I’d be super pissed because I have just turned 22 and I wouldn’t be able to have my favorite breakfast food — quiche. Also I made this quiche to one of my favorite Biggie songs. First and foremost, my hat goes off to all pastry chefs and anyone skilled in the mysteries of dough. It’s the toughest food obstacle I have strived to overcome and so far, it is just not happening for me. That said, I made a decent quiche dough with the aid of a gratuitous amount of swearing. I started with M. Stewart’s standard recipe for both the quiche tart shell and the insides but added whatever else I wanted. Thankfully, the insides of the quiche were far more impressive than its shell: lots of eggs, heavy whipping cream, milk, flour, shallots, garlic, BACON, leeks and a healthy dose of grueyere cheese. The consistency is something like custard instead of the dense egg cake you usually find in the stores or restaurants. It’s lovely hot out of the oven but call me crazy, I actually prefer my quiche cold the next day. Quiche is often relegated to brunch menus but as a breakfast start to the day it’s pretty perfect — it doesn’t make you want to pass out, a nice protein source and quick (once it’s cooked).
1. Grabham’s Chocolates — local spot, awesome chocolates like WHOA, specifically candied orange peel cocooned in dark chocolate.
2. Gas stoves and new recipes — jam and doughnuts: picked up a recipe for sufganiyot from Martha Stewart and a raspberry jam recipe. I tweaked the recipe using 8 small packs of raspberries, only 3 cups sugar (I’d use less next time), juice from 2 navel oranges, a tablespoon of orange zest and a tablespoon of ground ginger. The ginger balances the sweetness SO well. Boiled the hell out of it for a long time, and I didn’t strain out the seeds. This was my first jam and to blatantly brag, it was gohgeous. Oh and the gas stove bit is partially about my pyro tendencies but mostly about the fact that the inventor of electric stoves is in a very deep ring of Hell.
3. Oystah Stew and Osso Bucco — Mama made the osso bucco tonight for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner and I made our traditional oyster stew for Christmas Eve. All you need is a small saucepan, 2 tablespoons butter melted in it, add 2 cans of oysters and their juices. Simmer until the oysters’ edges curl then add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 2 cups of milk. Serve when it gets frothy. Winter warmer fo sho.
4. Sleeping ’til 5.
5. Wanting to get out of the States and go back to Milano with my lovely roommate for many aperitivi.
6. Wanting desperately to lose myself in a market in Barcelona or Parma, run into a dashing European man who instantly falls in love with me.
7. Human seatbelts made from a big brother — I got trapped for a while under the heavy feet of a passed out big brother today, almost made me late to the grocery store for my jam provisions.
While I adamantly loathe the era of the celebrity chef and next Food Network stars, I actually turn to Martha Stewart occasionally. I learned this behavior from a boss of mine when I was working as a special-events intern at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Whenever I was stuck on decisions for little things such as napkin holders, she told me that she often went to the MS website to get an idea and then mold it to the MOCA aesthetic.
Together with my roommate in Milan, we threw many dinner parties so I turned to the site for some fresh ideas towards the end of our time in Italy. The recipe I found and followed without elaboration was a simple summer treat that fit perfectly with our Italian life: strawberries, balsamic vinegar, fresh ground black pepper.
as many strawberries as you want to eat, cut into quarters and piled high on a plate
drizzle balsamic vinegar over top without drowning the fruit
fresh ground pepper over top
*I like to serve it in the middle of the table with forks for everyone to eat off the communal plate*
This plate also lead me to drizzling balsamic on fresh orange slices for a party. Within minutes the plate was empty.
Now then, beer. What goes best with the tangy zip of balsamic, the sweetness of strawberries and the spice of pepper? My thought is a nice porter, perhaps a stout: Smuttynose Robust Porter or Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura. You get the bitterness of roasted coffee notes with a mellow mouthfeel to play off the bite of the vinegar and fruit, everybody wins!