Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sausage and Mushroom Quiche

This morning, my husband declared that quiche is his favorite breakfast food. I'd have to agree with him.  All of the ingredients of an omelet, baked into a pie. What's not to love?
 Like an omelet, a quiche is wonderfully versatile. This recipe calls for mozzarella, sausage, and mushroom. But you why not ham, swiss and asparagus? What about bacon? spinach? cheddar? It's blank canvas. Experiment with the ingredients you love... or the ones that you happen to find in your fridge.

Here is my most recent interpretation and the one my husband was raving over this morning.

Sausage and Mushroom Quiche:

1 9-inch deep dish pie crust, unbaked
6 ounces bulk breakfast sausage
1/2 yellow onion, diced
5 or 6 white or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
4 large eggs
1 cup milk (1% or 2% works great)
1/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 TBS all purpose flour
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.
Pierce pie crust several times with a fork to prevent bubbling during pre-baking. Bake for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, crumble and begin browning the sausage over medium-high heat. Half way through cooking the sausage, add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and the onion and mushroom are softened. With a slotted spoon, transfer mixture from the skillet to a paper towel covered plate to drain.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt and thyme. Add the sausage mixture and stir.
In a separate bowl, combine the shredded cheese and flour. Stir cheese mixture into the egg mixture.
Pour into the hot pie crust.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and middle is set.
Cool 5 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Maple-Bourbon Pecan Pie

 Dessert is my favorite part of the traditional American Thanksgiving meal. After all the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and cranberry relish, nothing hits the spot like a slice (or two) of pie. This pie made it's debut at our Thanksgiving table this year. It was an instant favorite. Unbelievably easy to make, this holiday-worthy dessert is loaded with maple flavor and given complexity with a touch of bourbon.  You've never tasted a pecan pie so good!

Maple-Bourbon Pecan Pie

1 9-inch pie crust
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 TBS all purpose flour
1 cup pure grade B maple syrup
3 large eggs
3 TBS melted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 TBS bourbon whiskey
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, white sugar, and flour. Whisk in maple syrup, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and bourbon.
Spread pecans evenly over the bottom of the unbaked pie crust. Pour liquid mixture over the pecans.
Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the middle is set. Cool completely before serving.
Serve with whipped cream. 
(recipe adapted from Harvest Market, Bon Appetit Dec 2000)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Grilled Chicken Tikka Masala

Do you remember the first time you had Indian food? I do. It was at a little restaurant called "The Pear Tree" in Lincolnshire, England.  My first experience with Indian food was in the UK?! Yes, it was. And it was delicious.
Surprisingly, Indian cuisine is quite popular among our friends across the pond. Particularly this dish, which I've loved from the first bite, tikka masala. It's aromatic, creamy, tangy, spicy. It's a flavor explosion in your mouth. Whether you're new to Indian food or have it on a weekly rotation at your house, try this recipe. It'll make your taste buds dance. 

Grilled Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (add more if you're brave!)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning

1 tbs butter
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds and membrane if you'd like to curb the heat!)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup ground cashews or blanched almonds
1/2+ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup half and half

1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro leaves

Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, 1 tsp salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Add chicken cubes and refrigerate. Allow to marinate, turning periodically, for at least 1 hour (up to 8 hours).

Thread chicken on to skewers and grilled over high heat until juices run clear. Approximately 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and discard the skewers.

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Saute onion until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno, saute 2 minutes. Season with garam masala, cumin, cinnamon, paprika. Cook until fragrant. Stir in ground nuts, tomato sauce and half and half. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minute, or until sauce thickens slightly. Add chicken and continue simmering for another 10 minutes.

Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro.
It's also fantastic served with hot tandoori naan.

The Beginning of a Journey

This post marks the beginning of my food blogging journey. The beginning of a new adventure!

A little about me:
I'm a home cook (self proclaimed 'master chef' of my domain).  I love bold favors, especially those of South American and Asian cuisines. I also enjoy season cooking and recipes that put a fresh spin on a classic dish.  

As a full-time homemaker, cooking is not only a hobby, but it's significant part of my job description. I'm blessed with a husband who has a heart of gold, and two beautiful children who are the sunshine in my life. We currently live in the Southwest, United States. But have plans to live overseas...maybe even in the jungles of the world. This food journey may take us to some exciting destinations! So get ready, set, let's cook!