Tag Archives: brunch

Chicken and Cucumber Salad

chicken and cucumber salad

Chicken and Cucumber Salad

The soya bean has been known in China since antiquity and was introduced to Japan in the 6th century. A basic condiment in China, Southeast Asia and Japan, soy sauce is made from a fermented mixture of soya bean, wheat, water and salt.

For the chicken:
4 skinless chicken breasts, on or off the bone as preferred
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 English cucumber, julienned
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

For the marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

Julienne the cucumber and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sugar. Set aside.

Poach the chicken. Place the chicken and ginger in a pot. Pour in enough cool water to cover the chicken by an inch or so. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer for about 10 minutes. The chicken is done when opaque through the middle. Remove from the poaching liquid, place it on a cutting board and, shred when cool enough to handle.

Place the shredded chicken in a bowl and toss with the marinade. Add the cucumber and sesame seeds and toss well.

Refrigerate and serve cold.

Serves 6

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

quiche

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

I don’t make quiche often but when I do I wonder why because it’s easy and satisfying, and it’s always a crowd pleaser. This variation is my favorite because of its simplicity but you can doctor it up with sautéed leeks, spinach or anything else that strikes your fancy. Pair with a simple salad and a glass of your favorite wine and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal.

For the crust:
2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, very cold, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 or 4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
1 cup ham, diced
1 cup gruyere, grated
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

For the custard:
1 cup milk
4 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
pinch nutmeg

Make the crust. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together (you may not need all of it). Remove the dough from the food processor and place onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Spray a 10-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll up the dough using a rolling pin, and gently lift and place it over the pan. Gently press the dough into all the crevices and trim the overhang to ½-inch. Crimp the edges for a decorative finish and use the trimmed dough to patch any holes.

Distribute the ham and cheese evenly over the custard. Sprinkle with thyme.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, paprika and pinch nutmeg until light and fluffy.

Pour the custard over the filling and bake until custard is set and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 10-inch quiche

Prosciutto and Herb Frittatas

frittata

Prosciutto and Herb Frittatas

I couldn’t think of a better way to say goodbye to 2014 than with a brunch of individual frittatas featuring some of my favorite ingredients – prosciutto, fresh herbs, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, referred to as “the best cheese on earth” by Bartolomeo Scappi his 1570 cookbook, The Opera.

1 tablespoon butter
2 slices prosciutto, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons chives, chopped
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
4 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon pepper
truffle salt or flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Rub the ramekins with enough butter to coat, leaving any extra pieces for flavor.

Chop the prosciutto and tomato and equally divide into the ramekins. Then add an equal amount of the herbs and Parmesan cheese.

Blend the eggs with the milk and pepper and equally divide into the ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with flaky sea salt or truffle salt and serve warm with sliced baguette and wild arugula tossed with my favorite dressing.

Serves 2