Friday, November 28, 2014

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

A delicious quiche, made this a few weeks ago, for our weekend brunch. For the pastry, I've used Nick Malgieri's Flaky Pastry Dough, which I made a few weeks ago, and have kept frozen one half of it, enough for one single tart. Simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it the next day.

We love broccoli! I've added in some bacon to the filling, well, just because! Bacon makes a delicious addition, but I'm sure, you knew that! 

I love Nick Malgieri's pastry crust, it is tender, buttery and flaky, everything you would want in a pastry crust. There's no need to prebake the crust, simply fill with the filling, and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is set.

We love savoury pies, tarts and quiches in my house, and this will be making its way into my kitchen again!

* my changes listed in blue
Broccoli-Cheddar Quiche
(adapted from : Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, Rick Rodgers)
Buttery Flaky Dough (I've used Nick Malgieri's Flaky Pastry Dough)
flour for rolling out the dough

2 cups (4oz/125gm) broccoli florets
1 cup (8floz/250ml) half-and-half (I use whipping cream)
5 slices streaky bacon (chopped), my addition
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (4oz/125gm) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

I've used my frozen dough, made with Nick Malgieri's recipe, Flaky Pastry Dough from my previous post. Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Roll it out and line the base and sides of a 9" tart pan. While this recipe from Williams-Sonoma calls for the dough to be blind-baked first, I have omitted this step. I filled the dough with the filling directly and bake as directed.

To make the filling :
Bring a medium saucepan three-fourths full of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until the florets are barely tender, about 5 minutes. (I steam the broccoli for 4-5 minutes with the steamer cover slightly ajar, so that I do not overcook the broccoli) Drain well, and pat dry with kitchen towels. (Fry chopped bacon in a dry saucepan until just lightly brown. Dish out and drain). In a bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use just a pinch, as bacon and cheese are already salty), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until combined.

Scatter the broccoli, (fried bacon, if using) and cheese evenly in the prepared crust. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the crust. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F (180C) until the filling is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cranberry Crackle Tart : TWD

Our second bake from "Baking Chez Moi" by Dorie Greenspan, at Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD). A lovely tart, with a buttery crust, spread with a layer of jam, and topped with egg white meringue which is mixed with fresh cranberries. Unfortunately, fresh cranberries are not easily available over here in Malaysia, and I could not find any frozen ones too, so I've used dried cranberries.

 According to Dorie, when the tart is done baking, the top will be light beige and most probably cracked here and there. Well, there's some cracks here and there on my tart, mostly at the sides, but the meringue bakes up with a darker shade of beige, I would prefer if it is a little lighter!

The recipe has given an option to make the crust using either the Sweet Tart Dough or Galette Dough, and I have chosen the latter, as it has lesser sugar, lesser butter and no eggs. The crust is made in the food processor, roll out to fill the pie pan, freeze for at least 30 minutes, and bake as instructed in the recipe. I have used a tablespoon less of the water calls for in the recipe, as our weather here is hot and humid, and I find that I tend to use less water than stated in most recipes, sometimes not at all, when I'm making dough crust for pies and tarts. When the crust is at room temperature, spread some chunky jam, of which I have used lingonberry preserves. I've used more preserves to cover the crust base, more than the recipe calls for. Make the meringue by beating the egg whites with some sugar, which I've reduced slightly. Fresh cranberries are then added in. I've used dried cranberries. (soaked in some hot water until they plumped up, about 45 minutes, drain and left them in the sieve for about an hour, to make sure they are dry). Spread the meringue over the jam, making swirls if desired, and bake for an hour until the meringue is light beige.

The meringue was already starting to brown at the 20 minutes time of baking, so I've tented the top with foil, reduce the temperature by 10 degrees,  and continue baking till done. I've added 10 minutes to the baking time.

The meringue bakes up crispy nice. Using dried cranberries works out great, though I think that with fresh cranberries would be even better! And I like the buttery crust, with the balance of the dough scrapes, as Dorie suggested, I've made two turnovers, filled with my homemade apple jelly. Really, really, yummy. The dough makes great turnovers, really flaky, tender and buttery. 

The recipe for this tart can be found at Dorie's website, or better still get the book! To view the other bakers take on this lovely tart, do stop by TWD blogroll.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Spanish Baked Fish

"November Potluck", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I've decided to make one of Diana Henry's fish recipes, and she has quite a number of fish recipes. 

Ever since I saw the photo of this dish, "Spanish Baked Bream" in the Diana Henry's cookbook, "Food From Plenty", I knew that I will be making it sooner or later. This dish has really simple ingredients and yet it looks so delicious. And it is delicious!

The ingredients needed are fish, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, white breadcrumbs, garlic and finely chopped parsley. Firstly brush the fish inside and out with olive oil, squeeze on some lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Lay the fish in a baking dish. Mix the breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, crushed garlic, and salt to taste in a small bowl. Scatter this mixture over the fish, drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C until fish is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

I've used 1 large sea bass, about 600gm, and it takes about 35 minutes to be fully cooked. After about 20 minutes in the oven, the breadcrumbs mixture are beginning to brown, and the fish is still not fully cooked yet, so I have tent the top with foil, and continue to bake until the fish is cooked through. I then sprinkled the finely chopped parsley over the top, and continue to bake for another 3 minutes. Serve hot. Take note of the cooking times, depending on the size of the fish. To know whether the fish is done, I use a fork to poke thru the thickest part of the fish flesh (along the back), if the fork goes thru without any resistance, then the fish is cooked. If the fork can't get thru the meat, then it needs a few minutes more of baking time.

If the fish is large, you might want to bake the fish for 10 or 15 minutes first, before scattering the breadcrumbs mixture over the top and continue on baking until the fish is done.

This is one delicious dish!  Since I've used only one fish, I have used half the ingredients and the next time I would certainly double the ingredients. We had this for dinner with rice and other dishes, and everyone was spooning for the breadcrumbs-paprika mixture. This is one dish that you got to be a little generous with the olive oil and lemon juice. Simple, so easy to cook,  yet so good! I would definitely make this again.

Spanish Baked Bream
serves 4
for the bream :
4 x 300gm (10-1/2oz) bream, gutted, trimmed and scaled
7 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
5 tsp smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, crushed
35gm (1-1/4 oz) white breadcrumbs
small handful of flat leat parsley, finely chopped

To serve :
extra virgin olive oil
wedges of lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Brush the fish inside and out with olive oil, squeeze on some lemon juice and season well. Lay the fish - in a single layer but close together - in an overproof dish. Mix the smoked paprika, garlic and breadcrumbs together and season. Sprinkle this all over the fish, then drizzle on the remaining oil and lemon juice.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes. Throw on the parsley when the fish has cooked for 15 minutes. The bream is cooked when the flesh near the bone is white and opaque. Drizzle with extra virgin oil and serve with lemon wedges.

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week, "November Potluck"


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