Leek and Rosemary Quiche

WOW!  That is all I have to say about this recipe.  I like quiche, but it has never been one of my favorite foods.  In fact, quiche has always had a baby-shower-esque feel for me.  You eat it because its there, and someone is usually celebrating something.  This quiche recipe has made me rethink my previous analysis.

Ironically, I made this dish as part of our Thanksgiving feast for a vegetarian friend.  I altered the Luna Cafe’s recipe for Leek, Cheddar, and Rosemary Tart.  You can find the original recipe here.  Luckily, Luna Cafe has a few great hints to make cooking quiche pain-free and effortless.  The two main things to know are: 1) Quiche is done when it reaches 160 degrees internal temperature.  Do not overcook!  Custard will curdle at 180 degrees. 2) You will know when to take the quiche out of the oven by the size of the indent in the middle.  This means when the outside begins to set, it will raise around the edges, but not in the middle.  This forms an indent in the middle of the quiche.  When the indent is approximately 3-4 inches from the outside, it is done!  It is safe to take the quiche out of the oven at this point, because it will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven.

Recipe (adapted from Luna’ Cafe’s Leek, Cheddar and Rosemary Tart)

1 prepared pie crust rolled into a quiche pan

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced crosswise

2 teaspoons of minced garlic

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups half and half

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

I started by par baking a pie crust.  Par baking is simply partially cooking an item.  You need to do this with the pie crust, otherwise it will not cook properly when you pour the custard over the crust.  I did this by placing a pre-made crust in a greased quiche pan and poking holes in the bottom.  Then I cooked it for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  After doing this, take the crust out of the oven and sprinkle lightly with shredded cheese.  This will help keep the crust crispy.

The next step is to cook the veggies.  Melt butter in a pan.  Then add chopped leeks and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until translucent.  Add chopped chives and rosemary and remove mixture from heat.

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs.  Whisk in half and half.  Season egg mixture with salt and pepper.  Mix cheeses together.  Add a small handful of the cheese mix into the egg mixture and whisk.

Pour the veggie mixture over the crust.  Then pour egg mixture over the leek mixture.  Make sure there is approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch room at the top of the pan because the egg mixture WILL rise when cooking.  Finally, top with leftover cheese.  Bake quiche at 350 degrees for approximately 35-45 minutes.  Let the quiche cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Rosemary Lemon Pork Cutlets

Pork CutletFirst, I must apologize for my long hiatus.  School and life have gotten a little hectic, and in turn, I have neglected my blog.  Hopefully, this lovely recipe makes up for it!

This week’s recipe is from a guest writer – by boyfriend!  Because of my busy schedule, he has been cooking a lot lately.  The other day he made this absolutely decadent meal for me so I asked him if I could use it for the blog.  He obliged, as he didn’t really have a choice!

This is a great, quick meal that is cheap and easy but will taste like a gourmet chef came to your home and slaved for hours over the best cuts of meat.  It starts with a simple pork cutlet, or pork strip.  Mine came from Iowa.  I’m from Iowa, so I’m a little biased, but I thought they were really fantastic.  You want a thin (but not too thin) piece of tenderized pork.  If you don’t have a tenderizer, simply ask your butcher to do this for you.

The next step is to use an infused oil.  Most infused oils are just an average olive or canola oil with different aromatics in it.  Let this combination sit long enough, and the oil will take on the taste of whatever is in it.  We did not have infused oil, so my boyfriend heated some canola oil on low and added lemon juice and dried rosemary.  It worked well.  Make sure that after doing this for about 20 minutes, raise the heat so that the oil is hot enough to fry your pork.

Next, bread the pork.  This is fairly simple.  Beat an egg or two in a bowl.  On another plate, spread out some bread crumbs.  Season them with salt, pepper and lemon pepper seasoning.  Dip the pork in the egg mixture and then the breading.

Finally, fry the pork until done on both sides in the infused oil.  When done, let the cutlet drain on some paper towel for a couple of minutes before eating.  The frying keeps the pork flavorful and moist.  The lemon and rosemary add a delightful tang and herbal finish.  This meal really was a sweet and simple surprise.