Thursday, November 3, 2011

Broccoli, Baby

Our garden is all but done for the year. 
Most of the plants are long dead and have been yanked out of the ground.
The only thing still growing and producing (for some reason) is our broccoli!

Broccoli is one of those plants that likes cool weather.  You can plant it early in the season, as the cold evenings will not affect it adversely.

Its almost as though broccoli was made for Canadian weather!

We are having a tough time finding new ways to eat it though.  A side of fresh broccoli is nice...but it gets tired very quick.  How many things can you serve with a side of broccoli?  

Turns out, quite a lot. 

Any followers on my Facebook page will have noticed broccoli show up on some of my frequent meal pics.  But that doesn't mean your broccoli has to be boring!  My Mom makes a GREAT cold salad with broccoli, sunflower seeds, bacon bits and a bunch of other great stuff.  If anyone is interested in the recipe, I can get it for you...just let me know in the comments section of this post.  Sadly, it isn't a dish my kids like.  Live and learn.

I've decided to make a quiche for the first time tonite.  I've never made quiche.  I've also never made a crust from scratch either...well see how this goes...

I made the dough according to the recipe found in "The Joy of Cooking" for deluxe butter flaky pastry dough (pg 862).  I think I added too much butter though.  It just seemed like a ton!  Once the dough is must divide it and refrigerate it for at least 30 min.  The longer the better really.  The directions say 1-2 hours.  When I was working with the dough, I kept having to put it back in the fridge to firm it up.  

I pressed it into the pan, as this was my first time, so I didn't feel confident enough to roll it out and place it in the pan.  Once the dough is pressed thin in the pan, place dry beans in the center, enough to cover the bottom of the pie pan.  This method is called blind baking.  It helps keep the dough from bubbling up in the center or sliding down the side of the pan.  (ps.  you can keep the beans for reuse the next time you make crust from scratch)

I REALLY added too much butter...I suppose it helps to read the directions VERY thoroughly.  Hubbie had a good laugh at my expense...but, in the end, it all worked out.  I grabbed what was left over from the dough and kneeded it with several more tablespoons of flour.  I kneeded it until the dough wouldn't absorb any more flour and the dough was no longer sticky.  (Please do not follow this the actual directions!)

This time I tried the rolling pin and it worked much better for me...


The new crust was blind baked at 400 degrees C for 35 min (you tent some tin foil over it for the first 20 min, then remove for the rest of the time).

Then you add the other ingredients...such as shredded cheddar cheese, fried onions and garlic as well as the steamed broccoli chopped up into chunks.  After you've laid all these ingredients in the bottom of the crust, then you add the egg mixture.  Egg mixture:  3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups dairy (we used 1/2 cream and 1/2 milk), dash of nutmeg and S & P to taste.  Pour egg mixture into crust and bake for 25 min on 375 degrees C.


So I lived AND learned on this recipe.

The quiche turned out great...but what to have as a side???  Hubbie had been out in the garden the whole time I was struggling with crusts.  He grabbed what was left of our beets and was removing the greens when I asked him what should we have as a side?  His reply...beet greens with honey mustard dressing!

As a bonus to this post, here is the recipe for honey mustard dressing a la Chester.

4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey (organic or local)
1 tsp of white vinegar
S & P to taste

Makes enough for two...quick and easy!!!

Hope you guys enjoyed following along as I tried to make crust, hopefully the next time will be LESS EXCITING...haha.

The really nice thing about quiche is you can make it, cook it and freeze it for another day.

ps.  Hubbie was quite impressed I was able to save the dough...not bad for a beginner eh?


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