Tag Archives: eggs

Fresh corn and zucchini quiche

Well, he did it. Himself is jumped into a frozen lake! We have the greatest friends and supporters. With matching funds, he raised over $1,100! Color me super impressed.

As for me, this girl is going to take a much needed breath. I’m still not quite recovered from that terrible sick, but I’ve managed to be quite the go-getter regardless. Himself and I had a rad dinner with some of his friends on Wednesday, followed by a little exploring where we found that a neighborhood bar has a BEAR PIT, you can enjoy an adult beverage and watch BEARS eat (not that I’m excited or anything). Thursday was all Hibbing and hanging with the grandparents, and last night was date night happy hour with fancy pants gin drinks and pie, it being Pi Day! Whew.

Speaking of pie, I still haven’t managed to master a pie crust. Ok, if I tell the truth, I haven’t even made space to try. So, for now, this delicious quiche I have for you was made with a store-bought, frozen pie crust. I know, shame, shame. But after taste testing a few, I found one that is pretty dang good, so let’s just focus on the quiche filling, mmmmkay?

I’ve spent a little time lately pouring through all of my pins on Pinterest (how in the world did I think I was ever going to make all of that?). Anyway, one of the pins I had marked ever so long ago was a quiche with corn in it. Now I pinned that so long ago that the original link has disappeared, so here’s my version. Corn, turkey sausage, zucchini, YUM! Here’s the thing, though, you need to shred that zucchini AND give it time to drain. Trust me on this, you don’t want a big sloppy mess of a quiche. I just use my big ‘ol box grater and then transfer the shredded zuch to a cheesecloth lined colander. If you don’t have a cheesecloth, a coffee filter’ll do in a pinch. I set a bowl on top of the zuch to help squeeze even more water out. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup shredded zucchini, but an average zucchini will give you about 2x that. Simply put the rest of the drained zucchini into a freezer baggie, and pop it into your freezer. Add it to your next omelette, quiche, or soup.

Now, you guys are going to think I’m a terrible cheater, but I used a pre-cooked sausage (Jimmy Dean’s pre-cooked turkey sausage), and it was surprisingly delish. Not to mention sped up the on-hand time enormously, allowing me to bask in a feeling of well-being and early evening sunshine. Not a bad trade off, I say. If you do cook your sausage fresh, just make sure to let it cool slightly and drain on a paper towel before adding to your pie crust.

Enjoy!

Corn and zucchini quiche

Corn and zucchini quiche

Deep dish pie crust, unbaked
¾ cup shredded zucchini
¾ cup fresh corn
¾ cup cooked sausage
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread zucchini, corn, sausage, and cheese evenly in layers on the bottom of the pie crust.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and a pinch of salt and pepper, mixing well. Pour evenly into pie crust.

Bake at 400 degrees 40 – 50 minutes or until the middle is set. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Apple and pear bread pudding

How do you warm a foodie’s heart? Himself has made a pretty good start. Huddled against the biting, snow swirled wind yesterday afternoon, I reached my icy hands into our cavernous mailbox and pulled out not one, but two, brightly colored foodie magazines. Someone knows me quite well and just added Saveur to my foodie subscriptions. Cold weather be damned, I’m immersing myself in pictures dripping with garden fresh veggies and the brightest citrus flavors. What, what was that? Oh don’t mind me, I’m just lost to the world over here.

It’s a good thing I finally cleaned up and organized all the recipes I’d already saved from my foodie magazines, because I just dog eared both these magazines. I mean the latest Saveur is all about grapefruit recipes, and we’ve already been over my recent obsession with citrus.

That citrus obsession continues with this bread pudding recipe. It’s from the humblest of ingredients, stale bread, too many eggs, fruit in the freezer that I wanted to use, but put them all together and they become something worthy enough for any foodie. Before we get to the recipe though, let’s talk about my BFF relationship with my chest freezer. Like any good country gal, I adore my chest freezer. My adoration for this appliance has soared to new heights as the temperatures plummeted to new lows. Reaching into a frosty freezer to find dinner is far better than heading out to my frosty car. My new BFF has totally encouraged my thriftiness too. Don’t worry, I’m not here for a lecture, but ever since my nifty-thrifty friend Joanna pointed out how much money is wasted on food ($2,200 per family per year!), I’ve wanted to save a little of that money for myself.

Enter the apples and pears in this bread pudding. Back in November, I bought up the last of the season’s peak pears and apples. And I bought A. Lot. So much that we couldn’t make our way through them, though I gave it my best shot. So I cooked up the fruit with a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon, sauteing them in the littlest amount of butter until they were just slightly softened, but not anywhere near mushy. Let them cool, popped ‘em in some freezer bags, and let them chill away until inspiration struck.

That said, you probably don’t have fruit languishing in your freezer right now, but you could substitute any firm prepacked frozen fruit (thaw it first!) in the recipe, or just cook up your fresh apples and pears. Just avoid the mush or their glory will get lost in the pudding. You want these babies to shine!

However you decide to go with the fruit, do not wait to make this recipe. Nifty-thrifty Joanna would be so proud!

Enjoy!

Apple and pear bread pudding

Apple and pear bread pudding

Adapted from The Kitchn’s Sweet Bread Pudding

butter, to butter pan with
5 cups stale bread cut into cubes
2 cups half and half
½ cup 2% milk
4 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
pinch of salt
1 ½ cup cooked apples or pears or a mix of both
¼ cup raisins, optional

Butter bottom and sides of an 8×8 inch pan. Place bread pieces evenly in pan. Sprinkle bread with apples and pear mixture. If using, sprinkle a layer of raisins on top of the apples and pears.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest, and salt. Pour mixture over bread and fruit. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

At least 15 minutes before baking, remove pan from fridge and allow to approach room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bake bread pudding for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with whipped cream or just as its own delicious self.

Meringue mania!

It.s been another quiet week here, and you won’t find me complaining about that. Himself and I are luxuriating in the quiet. One of the best things about being way, way, way out in the country during the winter is all the time on our hands. Himself and I are finally finding the time to become experts or to learn new things. I find myself becoming even more proficient in the kitchen with all the time in the world to experiment. Himself has all the time to use his woodworking skills and to create all sorts of odd and helpful things around the house. Even with the cold, it’s been a good month here in the northwoods.

Cold, cold, cold snap or not,, those chickens, they are a hardy breed. Perhaps even hardier than me. The cold has left me loathe to move from my cozy spot in front of the fireplace. I tell you, once it reached just a balmy negative one degree the other day, it was a veritable heat wave, and I ran to spend as much time outdoors doing chores as possible. But those birds, why they just weather on through. I expected the egg production to falter with the cold, but we simply moved from five to six eggs a day to four to five. So, what do you do when you have *all* the eggs? Why you make meringues of course, and sock those extra yolks right into the freezer for that snowy day where you learn to make custard.

Yup, it was meringue making mania (if you can call two kinds a mania).

Your basic meringue recipe is a snap, and the flavors are endless. I first discovered meringues last year, and love, love, love how easy they are. It’s like an airy, light burst of flavor on your tongue. One of the great things about meringues is how customizable (yeah, I’m making up words here, deal) they are. Have a chocolate craving? Just grate some in. Want to give ’em some oomph? Just pipe the meringues flatter and decorate with colored sugars. The sky’s the limit here folks. You’ve still got room on those holiday cookie trays, so get to it!

This time I made orange meringues with ¼ teaspoon orange extract, and my new favorite a coconut maple meringue with ¼ teaspoon each of coconut extract and maple flavoring. Yum!

Enjoy!

Meringues of all flavors

Meringues

3 egg whites at room temperature
¼ – ½ teaspoon extract (use less for strong flavors like peppermint or citrus, more for lighter flavors like vanilla)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
food coloring if desired
¾ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of your stand mixer beat together egg whites, extract, cream of tartar, and food coloring with the whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Spoon meringue into piping bag or a ziploc baggie with the corner cut off. Pipe meringues onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake at 300 for 30 minutes. Turn oven off and let meringues remain in oven for one hour. Stored in airtight containers, meringues will stay fresh for up to two weeks. As if you can keep them around for that long!

Magic custard cake from White on Rice Couple

I’ve been feeling rather uninspired by meals these days. Perhaps it’s the cold setting in, or my desire to do crafts rather than cook, but lately, it’s been unphotogenic comfort food at Red Meadow Farm. Tasty as all get out, but not really recipes that inspire, you know?

Now when it comes to desserts, it’s a whole other story. You may have noticed that plethora of dessert posts on here lately, with more to come. There’s a couple of reasons for this. I can putter around in the kitchen, make a mess and a tasty dessert, sample a few delicious bites, and then send that off to someone else to enjoy. Also, I’ve got a lot of eggs. A. Lot. And desserts are about the easiest way to use those up.

Not that I’m complaining about chickens, oh, no siree. It’s great. And having this many eggs on hand has definitely made me more adventurous in the kitchen. Last week, Himself and I were both off on Wednesday and, of course, Thursday for Thanksgiving. Since I was saving all the real cooking for Thursday, I decided to mess around in the kitchen. I mean, why not make crème brûlée just for funsies? So I did. And I was immensely proud of myself. This was the final step in reaching custard confidence. It was easy and it was so, so good. So, when I saw this magic custard cake from White on Rice Couple, it was on! I mean it has magic in the title, how can you not make it?!

Don’t let the custard portion intimidate you, like it did me for way too long. This is surprisingly easy and a lot of fun. These few little ingredients really do turn into something magic. I had a lonely orange and some ginger left over from Thanksgiving, and so decided to infuse the milk before adding it to the batter. Infusing couldn’t be easier. Just add 1 ½ Tablespoons orange zest and ½ Tablespoon grated ginger to the milk. Heat until simmering and allow to cool to lukewarm. Strain before adding to the batter.

Also, a note about the egg whites. I added four drops of vinegar as suggested. This helped keep the egg whites stable. That said, when you fold them into the batter, you want to make sure that no big lumps remain. The batter should have wee lumps in it, as if slightly curdled. It’s not a pretty batter, but oooh boy is it tasty. And magic. The batter separates while baking and leaves you with custard sandwiched between two layers of cake. Shazam!

Serve the cake as suggested, with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. Or get real wild and top it with some berries. A wonderful little birdie brought me a delicious hostess gift of cranberry chutney, which was an amazing topping to the cake.

Enjoy!

Magic custard cake

Magic custard cake from White on Rice Couple

1/2 cup (113g) unsalted Butter
2 cups (480ml) Milk
4 Eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups (150g) Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Tablespoon (15ml) Water
1 cup (115g) Flour
1 teaspoon (5ml) Vanilla Extract
extra confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter or grease a 8″x8″ baking dish.
2. Melt the butter and set aside to slightly cool. Warm the milk to lukewarm and set aside.
3. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks [adding 4 drops of vinegar to the egg whites will help them remain stable]. Set aside.
4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light. Mix in the melted butter and the tablespoon of water for about 2 minutes or until evenly incorporated.
5. Mix in the flour until evenly incorporated. Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla extract until everything is well mixed.
6. Fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Repeat until all of the egg whites are folded in.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow cake to completely cool before cutting and then dust with confectioner’s sugar *see Note 1.

Note 1: For faster cooling you can place the cake in the fridge. Even after fully cooled, it will still be slightly jiggly.

RECIPE SOURCE: WHITEONRICECOUPLE.COM.

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