“Puffy” Quiche

What’s a girl to do when she wants to make a quiche and needs a crust?

Get out the flour and mixer and make a homemade pie crust? I think not. Since I use store bought pie crust for my quiche, the thought of actually making my own crust seemed like way too much work. #sorrynotsorry

But I did have some store-bought “puff pastry” on hand. So I googled this to be sure and of course I found out that I was not the first person to wonder if puff pastry could be used for quiche.

I think my concerns were about the bottom crust – would it be soggy? And since I never put a top crust on my quiche what would I do with the second pastry sheet from he package? I decided today my crust would have a top.

So I sautéed some onions, peppers and Italian sausage for the filling while I blind baked the bottom crust. I do this with my pie crust too. I simply “dock” the bottom with a fork and bake for about 10 mins to set the bottom crust and avoid a soggy bottom.

I added some “Somerdale” sweet red cheddar cheese chunks, a dash of dried Italian seasoning and the standard eggs/whole milk mix and poured the whole thing in. Next I laid the top square on. It’s a little messy where I had to repair the seams from unfolding it roughly and of course those specks are just some Italian seasoning. I figured I was being clever by scoring the dough into serving squares. (plus I was worried the whole thing would puff up into the roof of the oven if I didn’t!)

 

Standard Baking protocol – 40 mins at 400 degrees and voilà!

 

 

P.S. pronounced “best quiche ever” by the hubby!

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Unusual “Pear-ings’

My mother has a pear tree in her yard and in the last few years it has really started producing. Each year we get bushels of pears off of it. This year I tried a classic savory tart involving blue cheese and pears.

I compared two kinds of blue cheese I had in my refrigerator. The one on the left was a “St. Clemens” which is traditional version imported from Denmark. The one on the right was a domestic raw-milk version from Wisconsin. I choose the domestic version because it was smoother, sweeter and had less of the that “blue cheese bite.”

I used a refrigerated puff pastry dough from the store and the whole thing took very little time and came out kinda fancy!

Mark the edges and dock the middle before pre-baking

Mark the edges and dock the middle before pre-baking

Slit the dough (try not to cut all the way through) to form a border and dock the middle before pre-baking about 10 mins in a 400 degree oven.

Pull it out and lay thinly sliced ripe pear slices in the middle. Sprinkle with a little salt and fresh ground black pepper to give it that savory seasoning. Dice a couple of tablespoons of salted butter and nestle them among the pear slices. Bake in the oven about 10-12 mins more until the pears just start to brown a bit and the crust is fully puffed and brown. Be careful that the crust doesn’t  burn.

pre-baked with pears, salt, pepper and a little butter

pre-baked with pears, salt, pepper and a little butter

 

 

 

When it comes out of the oven, crumble the room temperature blue cheese over the hot pears and drizzle honey generously over the all and serve.

Pretty to look at...

Pretty to look at…

...yummy to eat.

…yummy to eat.

 

Stuffed Three “Different” Ways

For anybody reading along, you might remember the trio of stuffed mushrooms I made back in April this year.

Well I made more than enough stuffing for the mushrooms that day and I froze the extra stuffing – thinking I would defrost and stuff more mushrooms at some point.

However I decided to use it up in other ways – mostly ones that involved puff pastry!!! Oh how I love anything stuffed into puff pastry! And some chicken. That was good too.

The Chicken –

Simply oil and season the chicken with your favorite spice blend, split it open and stuff, bake in preheated 375 degree oven until cooked through. (165 degrees on the thermometer) Serve with veggies and starch of choice.

The good stuff –

Simply roll out the two squares of puff pastry that come in the famous red box to make them just a bit larger and get rid of any seams. Fill each down the middle and flap the sides together.

If you leave the top open a bit as I did, then no need for vent holes. If you don’t, make vents. One style note – if you really seal the edges, especially the overlapped flaps than it makes a nicer presentation. The top one (creamed spinach filling) puffed WIDE open in the oven because it wasn’t secured enough. But really you could do this in any configuration you want: Individual size, round, square, whatever.

Be sure to let cool a bit before cutting or the filling will ooze out onto the pan!

Pastry Love

Who doesn’t love puff pastry?

I don’t care if you tell me that you are not a big “sweets” person – They don’t have to be sweet. A savory puff pastry is delicious too. You could probably put an old shoe in puff pastry and it would probably taste good!

I think putting random ingredients together in puff pastry is a perfect “cabinet stew” situation. I just keep a box of those pre-made, perfect-every-time puff pastry sheets in the freezer. You know the one from the “farm.”

Just take it out and look around for stuff to put in.

This one, shaped into a “beggar’s pouch” style is filled with:

Raspberries – just cleaned out the last of the frozen supply bought in-season and on-sale last year at the farmer’s market.

Hazelnuts – small leftover amount from some cookies (Go Bruins!) hanging out in the freezer

Brown sugar – ’cause sweeter is better.

Cornstarch – to make the juices all thick.

Butter – just a tiny bit, just because. (like pie)

Pinch of salt – because sweet always need a bit of salt.

Weeknight Night Grill Session

What’s better than a weeknight grill session?

A weeknight fancy dessert!

We had both this past week. Looks fancy but was really easy.

I had made the potato salad the night before – boiled the little red guys and dressed simply with a combination of yogurt and low-fat mayo. Add lots of chopped celery for crunch and shallots for …well because I have a shallot addiction. Lots of flavor that included dried dill., seasoned salt, black pepper and apple cider vinegar.

The steak tips just get a standard treatment of S&P with a little red wine vinegar to liven things up. Grilled sliced onions too!

But dessert was the showstopper.

Just open up that puff pastry – you know the one already made in the freezer section – peel and slice 1 peach down the middle, add some frozen raspberries that you have in your freezer from last year’s harvest. Add some butter, sugar and a little cornstarch. Bake until yummy!