A while back, we ran across this post from Smitten Kitchen and this incredible Over the Top Mushroom Quiche. The recipe was from Thomas Keller – previously published in Food & Wine using his famous/infamous (depends how you see it) buttery pastry shell. This pastry is famous because it is so beautifully flaky and delicious…infamous because of its tendency to bring many a regular-belle cook to her knees in agony! In other words, we regular-belle cooks need a few more very specific guidelines in order to make it work. Enter sweet Smitten Kitchen! Read her spot-on tips for working with the pastry here…and read our belle-tips below for the most amazingly amazing (and successful) mushroom quiche you have ever tasted!!!
Our number one tip: Do a few steps ahead! This is not a done-in-a-day deal for the everyday, busy cook!!
Prep your pastry, sauté the mushrooms/shallots, make the custard, grate the cheese… ALL a day or two ahead!!
Check out our steps below:
Ready to go…
Our pastry in process…
Now for the filling…
1-2 days before serving, gather filling ingredients:
Our mushrooms in process…
We used a combo of oyster, baby portabellas, and white mushrooms. Once done, cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Next, we made the custard in two portions. We simply placed the ingredients in two large mason jars, did a quick shake, and stored in the fridge until serving day.
On the day you plan to serve this divine concoction…here’s the how-to:
Roll out your dough. It’s pretty stiff at first, but keep working…and keep it cold!! Once you have a 16″ circle, place in the greased ring of a 9″ springform pan (no bottom, unhinged, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet). Place parchment paper inside the dough and fill with weights (we used a slightly smaller springform with coins inside…Smitten Kitchen uses rice and/or beans) to keep the dough in place…otherwise, it will slide right down the sides of your springform and leave you devastingly disappointed!
Again…here are some specifics from Smitten Kitchen:
We chose to par-bake our shell which yields an amazingly browned, flaky crust. This is done at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove beans/rice/coins and bake another 10 minutes for good-measure browning.
Now for the assembly…
Place 1/3 of your cheese in the bottom of the crust. (By the way…if some cheese is good, more cheese is better!! We used a full cup of grated emmentaler)
Cover the cheese with about half of your mushrooms
Pour one of your jars of “custard” over this layer, and do it all again – ending with cheese.
Time for the baking! Place the quiche in the oven at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours…
And you might get something that looks like this disappointing mess!! We were convinced we had failed miserably!! The crust apparently sprang a leak despite our best efforts and following Smitten Kitchen’s tips very carefully. We figured we were just no match for this endeavor. We were just not worthy! Or were we??…
Although it might have turned out to be a slightly messier version of Mr. Keller’s creation, it was, indeed, a success!!
We initially thought would never attempt this beautiful mess again…but it is just TOO GOOD!!! We will indeed be doing this one again and again! And ya know what they say…practice makes perfect!
On another note…we recently found this article touting the benefits of certain superfoods, including MUSHROOMS!! Just another reason to have this one on repeat!
What your favorite flower says about you
via Smitten Kitchen
How about some flavor-bursting clams
The truth about apple cider vinegar
Just in time for fall… apple cider bourbon cocktails
til next time!
While we are fans of the occasional patty melt, and maybe even a tuna melt here or there, we don’t tend to keep the diner staple in our regular recipe rotation. But…we found this version a few weeks ago, and even included it in our Belle-ringer post (number 68), and thought it was worth a try!
From Smitten Kitchen, these broccoli melts looked too good to ignore…and belles, are we glad we didn’t! We decided to put the recipe to the test and it passed with flying colors!!
1 lb broccoli, washed and chopped into small chunks
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes to taste (a pinch or two…)
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c grated pecorino Romano cheese
8 slices provolone
8 slices bread of your choice
Steam broccoli for 2-3 minutes until tender. Drain and pat dry with paper towels, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Wipe pan dry and heat over medium heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat for 1 minute, then add garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute or until garlic turns golden. Add the broccoli and cook 1-2 minutes more. Season with salt. Transfer to bowl and add lemon zest, juice, and pecorino. Add salt and pepper flakes to taste.
Heat broiler. Arrange slices of bread on tray and toast lightly on both sides. Spoon broccoli mixture onto each bread slice and top with a slice of cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Tip: we used crostini toasts and served as an appetizer, but can totally see using larger slices of bread to make this a perfect, hearty side to a bowl of soup as the weather chills!
It’ll make you melt, belles!
Ringin’ belles this week…
Drinking customs from around the world
Halcyon Tassel earrings from Furbish Studio
Beating this “gettin’ older” thing with strength, stability and stamina
We have both stretched our “travel limits” lately (one in China earlier this year…the other headed to Japan shortly), so Phnom Penh might be our next Asian adventure
Well, ring my belle!
The upside of always running a bit behind (fashiona-belle-y late)
The wisdom of Coco Chanel …a belle’s inspiration (Coco’s quotes from Town and Country)
Speaking of inspiration…how about Paying it forward?… Great ways !
We are feelin’ peachy.
A peachy libation….
A fun read.
Time to step into fall… Love this new bootie! And the grey…stop the madness!
Ring a ding ding !!
alexandra cooks, andoiulle burger with spicy mayo and caramelized onion, beet and tomato salad, epicurious, freutcake, new potato salad with harrisa dressing, new potatoes with green harissa, pineapple mojito, saltine ice cream sandwiches, smitten kitchen, sweet basil vinaigrette, the cafesucrefarine
Time to make a menu plan for the big holiday weekend, belles. We are here to help!
First and foremost, we think a patriotic toast is in order. Let’s start off with a refreshing libation that will get your tastebuds going…and the crowd…because it’s a big batch recipe. Less work, more fun!!
The Main Attraction
Now for zee main course. Hamburgers are a classic American go-to, but we like stepping it up a notch with these Andouille and beef burgers with spicy mayo and caramelized onions from Epicurious. We found these in a Bon Appetit magazine years ago and they have never failed us. Can y’all say taste-thrill??
We have tweaked this burger just a wee bit…. So here’s our version:
Best Belle Burger
For the spicy mayo:
3/4 cup mayonnaise (we are Hellman’s belles)
1 T + 1t Cajun or Creole seasoning (we like Tony Cachera’s)
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (we are partial to Tabasco)
1/4 -1/2 t cayenne
1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into tiny 1/4 inch cubes (we have been known to grill the sausage seperately and add on top…but it is better to combine it ahead)
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck or ground beef (20% fat)
1 1/2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
2 T olive oil, plus more for brushing grill rack
3 garlic cloves, minced
1T brown sugar (we use golden)
6 split hamburger buns
3 cups watercress or butter lettuce
8 ounces crumbled blue cheese (optional)
What to do:
For mayo: Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate. (can be made 2 days ahead)
For burgers: Toss all ingredients together and blend gently. Form into six patties. Cover and chill. (can be made 1 day ahead)
For onions: Prepare grill or heat stove to medium-high heat. Toss onions, oil, sugar, and garlic into a large skillet. Cook until onions are golden, stirring often – around 25 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. (can be made 1 day ahead)
Lightly toast buns on grill. Grill burgers to desired doneness. Top each burger with mayo, onions, blue cheese, and lettuce. Serve remaining mayo on side.
Celebration worthy sides:
Beet, tomato and goat cheese salad with basil vinaigrette:
We thought a few more fireworks need to explode in your mouth, and this tasty salad with a sweet basil vinaigrette from the cafe sucre farine should do the trick! This vinaigrette is bright, beautiful, sweet and tangy. Very addicting and delicious on any salad.
Here is the link to this magical elixir of a dressing. We found no way to improve on it…now that’s saying something!!
As for the salad we just layered fresh sliced tomatoes, roasted beets, a sprinkling of goat cheese, and a drizzle of the sweet basil vinaigrette. Voila!!
New Potato Salad with Green Harissa:
This potato salad is a blue-ribbon winner, and the Harissa brings so much flavor…your tongue might just sing Yankee Doodle in glee! The color dulls a little when mixed with the potatoes but not the taste. And bonus for no mayo so it can sit out with no fear!
You start out with some baby new potatoes, a couple of handfuls of fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, and some olive oil, a jalapeño, salt and pepper
Then you cook the potatoes…we tried Alexandra’s technique and loved it.
Now it’s time to make the green Harissa…the bursts of flavor have arrived!!!
Now just mix and serve
Delish!! Find the full recipe here.
The grand finale:
Belles live for the magic of fireworks. We picked a dessert you could make ahead of time, was cool, all-American, and could be eaten with your hands while watching the sky light up!! Brilliant, we humbly say, in the form of ice cream sandwiches. You will be whistling Dixie when you eat these…promise!
Via the rare belle
Saltine Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches from The Smitten Kitchen
We followed this recipe to the letter EXCEPT we doubled the caramel…why do when you can overdo???
You line a pan with greasd foil and lay your saltines in a single layer.
Then you make your toffee (this is the part we doubled)
Pour it over zee saltines, and bake in oven for a bit…
Time to add the chocolate and nuts (optional) and spread about,
A little cooling time is in order, then add your ice cream, assemble, and freeze for a good bit. Remove from freezer and you should have something like this:
Find the full recipe here.
Wishing y’all an easy, celebratory and gourmet Independence Day!