Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Quiche & Salad

Yesterday I was sitting at work wondering what to do with my asparagus. I thought about soup, then putting it in a salad, something easy and quick so I could go to the gym beforehand.

Instead, I decided to bag the gym and make an asparagus quiche. I cobbled together a couple of recipes and my own ideas and came up with this.

Asparagus Quiche

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
dash of salt
3-4 tbsp water

Place butter, flour and salt in the food processor with plastic blade if you have one. Process until the size of small peas. Open lid and add water all at once but around the bowl. Process a few more times until still somewhat crumbly but sticky. Wrap into a flat disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate 45 minutes. Roll disc out using flour, put into 10 inch removable bottom tart pan.

Filling (preheat oven to 350 at this point)

1/2 medium onion chopped
4 slices bacon, in 1/2 inch strips
Fry these together on low in a small pan
when onions are translucent add the bottom 1/2 of 3/4 lb asparagus to the pan, chopped in 3/4 inch lenghts, fry for 3-4 minutes longer

In a 4 cup measure mix together:
3 eggs
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 tsp salt, black pepper and nutmeg to taste

Prick dough and line bottom of tart pan with:
1/2 c. gruyere cheese grated
add the bacon/onion/asparagus mixture
Place top 1/2 of the asparagus in a radius pattern neatly into tart pan
sprinkle with 1/4 c. grated parmesan

Slowly and carefully pour in the egg/cream mixture, making sure to distribute evenly. Put immediately into a hot oven. Note you may want to put tart pan on a jelly roll pan before filling as this makes for easier transport and clean up if overflow happens.

Cook for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool 5 minutes Serve warm with a salad.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finally Spring... though it doesn't feel warm enough

We did the first bit of spring pruning and planting last week. Very exciting for me as we're starting to plan the garden, think about the yard and get ready for our summer of plenty. We started by trimming the climbing hydranga from the top of the house and off of the windows. Hopefully the flock of birds will not come back.

While he was up on the ladder doing this (I don't know why he doesn't want me on the 16 foot ladder...) I was planting French breakfast radishes. I had never eaten these radishes until living in France. I like them much better than their hotter round counterparts here in the U.S. Eaten with a bit of butter and salt and some of my sweetheart's homemade bread, delicious.

Last year the patch of ground that I put the radishes in sat fallow until I planted the tomatoes so Radishes have to be planted in early spring in Maryland as otherwise they just go to seed. I thought this would be a good use of the space next to the sorrel that is starting to come back. So I put them in last Wednesday and every day I keep hoping to see little sprouts, but it was 29 this morning and I think those little sprouts have decided it is much much too cold to make an appearance. Hopefully we'll have radishes by Pam's birthday though so I can put the tomatoes in the week after. Obviously the radishes above are not mine, but they certainly look like the ones on the package.

I have also started the plan for ripping out ivy. I spent a good hour Sunday morning ripping. Filled up a garbage can full and there's more to go. I'm hoping to rip out most of the ivy in the yard. Mandi, if you want to help, let me know. ;-)