Posts Tagged potato

Spinach and Potato Quiche

The quiche is a dish that I always struggle with. Not because they’re difficult to make, but because I always want it to be something new and different and interesting. I’m happy to throw together a plain cheese quiche if I want to play with a good strong cheese, but since I have a bad habit of just snarfing down good strong cheeses with apple cider and maybe a few crackers, this is rarely an option.

Adding Indian spices and a great big heap of spinach, on the other hand, is always an option. As usual, I tailor the tart crust to the filling, so the dough is made with garam masala. Chile powder would be a nice addition as well.

Ingredients

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups flour

1 t salt

2 t garam masala

8 T (1 stick) cold butter

3 T ice water

 

For the filling:

1 large potato

2 cloves garlic

about 4 cups spinach leaves

3 eggs

3/4 cup milk

6 oz mozzarella cheese

1 T garam masala

2 t turmeric

1 t salt

1 T dried chiles (pequins, or chopped other peppers, optional)

Directions

For the crust:

Combine the flour, salt, and garam masala in the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse the dry ingredients briefly to combine. Add the butter in chunks.

Process the butter and flour mixture until it looks like damp sand. Add the water bit by bit and process just until the dough comes together in a ball.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes or so. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll out the dough and press it  into a buttered tart pan.

Bake, lined with foil and pie weights, for 15 minutes. Set aside.

For the filling:

Chop the potato into bite-sized pieces and boil them for 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat a heavy skillet (I love cast iron) over medium heat and cook the garlic until it is aromatic and toasty.

Add the spinach and spices and cook 5-7 minutes.

You’ll know it’s ready when it has cooked down thoroughly.

Add the potatoes and toss to coat with spices and add just a touch of crispiness to the edges. Set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs and milk.

Whisk to combine, and stir in the cheese and salt.

Add the potato and spinach, and peppers if using.

Stir to combine.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.

Serve immediately.

I know it’s not traditional to any cuisine. It’s fun and delicious. Mr. B slathers his with Sriracha and has cold leftovers for breakfast. I can’t stand a cold quiche (or pizza or anything else meant to be served hot) but apparently this is just a guy thing that I have to get used to.

In any case, this was a fantastic experiment. I’ll be making it again soon.

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Roasted Red Potatoes

Potatoes are probably my all-time favorite food. I like them mashed, fried, baked, twice-baked, souffléd, chipped, hash browned, latked, and gratined. I use them to make gnocchi, pierogis, omelettes, and even slice them into my stir fry. If you don’t like potatoes, I really don’t know what we have to talk about. Poatoes are brilliant. And sometimes poisonous, but that’s all right.

These particular potatoes are chopped and roasted in duck or chicken fat, leaving them crunchy and moist at the same time. I’m making them again tomorrow to serve with smoked brisket and brocolli, but I have more than once decided that these lovely things are the star of the meal all by themselves. This tends to make Mr. B sad. See, while I can happily eat meat only once or twice a week, he doesn’t understand the concept of a dinner without it. It took him years to stop asking “where’s the entree?” when I served a vegetarian pasta dish. I guess growing up on a ranch will do that to a man. At any rate, roasted potatoes!

Ingredients (serves two. Two as a side, two as a main dish. If you double it, be warned: it may still serve two. They are so good you’ll keep coming back for more.) 1 pound red potatoes

4 cloves garlic (or more, if you really like garlic.)

3 T schmaltz

2 sprigs rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste. Cayenne is good, too. Decide what spices will best complement your meal, and run with it.

Directions Preheat the oven to 400°F. Chop potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Cut garlic in half and remove the germ. Or not, if you like the germ. I think it has a weird texture.  Spread the cubed potatoes and garlic in an 8×8″ pan, and dot the top with schmaltz. (That’s rendered poultry fat, guys. I use duck.) Scatter rosemary leaves over all this, season liberally, and pop the whole thing in the oven.

After 40-45 minutes,  these beauties will be ready to eat. try not to burn your tongue on them–the look and smell so good you’ll want to pop them in your mouth like candy, straight out of the pan, but that hurts. Er–not that I’d know from experience.

Serve with meat and veg of your choice.

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Stir Fry: Any Way You Like It

Stir fry is my go-to dish for last-minute dinners, quick hot lunch, and emergency solution for days when Mr. B and I just don’t want the same thing. Stir fry is fast, it’s easy, and it’s fun. I’ve been avoiding providing a recipe, though, because I don’t think we’ve ever made it the same way twice. Still, I make it all the time, and almost everything I cook can be wildly altered. I mean, that’s half the fun of cooking, right? Making stuff up as you go? So here it is: stir fry any way you like it. Just the basic principles here!

Ingredients (to serve 2)

3/4 cup of long grain rice

1 cup of water

1 T mirin

Per person:

about a cup of mixed vegetables, or 1/2 to 3/4 cup of vegetables and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped meat

favorite seasonings, to taste

soy sauce and mirin, to taste

one egg, optional

You see why I was avoiding giving a recipe now, don’t you?

Directions

First, make rice. No, I don’t have a rice cooker. Tiny apartments are not highly conducive to owning a million gadgets, so I had to settle for half a million gadgets. Pour the rice and water and about 1 T mirin (rice vinegar) into a small saucepan, cover with the lid, and bring to a boil. Let it boil about a minute, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 12-14 minutes. Boring rice time is over, let’s play with veggies!

This is one I made for lunch a couple of weeks ago right before going to the grocery store. 1/2 a cup of frozen peas, diced sweet potato, sliced purple potato, and a dab of miso paste. I don’t usually go so carb heavy. Tonight, for instance, I used broccoli, asparagus, carrots, peas, and diced chicken. Mr. B had broccoli, ground beef,  and egg. Just whatever’s in the fridge. Toss these ingredients in whatever spice you want. Chinese five spice, pepper, garlic, salt, curry powder, whatever.

So, heat your wok (or heavy bottomed sauce pan) on high, add 1-2 T of cooking oil once it’s nice and hot, throw in all of your ingredients and stir furiously with a spatula or wooden spoon for a few minutes (three to five minutes?)

At this point I usually turn off the heat and throw in a little mirin and/or soy sauce and toss a moment more before mixing with rice and serving. Mr. B likes to fry his rice, too. To do that, scoop all your vegetables to one side in the wok, crack an egg into the empty half, and scoop 1/2 of the rice you made into the wok on top of the egg. Count to 10 to let the egg start to fry, then stir furiously again for about 1-2 minutes before serving.

There you go. A simple and delicious way to use those last few bites of veggies lurking in the back of the fridge.

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