Deb Equality Della Piana
Left-wing progressive hippie freak. LGBT American. An activist trying to build a group called #BecomeUngovernable. Photographer, writer, and hell-raiser totally committed to tearing down the capitalist system and building one that works for everyone. #BecomeUngovernable wants to inspire citizens to use the power they possess to effect change. Please help support us on Patreon. The link is below.
Quiche is one of the big “dinner underdogs.” People often think of making it if they’re throwing a brunch, or having people over for breakfast. Yet, quiche is one of the most versatile dishes on the planet, and it’s also fairly easy to make.
Purists will want to make their own crust. However, I am not ashamed to admit that making pastry crust is not my favorite foodie activity. I make no bones about using the frozen crust. It works just fine. As for the milk, feel free to use whole or 2%. It truly doesn’t make a difference. I keep a jar of prepared minced garlic in my fridge. That is what I use for this dish as opposed to mincing my own.
Cheese is the most important part of any quiche. I like a sharp cheese, but you should use whatever cheese works for your palate. There are no rules!
As for serving quiche, it’s a dish that goes great with a crisp green salad, regardless of what you put in it.
3/4 cup milk
1 frozen pie crust
1 cup shredded cheese (Asiago, Cheddar, Monterey Jack; depending upon your taste buds)
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onions
1/2 cup chopped red, yellow and orange peppers
1/2 cup chopped Baby Bella mushrooms
1.5 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp Kosher or sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Heat the canola oil in a large skillet. While you’re waiting for it to warm up, put the eggs and milk in a bowl and mix well with a whisk. Set aside.
Once your skillet is ready, add the minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the oil becomes fragrant. Then, add the onions and peppers, as well as the rest of the spices (including the salt and pepper) and cook on medium heat until the onions become translucent. This will take about 7-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes more, again stirring the mixture occasionally.
The final item you add is the spinach. Cook until wilted, stirring regularly. Be sure to taste the filling at this point and adjust spices to suit your taste. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the filling to cool a bit. While cooling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prior to adding the filling and cheese to the egg mixture, give it several more whisks. Then, add the vegetable filling and shredded cheese.
Mix thoroughly and pour it into a frozen pie crust. Place the quiche on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a knife (or toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean.
Seafood is something Susan and I don’t have an opportunity to enjoy nearly enough. That’s because our kids think it’s something exotic (unless we’re talking about Tuna Melts). I love most fish, but I especially love shellfish. Scallops may be expensive, but they are so versatile and so delicious that the price doesn’t seem to matter much.
Although most people don’t understand this, there’s a difference between regular sea scallops and what they call “dry” sea scallops. The dry version is much easier to sear in a skillet, although this dish can be made with either version. So, my recommendation is that you don’t shy away simply because you cannot find “dry” scallops. Just be sure to rinse the scallops and pat them dry before pan searing them.
Depending upon where you buy your scallops, you may have to remove the muscle. I usually buy mine at my local grocer, and the muscle is already removed.
This is a great dish that comfortably serves three. I’m sure you will absolutely love it.
1.5 lbs “dry” sea scallops
2 tbsp Canola oil
6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp fresh thyme
sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1.5 cups Basmati rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
Sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper (to taste)
Heat a skillet on medium-high. Add the 2 tbsp Canola oil. When heated, add 2 tbsp of the butter. Once melted and bubbling, add the scallops in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Sear on one side for 2-3 minutes. Turn each one and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes, or until the scallops become translucent. You can check this by looking at the sides of the scallops. Once done, remove the scallops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Place them in a warmed oven to keep warm.
While you are cooking the scallops, you should be cooking the rice. Add the 2 cups of chicken broth, one cup of water and the 1.5 cups of rice. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook until the rice is done and the water is absorbed.
Once you have removed the scallops from the skillet, add the wine, the lemon juice and the thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the 4 tbsp butter one tablespoon at a time. Cook until it is slightly reduced. If you feel you need more wine, please feel free to add it.
When the rice is done, divide it into three plates. Place the scallops on top of the rice, then pour the sauce on top of the scallops and rice.
Again, I cannot emphasize enough that this type of dish isn’t an exact science. The idea is to have the plain cooked rice and the scallops on top, with the sauce poured over the whole shebang. It is simply delicious.
I call this Twenty-Clove Cauliflower Bake because you literally bake a head of cauliflower with twenty semi-crushed whole cloves of garlic. And I mean semi-crushed, just enough to break open the cloves a bit. I use the back of a ramekin ever so gently on the cloves.
I keep a container of already-peeled garlic in my fridge. You can get this at your local grocer for not a lot of scratch. And it’s so much easier than peeling 20 cloves of garlic by hand.
This is a great side dish for just about everything you can think of, whether you’re making pork, beef, chicken or fish. It even works as a side for pasta dishes. I made this last night with my pan-seared scallops, which is another recipe I plan to post later today.
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
20 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional, but I like it)
2-3 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt (Kosher or regular sea salt is also fine here)
1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
Finely grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese (optional)
The first thing I do is whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper and set it aside.
Break up the whole cauliflower into bite-sized florets, and gently break the garlic cloves.
Place the cauliflower and garlic in a single layer in a large baking dish. Pour the olive oil mixture over the vegetables and stir to coat. I generally drizzle a bit more olive oil on top before placing it in the oven.
Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes. This allows the garlic to cook through and sweeten. It’s delicious.
If you want, sprinkle with finely grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese prior to serving.
Posted in Lamb on November 29, 2013
I made this for Thanksgiving, and it was delicious. For those of you who think lamb has to taste “gamey,” whatever that means, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. It just depends on the cut of lamb you buy, how fresh it is, and how you prepare it. I had the ultimate anti-lamb person I know taste this on Thanksgiving, and she loved it.
Rack of lamb is one of those cuts of meat that is worth the price because it lives up to its billing. It’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious. If you’re not convinced, I suggest you give it a try so that you can see for yourself.
You can get your butcher to “French” the rack for you or, if you’re lucky, your local supermarket sells it that way. I ordered mine a week in advance from my local grocer and it came all ready to go.
Two 1.5 lb racks of lamb, Frenched
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp dried rosemary leaves
2 tbsp dried thyme leaves
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper
Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, garlic and brown sugar until well incorporated. Score the fat side of the lamb racks. Place in a glass or non-reactive baking dish and pour the marinade over the lamb. Be sure both the top and the “meat side” of the racks are covered with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight.
The next day, scrap the marinade off the lamb and retain. Heat the olive oil and a pan, and brown the racks on both sides. Sprinkle both sides of the racks liberally with salt and pepper, as well as the rosemary and thyme leaves. Place in a baking dish and pour on the marinade.
Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove and cover with aluminum foil. Allow the racks to sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into chops and serving.