3 eggs

-2 cups cream

-1/4 tsp salt

-1 tbsp dried tarragon

After the  shell has been pre-baked, spread the green onion and shrimp and cheese evenly on the pie dish. Beat the eggs, mix in the cream and add the tarragon and salt into the mixture, and then pour over the ingredients in the pie dish. Bake at 200°C for 30-40 minutes.

If the shell starts to dry out, wrap foil around the edges so that it doesn’t burn.

*          *           *

The quiche was an incredible success at dinner on Friday evening, and it disappeared pretty quickly once it hit the table. This prompted my decision to make two quiches the next day instead of just one. I made the shrimp quiche again, and I tried out a spinach quiche recipe from allrecipes.com, as I needed something for the vegetarians.

That recipe was not without its flaws–the original ingredient yield is enough for two quiches… thanks to the comments, I decided to halve the amount of ingredients from the get-go, and then for my cream/egg mixture, I just used the same one as I did in the shrimp quiche.

Despite all my adjustments, the quiche ended up having a lot of moisture–another common complaint about the recipe. It took me an extra 30 minutes with my quiche tented and on convection for it to dry out. If I make this is again, I might dry out my mushrooms beforehand or use slightly less cream, as it’s kind of hard to really get all the moisture out of spinach. Nevertheless, the quiche was a hit and by the time I got a chance to take a break from the kitchen, the quiche was gone…. marking the first time I’ve served something to others without trying it myself.

Conclusion: If you’re having a party or a brunch, quiche is a pretty cheap and easy way to fill people up. It’s a very versatile dish that can easily be adapted to suit a range of tastes and dietary requirements. People really love quiche! I will certainly be making quiche again in the future.

For now, I am off to Berlin! Going to finally try some curry wurst. I’ll see you all on Saturday.

Mashed Potaters…

In keeping with the crappy Dutch weather, I decided to make some mashed potatoes earlier this week. This is another recipe inspired by a meal often served in my university’s cafeteria. I decided to make red-skin mashed potatoes to accompany some barbecued chicken breast.

I took about 0.75 kilos of red potatoes, scrubbed them, and removed the bad bits. Then I cut them up into chunks, and put them in a pot, filling the water until it just covered the potatoes, and threw in a bit of salt. I also added about 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves to the pot and mixed them around so they’d be evenly distributed.

I brought the water to a boil on high heat, then reduced it so the potatoes would cook slowly for about 10 minutes. I took them off the heat, and strained the potatoes with a colander.

Putting the pot back on the stove on low heat, I added about 2tbsp of unsalted butter, and about 1/4 cup of koffiemelk (its consistency is somewhere between Carnation milk and homogenized milk). The reason for this is that my mother is lactose intolerant, so fresh milk products are a no-no. After that, I added about 1.5tbsp of kruidenboter (herb butter). I also put in about 1/4 cup of grated belegen cheese (a quick search on Wikipedia has taught me that belegen is moderately aged ‘gouda’). Then I mashed away!

The potatoes turned out pretty good, I must say. I had made this about 10 days ago with less garlic, and they were alright. This time around I was a bit apprehensive about the fact I had basically doubled the garlic, but the boiling process pretty much ensures that the flavour won’t overpower the potatoes as long as you don’t go overboard.