Tag Archives: quiche

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

Oasis Leek Pie

oasis leek pie

Oasis Leek Pie

I have lots of favorite cookbooks but Salvador Dali’s Les Diners de Gala, first published in 1973, is not only my favorite but one of my most prized possessions. Decadent, indulgent, completely bizarre and all around fun, many of the recipes come from of the legendary Parisian restaurants Maxim’s and La Tour d’Argent. The recipes are old school French but the presentation is surrealism at its finest. This recipe instructs to sculpt a palm tree out of a leek and place it in the pie before serving. The image on the left is from Dali’s book, the other from an ArtBites class.

For the tart:
one 12-inch savory pie crust (store bought or home made – for homemade recipe scroll down)
olive oil
2 ½ pounds leeks, white and light green parts only
¼ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
½ cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper

If using a store bought pie crust bake in the lower third of the oven until the edges of the pastry are golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Set aside one leek for decoration. Finely slice and rinse the others. Cook the leeks in olive oil until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the egg and egg yolk, then whisk in the milk and cream and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the leeks evenly over the pastry and pour the custard mixture over it. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake it in the bottom third of the oven at 325° F until the top is golden and puffed and the custard is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sculpt a palm tree out of the remaining leek, place in the center of the pie and serve warm.

For the homemade pie crust:
1 ¼ cups flour, plus extra for rolling
1 stick unsalted butter, very cold, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
3 or 4 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water one tablespoons at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Be careful because too much water will make the crust tough.

Remove the dough from the food processor and shape into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Remove the crust disk from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5-10 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 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick.

Carefully place onto a 12-inch pie plate, gently press the dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate and trim the dough to within ½ inch of the edge of the pie dish and freeze for at least half and hour, until chilled.

Preheat your oven to 350° F. When the pie crust is sufficiently chilled, line the pie crust with parchment paper and fill at least two-thirds full with pie weights – dry beans or rice will do. Bake with weights for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool a few minutes and remove pie weights. Poke small holes in the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and return to oven (without the weights) and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool completely before filling and follow instructions above.

Serves 6 to 8