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Showing posts with label quiche recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quiche recipe. Show all posts

Friday, September 24, 2021

Tatsoi and How to Use It

If you're like me, you dream about the food that they cook in animes. We've all seen the gorgeous footage of the food in the Ghibli films, where they seem to take your softest and most beautiful dreams and turn them into reality. Beautiful pillows of cake, gooey eggs and sausages, grilled fish...but what are those greens that they often chop and boil or put into stews? I'm going to make a very educated guess and call it here: it's tatsoi, my friends!

Important note: While this is sometimes known as: "Water spinach", it is not "water spinach!" Tagalog-speaking folks know water spinach it as 'kangkong,' and it's delicious in adobo. I do know that kangkong is not exactly the same thing as tatsoi, but I personally use the stuff interchangeably so I don't see the harm in you doing it as well. The flavor profile is practically identical. 

Actually, it's a green you can stick almost anywhere.

This will not have a recipe, per se, but a compilation of recipes as well as a brief profile of the item. Honestly, I could no sooner choose a star in the heavens to profile than I could talk about a single kangkong/tatsoi recipe. I thought it'd be much more fun to talk about all of the things you can do with it instead. But first, let's talk - briefly - about how to grow it!

I partner with an incredible place called KC Farm School at Gibbs Road. It's a gorgeous teaching farm that's less than 15 minutes away from my home in the heart of Wyandotte county and I love working with them, along with other local farms and farmers. Their mission is to empower individuals through hands-on experiences on the farm and to educate everyone on where food comes from.

Cute, huh?

In their CSA program, they grow all sorts of delicious goodies for everyone to take home and experiment with. Honestly, I could never cover every single thing they do, but I am always excited to put on my thinking cap and see what can be made from each week's surprise produce box. Tatsoi has been growing beautifully at the farm and I'm thrilled to talk about it. It's been going out for a couple of weeks now and I'm just now getting to it...last week we talked about soup! The fact of the matter is, though, that this green - which is tender like spinach but is more closely related to bok choi - is incredibly easy to grow and tolerant to a wide variety of climates, and can even grow in the shade. This is an excellent green to plant in the spring or fall when the weather is cooler and milder.

This week for recipes, I'm finally getting around to tatsoi and all the lovely things you can do with it. Shall we begin?

Photo credit to Kawaling Pinoy

How I know kangkong the best is through adobo. Of course, my mom braises hers in a lovely adobo manok at baboy with potatoes and serves it over coconut rice. I like to chop it up and put it in any adobo I'm making, but did you know that you can make a totally vegetarian adobo out of just this stuff as the star? Kawaling Pinoy has an excellent recipe that you can start with! Please note that you don't have to add the bacon or pork belly. Many a great adobo can be used with seitan or jackfruit for extra yumminess. 

Oh, you want my recipes for this, too? Why, sure!

There's absolutely no limit to what you can add to a mac & cheese

My usual go-to for just throwing something together is adding any green vegetable I like to a casserole-style dish. A beautiful lasagna would be great with this in the ragout. You can cream it with coconut milk and lots and lots of garlic. Statistically, however, when it would come to the amount of things I would make if I had this in my fridge and just wanted to incorporate it, I would use it in my vegan macaroni & cheese recipe. Chop it up and mix it in before you bake!

Oh, did the lasagna sound great? No problem!

Instead of cutting the pasta, leave it in sheets to dry for lasagna!

Of course, all you would do is chop it up and add it to your ragout at the end before baking. However, if you want to have something fun, you can use the greens themselves to make the pasta. What you do for this application is take my turnip greens pasta recipe and substitute it in equal parts - by weight, if you please - tatsoi for greens. The result will be a gorgeous green color that you'll be in love with. It's also a fun surprise if you have fussy kids that will freak the freak out if they know they're eating vegetables. 

Too "involved"? I get it - sometimes I want it quick and easy, especially after a long day's work!

This is just an example of what you can put in any egg fried rice!

If you're looking for a much quicker thing to do with tatsoi, try chopping it up and adding it to a protein-rich egg fried rice recipe? You don't have to use duck eggs every time, but I recommend it if you get your hands on it. This, of course, can be a quick lunch or a dinner!

Looking for breakfast? Let's do it then!

The quiche is the perfect vessel for breakfast that you can make ahead the night before or simply assemble the morning of and have it baking. Take my quiche base and add fresh chopped tatsoi to it along with any breakfast meats, cheeses, whatever you like. I recommend putting the cheeses or greens on the bottom before any other fillings so that they won't float up to the top. This will also help prevent the greens from floating to the top and burning. If you want something even quicker, go for an omelette, or a smoothie.

I don't have smoothie recipes. I just throw stuff in a blender, usually with almond milk and a banana as the base. My quickest smoothie recipe ever would just be two large handfuls of spinach(or tatsoi), about a cup of almond milk, and maybe some nuts for extra fats, vitamins, and for mouthfeel. I don't always have frozen fruit on hand so I can't say that I use that a lot. If you need a little inspiration, though, feel free to use this chart.

Thanks, Maria Zamarripa, for this! Check out their site here

I hope this photodump has inspired you to get in the kitchen and use up the gorgeous tatsoi you might have lying around, or to see about picking some up for yourself. You can find it at most Asian markets or plant some now to grow all autumn long. Like spinach, you can keep pinching more off and it'll grow back! If you have things you normally do with tatsoi, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. Thank you so much for spending a piece of your day or evening with me.

Happy cooking and happy eating. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Quiche - Not Quickie (But Fairly Quick)

Personalized cutting board not included
I was promised a Snowpocalypse. I was promised an Ice-pocalypse. I was also promised a regular apocalypse back in 2012. It was supposed to be over already; but it's not. The world is still here and we're still in it. If you're reading this now, that means you made it, too. Lucky you!

I've already made my New Year's Resolution to be more impactful. What does this have to do with quiche? Not much, unless you count "learning a new recipe that's easily customized to suit many different tastes and easily made ahead and kept all week" being impactful. It'll have a great impact on your life to learn a simple dish like this, and I promise you that you'll not regret learning it.

For this easy quiche recipe, which can be a breakfast, lunch, or dinner item, you'll need a pie crust, ideally of the 8"/9" variety for your 8"/9" pie tin. Make your own? Of course. Can you do store-bought? Of course. Why is the "of course" included in either one? I'd rather you have a fake n' bake quiche than no quiche at all. Just in case, though, here's my basic pie recipe:

Basic Pie Crust
yields 3 8" pie crust

  • 10.5 oz All-purpose flour(2 cups and 1 Tablespoon)
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) butter OR organic lard(1 cup)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg 
  • Vodka A/N
  • Parchment paper 
  • Pan spray
  • Bench scraper/Dough scraper
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine your flour and sugar. Cut your fat into small pieces and pop in your mixer. Using a paddle attachment, stir your mixture until it comes together in fatty sort of crumbles/pea-sized bits. Add the egg. If this egg is not enough moisture to bring it all together in a dry sort of ball, add a drop or two of vodka until it does.

Why vodka? Simple!

The enemy of pie crust is: gluten. Gluten is the reason your crust shrinks from overworking. Gluten happens when wheat meets water, and that's a bad thing for your pie crust! Another reason you want vodka instead of water? The low boiling point!

See, alcohol boils/evaporates at a measly 90 degrees F while it takes a whole 212 degrees F to get water to boil! This is why your pie crust remains with a soggy bottom with your fruit pie, which is likely already chock-full of water as it is! See? Science is cool. Use that vodka...or any spirit you have. I hear Wild Turkey is great for using a crust to make apple pie...

So, now that you've made your dough, turn it out on to a liberally sprayed parchment sheet and smear the dough all across the paper, folding it up and over again, and smearing again, until everything is nice and uniform. This technique is called "fraiser", and it's my absolute favorite to boot! 

It's a short video, but you get the idea of smearing with the heel of your hand...right? Totally.

So, for your pie dough, simply roll it out into a nice circle to overlap on your chosen vessel. Instead of pressing the dough into the shell, may I suggest simply laying it down and letting it settle for itself(about 5 minutes) in the pan, so any glutens that may have formed can relax a bit? This extra step will prevent shrinkage, and that is a good thing.

Now that you've trimmed your shell, you can decorate the crust ring. You can pinch, use a fork, or use a spoon to create scalloped edges, like this one here. No matter what you do, though, make sure that your crust goes immediately in to the freezer. You'll want your dough frozen(or near-frozen) for this application, if you can at all help it (which you can).

Now that we've discussed crusts, let's move on to filling. A basic quiche custard is simple, and this amount is perfect for a single 8"/9" pie. What you put in it is up to you! Try not to go overboard or too complex with your fillings, and choose lightly cooked items as well. For example, do not put raw bacon in these quiches, as the results will end up greasy and gritty. I also suggest lightly sauteeing any vegetables you may put in there, as you don't want to ruin the pretty, light custard when you cut into it by hacking a hard carrot or stiff pepper. Remember, this dish cooks in the oven for 30 minutes, and that's it. The custard is not going to suffer because you need to make sure that ham is hot. Understand?

Alright. Here's the filling.

Quiche Custard
adapted from Pies & Tarts 

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 4.5 oz sour cream OR plain yogurt(just dear God not vanilla)
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk(cashew milk works as a dairy-free alternative)

That's it. That's literally it. Beat your eggs with the salt, then whisk in the sour cream until it's thick and evenly all come together, and then whisk in your milk. Isn't that crazy? Add your fillings to the shell, then pour the custard over, and put it on a sheet tray(just in case it spills).

This one has Hen of the Woods mushrooms and gruyere cheese in it with fresh herbs!
Pop this into the bottom half of a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. Do you read? 30 minutes. It should take at least this long, but don't pull it out if the middle isn't set, with just a hair of wobble.

Let this cool for at least 15 minutes before you cut into it. The bubbles in this are rather fragile, and if you poke them too soon, the quiche will rupture and a ridiculous amount of water from the eggs will all come spilling out and you'll be left with a gross, goopy mess by the end of it. So, for real, patience is a virtue.

I personally like quiches to be served at "body temperature"(about 90 degrees) with a nice rocket salad and a light vinaigrette, perhaps for lunch. Quiches are great for light dinners, too, when you don't feel like eating a whole plate of spaghetti and meatballs or an entire rotisserie chicken. They're cheap, they're relatively easy to put together, and they can feed a whole family, if need be.

Still need some guidance? Here are my favorite quiche flavor combinations:

This one was smoked gouda with lots of black pepper

  • Corn and white miso
  • Bacon and cheddar
  • Chorizo and green tomatoes
  • Sauteed leek (just by itself!)
  • Spinach with white cheddar and black forest ham(spinach down first, then ham, then cheese on top, all finished with the poured custard...this weighs the spinach down and allows for nice cooking!)
  • Dandelion leaves and havarti (No really. This was an experiment and it worked out NICELY.)
  • Leftover roast beef with bleu cheese

Go nuts with the flavor combinations and make sure you let me know if you come across any great ones on your travels... Happy cooking and happy eating!

Poached chicken and sauteed wild mushrooms filled this little beauty...