Vous les vous manger quiche avec moi?

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Quiche is one of my favorite things, my take on it involves a little deviation from the norm.  For my crust I add ½ cup fried shallots (found in Asian markets) to add a little crunch and interest the usually most uninteresting part of the dish, also I add some fresh cracked pepper.  Quiche is great if you need to use up leftovers or if you want to serve dish to a crowd that is great at room temperature.  I like to pair my quiche with a nice frisee salad,with some citrus segments, red onion, and light vinaigrette to cut the richness of the quiche (now is not the time to substitute “low-fat” products…a watery quiche is a waste of the labor, all things in moderation).

Ingredients for inside the crust
Fried shallot in flour mixture
form into a disk
Parchement and weights to set crust before you add the egg mixture


Mise en Place:
6 room temperature eggs
1 cup half & half
1 cup cheese of choice (I used some  smoked swiss, baby swiss, and parmesan)
dash of Tabasco (French chefs always have this in their arsenal)
4oz prosciutto diced (use what you have on hand)
8 oz  mushrooms sauteed (I used crimini, you what you like)
Tip: when sauteing mushrooms, for a beautiful golden color DO NOT SALT!  Salt draws out the water and they will never get brown just steam.
a few tablespoons of herbs (I used parsley, and some dried herb de provence, dried are fine as long as they are freshly purchased…also use sparingly as they tend to be much more condensed.

2 cups unbleached flour (substitute whole wheat if you like)
6 oz cold butter (I used salted, if you are going the unsalted route add 1 tsp of salt)
¼ cup ice cold water.
¼ cup fried shallots or those “french fried” onions used in the Thanksgiving favorite “green bean casserole” only if you really can’t find the shallots though…haha!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make your crust first by cutting the butter into the flour until it crumbly, cut in the shallots, add water, combine and form a disk (do this in advance and freeze if you want).  Refridgerate 1 hr or overnight.  Roll out into pie pan (I used a 10 inch tart pan) and use parchment paper and pie weights (dry beans work well, I used my husbands bourbon).  Bake 15 minutes until set.  Remove from oven.  Set aside.  Whip eggs, half and half, and Parmesan.  Layer prosciutto, cheese, mushrooms, pour egg mixture over.  Bake 45 minutes till the middle is set and lightly golden.  

Toddler approved!  Enjoy!
Toddler approved! Enjoy!


Alameda Brewing

Yes, it’s raining in Portland…..but that is really ok because it’s great stout beer weather!!! My featured brew du jour is Alameda’s Black Bear XX. Moving to PDX two years ago from Utah, I never really understood what a “brew house” really is! A true pub is like a neighborhood gathering place, a much better alternative to what many a Utahan has done…going to the ole’ TGImcNasty pants chain restaurant, where if one asks for a beer it takes an hour to get and you are looked at like a criminal…no joke one time at a BBQ chain in Layton I got ID’d five times!! I was done eating before I got my beer. Here in the rose city you can take your kids at “happy hour” (Alameda has especially great food, btw…a lacking theme with some other brew houses with great beer but less then mediocre fare) reduced price brews, great $5 meal options (Lemon pepper chicken strips, beer battered goodness…yes please!), on Tuesdays Alameda even has all their brews for $3, which should make ya holla! The service is competent without being phony and you CAN BRING KIDS!! Bringing kids saves us parents who like to enjoy a brew without dropping $20 an hour for a babysitter….God I love you Portland! Stout beer should be rich, delicious, creamy, a head of copper, and like any good stout tastes great with chocolate (they make an out of this world milkshake with it!). I take everyone that comes and visits me to the Alameda. If you are native to P-town or planning a visit they are located at 4765 Fremont or check em’ out on the web alamedabrewhouse.com. I am just a fan, and wanted to share my love of what they do….yellow wolf imperial IPA is also a must try. Have the black bear on nitro! Also they frequently have awesome seasonal beers depending on what is in season My bloody valentine saison (blood orange), white peach IPA, huckleberry IPA, bad bunny cream ale….never a dull gulp.

Roasted beet crostini w/ chevre

Roasted beet crostini
Roasted beet and chevre crostini with baby kale,almonds,balsamic reduction. Recipe: 1 day old baguette sliced on bias 1lb fresh beets peeled and sliced lengthwise 1 shallot sliced 2 garlic cloves crushed 4 oz chevre 1 T honey olive oil salt and pepper 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 sliced almonds baby kale leaves or whatever herb you like for garnish, any micro green will do. Method: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. On a 13 x 9 inch sheet pan place beets, garlic, and shallots in a layer. Coat veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper, roast for 20 minutes. While beets roast, slice bread, coat with olive oil and place on sheet pan, place in oven till nice and golden. In a small bowl mix chevre with honey, set aside. In a sauce pan reduce vinegar by half, or until syrupy (unless of course you have a beautiful $80 bottle of aged balsamic you can skip think part). Toast sliced almonds in a dry pan. Assemble: Dice cooled beets. On each crostini place a teaspoon of chevre/honey mixture, top with beets, almond and kale, repeat until you run out of ingredients. Drizzle with reduction, mange!!

Farm to table salad

Utilizing what is best of the season is the secret to making a great salad. By knowing a few super easy techniques you can make beautiful edible art for your loved ones, without breaking the bank. The philosophy is using what grows best in the season of choice i.e. no watermelon at Christmas etc. This pic is a salad I did using what is best at the farmers market in Portland. Mix and match and top with a vinaigrette (2 part oil to 1 part acid, salt, pepper, herbs…easy) pictured is white corn & fava in lime vinaigrette over arugula with yucatan pickled onion and creme fraiche. Be creative, be local and use what is best where you live.

World’s Best Baklava

My Dad is Greek, so ever since I can remember we have had Baklava for Christmas. This is my version i’ve created through years of eating my mom’s and other ladies varieties. This recipe can be made ahead, and freezes well! A delicious and impressive gift idea, utilizing simple and accessible ingredients!

20 Sheets pre-made frozen Phyllo, Thawed
2 stick unsalted butter
1 lb walnuts, pulsed in food processor
½ lb pistachios, roughly chopped
1 ½ Cup Brown sugar
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
1 Cup melted unsalted butter
1 Cup granulated sugar
½ Cup water
1 Cup Honey
juice of lemon (use the one you zested)
juice of orange (use the one you zested)
2 cinnamon sticks

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl combine brown sugar, walnuts, pistachios, zests, and spices.
Using melted butter, butter the bottom and sides of a 13×9 inch pan. Layer one sheet of phyllo, brush with melted butter. Repeat till you have seven layers. Top with one cup of nut mixture. Layer, butter three more layers of phyllo. Place 1 Cup of nut mixture aside. Use the rest of nut mixture to cover the layers of buttered phyllo. Top with three more butter phyllo layers. Use the remaining 1 cup of nut mixture. Top with remaining phyllo layers, and throughly butter the top.
Cut top layer of phyllo into desired pattern, cut verically into four rows, then horizontally into five rows, then cut each square on the bias.I like to put whole cloves in the middle of each piece. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.
While baklava bakes make syrup by combining sugar and water in a small sauce pan till bubbling and all sugar is dissolved, add honey and cinnamon. Remove from heat add citrus juices. Cool.
Top cooled baklava with syrup and cut. Should make about 40 pieces