Saturday, June 12, 2010

Somethings Cooking in the Kitchen

This is going to be a ho-hum blog entry today...

I got up early this morning, before the birds woke up and started making cornbread and Spanish Quiche with spinach, mushrooms, garlic and onion.  I wasn't sure how everything would turn out, or if it would; since I'm just learning how to expand my cooking portfolio.  The first thing I did was mix the cornbread mixture.  It didn't take much, all it took was flour, cornmeal, sugar and egg, so once I finished mixing it, I placed it in the oven to bake for 25 minutes * They always say, "follow the recipe and you'll do fine" so the recipes are listed at the end of today's blog. 

I then proceeded to make the crust for the quiche.  I've tried this before making my cherry tarts, sometimes my crust turns out other times, not.  I blended the flour, butter and water combination as instructed and found out the butter that I had was whipped and at room temperature.  The recipe called for cold-cubed butter, oh well have to compromise this early morning because my guests are coming over early morning and I don't feel like driving to the store.

I continued forward with ice and I mean a real ice cube, for ice water.  I let it melt in the spoon as I slowly blended in the ice-cold water into the flour mixture.  I balled the rest up and placed it in waxed paper and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Darn, I should have listened to my daughter who suggested I do the dough the night before, then it would have been properly refrigerated.  This must be the reason why my crust never turns out, because I'm in such a rush and do things last minute.

Onward and forward, with the main part of the dish, yummy!  I'm ready.
Sautee' the garlic and onions in butter, I can do that.  I'm getting pretty good at that since I've been learning how to make Italian foods and soups either with my Italian friend or experimenting on my own!  So, this isn't too bad.  I decided to use fresh spinach instead of frozen, so I cut up the spinach leaves and added them to the browned onion and garlic.  Mmm, mmm! It sure smells good!

I'm glad I tryed this new recipe out, I think it turned out deliciously grande!  Today we are getting family pictures taken by my extended family (I say extended family because I never can figure out the name of where they sit in the family; however, I'll explain it here and maybe you can shed some light on me.  Here goes, my photographer (who by the way I use to babysit when I was in high school, I babysit all of my relations at some time) is my Mom's mom's (my grandma), sister's (my great aunt), son's daughter.  So, you tell me, 'what is that?)"

I really don't have many people come to my home, it seems I'm always going out, or invited out for coffee instead.  So, this is a real treat for me.  I'm hoping everything turns out to taste good, because I'd love that they come back.  I always dreamed of having a revolving door in my home, people coming and going, feeling comfortable enough to walk into my home unannounced, coming in and just sitting down with me to chat, over coffee or whatever.  So, the quiche was simply made mixed together with the baked crust (I baked it for about 5 minutes before putting the quiche ingredients in; and I'm patiently waiting for it to bake).  Here are the final pictures of my masterpieces, *and the recipes are below, enjoy!

Corn Bread
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup yellow cornmeal
• 2/3 cup white sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 egg
• 1 cup milk
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Spanish Quiche
1/2 cup butter
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
• 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
• 1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
• 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
• 4 eggs, beaten
• 1 cup milk
• salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Flaky Butter Crust:

• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
• 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed
 To make the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and butter in the processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse quickly 5 or 6 times, or until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the container. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To make the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a medium bowl, and mix with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough comes together and is no longer dry, being careful not to overmix. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface according to the recipe, fit it into the pan, and allow to rest again in the refrigerator before baking.

Yield: one 9-inch tart or pie crust


Avid Diva said...

Your photographer is your second cousin. I know how hard it is to keep track of everyone because my husband has this big big in fact that after 23 years of marriage, he still has to introduce me to some people I have never met (and if I did, I don't remember). We are talking 10 siblings on his mother's side and 12 on his father's and add to that the ones with less, had two children. Great parties, though.
Your recipes sound yummy and I am sure that people feel the love when you cook them and that is all that matters.

K.M. Groshek said...

Thank you so much for that helpful information, now I know that Jen is my second cousin, so much easier to express to others. I think they get more confused as I try to explain it. Should make things simpler going forward. I appreciate your experience and insight!!!

And yes, great parties!!! So, true. I think we value family and friends so much more as we experience more and grow more with age....

Thank you for your compliment about my recipes. I hope that you might find them useful in your kitchen as well.

Feel free to follow me as I go forward, I'm setting a goal to write in my blog at least once a day. Let's see if I can keep going with it.

I am finding some great new friends, such as yourself, along the way.

Take care and thanks again for your helpful thoughts!!!