Posts Tagged ‘quiche’

Crepes are a true favorite of mine. My mom would make crepes for us occasionally when we were kids, usually serving them for breakfast with bananas, strawberries, and whipped cream. Yes, we were quite fortunate to have a mom who made us such wonderful breakfasts! It had been quite a while since I had last made crepes (years, probably), so I had a good time revisiting crepes in this episode.

Crepes

Alton’s plain crepes are made by combining 2 eggs, 3/4 C milk, 1/2 C water, 1 C flour, and 3 T melted butter in a blender.

Blend the crepe mixture for only 7-10 seconds, as you do not want to over-mix the batter. To make your crepes sweet, add 1 t vanilla and 2 1/2 T sugar to your batter.

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Vanilla and sugar are added to the batter to make sweet crepes.

Sweet crepes are great with Nutella. My brother and I enjoyed many Nutella crepes when we took a trip to Paris a few years ago.

Alternatively, to make savory crepes, add 1/4 t salt and 1/4 C chopped fresh herbs to the batter.

Refrigerate the batter for 1-24 hours before cooking your crepes. When ready to make your crepes, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lube your pan with butter and wait until the butter begins to bubble. You should only need to lube your pan prior to the first crepe.

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Pan lubed with butter.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour a thin layer of batter into the pan, swirling the pan to coat as you pour. A full 1/4 C of batter will be too much. For my pan, filling the measuring cup about 2/3 full resulted in perfect crepes. When the edges of your crepe start to pull back from the pan, your crepe is ready to flip.

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Crepe batter poured into lubed pan.

Alton flipped his crepe in mid-air, but I used my fingers to lift and flip my crepe. Cook the second side of the crepe just until set.

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Crepe finishing its cooking in the pan.

You can keep your crepes warm for about 30 minutes in a low oven. For longer storage, stack your crepes between layers of wax paper and refrigerate or freeze.

Mushroom Crepe Cake

Once you have made all of these crepes, what should you do with them? For a savory crepe entree, try Alton’s mushroom crepe cake. You will first need to make a batch of crepes, as described above; you can choose to make plain or savory crepes. I made a batch of plain crepes for my mushroom cake. Next, you will need to make the mushroom filling for your “cake.” Begin by dicing an onion and thinly slicing a pound of mushrooms – Alton used 1/2 pound brown mushrooms and 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms.

Once you have sliced all of your mushrooms, set half of the mushrooms aside and finely chop the other half.

Set a large skillet over medium-low heat and sweat the onion in 2 T melted butter.

When the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms and 1 t Kosher salt.

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Mushrooms added to the pan.

Cook this mixture until it has reduced by 2/3.

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Mushroom mixture, reduced by 2/3.

Add 4 ounces whole milk to the pan and cook the mixture until it is a loose paste.

Sprinkle 1/2 C shredded provolone over the mushroom mixture, and stir until melted; I had to chop some provolone slices for this, as I could not find a block of provolone at my store.

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Provolone added to the mushroom mixture.

Taste the filling and season it to taste with salt and pepper. To assemble your cake, place two crepes on a buttered sheet pan. Spread a thin layer of the mushroom filling over the crepe and sprinkle chopped chives on top. Top with another crepe.

Continue this layering until you have about eight layers. Sprinkle the top crepe with grated Parmesan cheese and warm the cake in a 250-degree oven until heated through.

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Layers of crepes and mushrooms.

Cut into wedges and serve.

We ate this mushroom cake as a dinner entree and thought it was delicious. I also shared some with my parents and they really enjoyed it. This cake also makes a very pretty presentation, as you can clearly see the layers when you cut the cake into wedges. The mushroom filling is rich, savory, and creamy, while the crepes are light and smooth. I think I will likely make this one again.

Crepes Suzette

For a crepe preparation using dessert crepes, Alton made Crepes Suzette. For this recipe, you will need a batch of dessert crepes, as described above. To make Alton’s version of this classic recipe, combine 4 oz orange liqueur, 1 T sugar, and 1 T brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat.

Stir this mixture until the sugar dissolves and is nearly dry. Stir in 1/4 pound of softened butter and stir the mixture until it tightens.

Add crepes to the pan, coating them evenly with the sauce and folding them into quarters.

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Crepes added to the pan.

Serve the crepes warm with vanilla ice cream.

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Crepes Suzette.

In full disclosure, I folded my crepes prior to putting them in the pan. And, I misread my recipe and added 1/4 C butter instead of 1/4 pound. Big difference, I know. Still, we thought these crepes were a delicious dessert. Though I had heard of Crepes Suzette, I can’t honestly say whether I had eaten them before this. The orange liqueur really does not come through much, as the sauce is really more of a caramel. We ate these two nights for dessert and thought they were great. If you make the crepes ahead of time, these come together in a matter of minutes.

Crepe Quiche Lorraine

The final recipe in this episode is for miniature quiches made with crepe crusts. I used my batch of savory crepes for this recipe. Begin by lining each cup of a nonstick muffin tin with one crepe, allowing the edges to pleat on themselves.

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Crepes lining muffin tin.

For the quiche filling, whisk together 8 eggs and 1 1/2 C milk. Add 1 t Kosher salt and some black pepper.

To each crepe cup add some sauteed onion, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Ladle in some of the egg filling.

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Egg filling added to quiches.

Bake the quiches at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until set.

My quiches took a few extra minutes of baking. We ate these for dinner and thought they were a creative use of crepes. However, they were not mind blowing. My crepes seemed to be a little too large for the muffin tin, so I would use smaller crepes if I were to make these again. Overall, this was a really good episode and all of the recipes were really fun to make.

 

I was super stoked to prepare the recipes in the 30th episode of Good Eats. Why, you ask? Though I do love quiche and flan as much as the next girl, I was most excited to make these recipes because I got to use our brand new range for the first time. When we moved into our house, we were greeted with the original, 25-year-old, drop-in Tappan range (I had never even heard of the brand before!). I cook often enough that a range with roll-over numbers (stuck permanently at 4:44), a broken burner, and an oven door that would not shut just was not going to cut it.

The old range. You can't tell in this photo, but the oven light is permanently on since the door won't shut.

The old range. You can’t tell in this photo, but the oven light is permanently on since the door won’t shut.

Old range with a broken front burner.

Old range with a broken front burner.

Ta-da! Enter our new smooth top Samsung electric range.

Isn't she pretty?

Isn’t she pretty?

We considered putting in gas, but the venting, etc. just wasn’t going to be feasible, and we would have lost cabinet space. So far, we are loving our range!

Refrigerator Pie

The very first thing I cooked in our new oven was Alton’s recipe for Refrigerator Pie, AKA quiche. I had my share of quiche growing up, as it was something my mom made on a fairly regular basis. Alton’s version is particularly easy, in that it uses a frozen crust.

Ingredients:  frozen pie crust, spinach, cream, eggs, cheddar, cubed ham, Kosher salt, nutmeg.

Ingredients: frozen pie crust, spinach, cream, eggs, cheddar, cubed ham, Kosher salt, nutmeg.

To start the recipe, you whisk a cup of cream with two eggs (this is called “Royale”) and you place your frozen crust on a baking sheet (to avoid any spills in the oven).

The Royale.

The Royale.

You sprinkle your choice of toppings over the crust, mixing them with your hands; I opted for spinach, shredded cheddar, and cubed ham since that is what Alton did in the episode.

Spinach on the crust.

Spinach on the crust.

Topped with cheese.

Topped with cheese.

And ham.

And ham.

Ingredients tossed together.

Ingredients tossed together.

To your Royale, add a couple pinches of Kosher salt and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. My whole nutmeg seed decided to take a dive into my Royale, which necessitated fishing it out. Butter fingers!

Nutmeg and salt added to Royale.

Nutmeg and salt added to Royale.

Pour your Royale over your ingredients. The egg will expand when it cooks, so you do not want to fill your crust all the way to the top; I had the perfect amount of liquid for my crust.

Royale poured over toppings.

Royale poured over toppings.

Bake your pie in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, or until it is set like Jell-O and no liquid comes out if you poke a small hole with a toothpick. My quiche was done in 37 minutes.

Obligatory dog shot.

Obligatory dog shot.

Baked Refrigerator Pie.

Baked Refrigerator Pie.

Great filling, but needs a better crust!

Great filling, but needs a better crust!

You do not want to overcook this. Ideally, allow the quiche to cool for about 15 minutes before eating. The filling on this quiche was the best I have ever had because it was so much lighter and fluffier than any other quiche I have had. We liked it so much that Ted made one for breakfast a few days later. My one complaint was about the crust, as it wasn’t as crispy as I would have liked. Alton did not mention pre-baking the crust, so I did not pre-bake mine either, and it seemed a little doughy. When Ted made his quiche, he did pre-bake it, but it was not significantly crispier. I did buy a generic brand of pie crust, so maybe a different brand would yield better results. Seeing as we will be making this again for sure, I will have to play with different crusts. The filling, though, is already a winner. I foresee that we will be making this when our refrigerator is poorly stocked but we still want to eat something good! Seriously, best quiche filling ever.

Flandango

And what was the second thing I made with our new range? Alton’s flan, of course. For some reason, my only childhood association with flan is of an unpleasantly jiggly, overly gelatinized, dessert served at bad Mexican restaurants. I have a distinct memory of my family going to a Mexican restaurant with another family, and at the end of the meal the other family got super excited to order flan. I had no idea what flan was, but their enthusiasm made me think I SHOULD know what flan was, so I feigned excitement and ordered a flan. I should have gone with the churros. Creme brulee has since been my custard of choice.

Still, I was excited to make Alton’s flan, as I figured that pretty much everything Alton made on Good Eats was fantastic, so this was likely to be my best opportunity to have, and make, a good flan.

Flan ingredients:  whole milk, half and half, vanilla, sugar, eggs, blueberry jam, and fat-free (doh!) caramel.

Flan ingredients: whole milk, half and half, vanilla, sugar, eggs, blueberry jam, and fat-free (doh!) caramel.

For this recipe, combine whole milk, half and half, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat at a bare simmer.

Whole milk, half and half, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan.

Whole milk, half and half, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan.

Milk mixture at a bare simmer.

Milk mixture at a bare simmer.

Meanwhile, add 1-2 T of your chosen topping(s) to eight ramekins, and place them in a roasting pan that allows an inch between them.

Caramel and blueberry jam in ramekins.

Caramel and blueberry jam in ramekins.

Ramekins in roasting pan.

Ramekins in roasting pan.

For my toppings, I chose caramel ice cream topping and Alton’s blueberry jam I wrote about here. Unfortunately, I made the horrible error of accidentally purchasing fat-free caramel. Yuck! I did not have time to make a homemade caramel, so I had to go with the fat-free junk and hope for the best. In retrospect, I probably should have opted for plain flan. In a bowl, whisk three eggs and three egg yolks until they are thick and light.

Three eggs and three yolks.

Three eggs and three yolks.

Eggs and yolks whipped until light and thickened.

Eggs and yolks whipped until light and thickened.

Slowly drizzle about a quarter of the cream mixture into the eggs, whisking. The key here is to go slowly. Once the eggs are tempered, add the egg mixture back to the cream, whisking again.

Tempered eggs.

Tempered eggs.

Tempered egg mixture added back to milk mixture.

Tempered egg mixture added back to milk mixture.

Strain the custard to get rid of any curdled egg or any chalazae (the tough “strings” in eggs that keep the yolks suspended).

Strainer to remove any lumps.

Strainer to remove any lumps.

Strained custard.

Strained custard.

Pour the custard into the ramekins and place the roasting pan in the middle of a 350 degree oven.

Custard in ramekins. I wonder which ones are blueberry? So much for mystery.

Custard in ramekins. I wonder which ones are blueberry? So much for mystery.

2-20-15 030 Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, bringing it up almost to the level of the custard in the ramekins.

Water up to almost custard level.

Water up to almost custard level.

Bake for 25-40 minutes. Alton explains in the episode that the slower you cook the custard, the lower its setting temperature will be. My flans were done right at 40 minutes. They are done when they wobble and a pairing knife comes out cleanly. Remove them from the water bath with tongs, allow them to cool to room temperature, wrap them tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate them.

Flans after 40 minutes in the oven.

Flans after 40 minutes in the oven.

Completed flan.

Completed flan.

2-20-15 034 When ready to serve, you can eat them straight from the ramekins, or you can run a pairing knife around the outside and invert them onto a plate.

Caramel flan.

Caramel flan.

Caramel flan.

Caramel flan.

We ate the flans for dessert, and shared a couple with my parents. The caramel topping was indeed unfortunate, but the custard was really good. The only flan I have had previously has had caramel topping, so the blueberry topping was very different. My mom commented that the blueberry flavor really surprised her, as she too envisions flan with caramel. Though I would still opt for creme brulee, Alton has redeemed flan for me. The texture was smooth and silky, and the flavor was creamy, sweet, and slightly eggy. There is a pretty good chance that I will make this again in the future, though I will make Alton’s caramel sauce next time. If you are a flan fan, you likely would think this recipe is flantastic! Okay, that was bad.