22 July 2021

Classic Vegetable Quiche

Classic Vegetable Quiche / www.delightfulrepast.com

Every time I make this classic vegetable quiche, I say, "I love this! Why has it been so long since I made it?!" It was a mainstay in my vegetarian days. In those days, I was seriously into nutrition as well so always made the crust with part whole wheat flour. Years later I had the opportunity to have a little chat with Julia Child about that!

My mother and I enjoyed reading cookbooks and watching PBS cooking shows together, especially Julia Child's, when I was just a child. I had all these "warm fuzzies" associated with Julia, since I spent so many hours in the kitchen with her (courtesy of PBS) and my mother. When I finally met Julia, it felt as if I were reuniting with a beloved aunt who had been a part of my childhood.

It was sometime around 2000 that I first met her. As a great admirer of hers since childhood, you’d think I’d have recorded the exact date of that first, and a few subsequent, meetings. These occasions were small gatherings of food people (I'm not keen on the word "foodies") enjoying a cooking demonstration followed by dinner. In each case, I marveled that the person cooking could do so with such an august personage in the audience.

I’ve always been pretty hard to impress — I waste no more than a glance (and not a single thought) on movie stars and other celebrities — but I was more than a little dazzled by Julia! She was quite easy to talk to as she seemed completely unaware of her special standing in these groups. My mother, who died years before I met Julia, would have been so impressed!

Anyway ... back to the subject of the little chat referred to in the first paragraph ... When I mentioned putting whole wheat flour in my quiche crust, she got that look and asked why I would ruin a perfectly good pie crust with whole wheat flour. Then she uttered those famous words she's said so many times, even to Jacques Pepin: We're not interested in nutrition, we're interested in taste!

Classic Vegetable Quiche (this image - my watercolor sketch of a hen) / www.delightfulrepast.com
My little watercolor sketch of a hen, in a card sent to a friend
who keeps chickens in her suburban backyard
and shares their delicious eggs

So here's the quiche recipe I made up "back in the day;" but in honor of Julia, let's leave out the whole wheat flour just this once! 

As always, I love your comments, though I might be a bit slower to respond to them this time as I'm having hand surgery on Friday and may find typing a bit difficult.

Classic Vegetable Quiche / www.delightfulrepast.com

If you like it, please Pin it and share it!

Classic Vegetable Quiche

(Makes one 9-inch quiche)

The Pastry (not whole wheat!)

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, well chilled
4 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon additional ice water, if needed

The Filling

2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced or julienned
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 large eggs (medium, in UK)
3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces/177 ml) milk
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons minced cilantro or flat-leaf parsley (or dried parsley flakes)
1 packed cup (4 ounces/113 grams) grated Cheddar and/or Jack cheese
Sprinkle of paprika

1 In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. With coarse grater, grate butter into flour bowl. With fingers, quickly work the butter into the flour, leaving some pieces the size of small peas.

2 In small bowl, combine water and vinegar. Sprinkle over flour mixture while stirring with large fork. Add a little more water, if needed.

3 Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a 4-inch disk; double wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to four days. May be frozen for up to a month; defrost, wrapped, in the refrigerator.

4 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. If dough is thoroughly chilled, let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling. On lightly floured surface, roll out disk to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place pastry in pie plate.* Bake, lined with buttered foil and weighted, for 10 minutes. Remove foil and ceramic pie weights, and continue baking for 10 minutes. Remove crust from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350F/180C/Gas4.

5 While crust is baking, prepare filling. In large skillet, heat the oil and sauté onions for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, zucchini, red bell pepper, half the salt and pepper, marjoram and crushed red pepper to skillet. Sauté vegetables over medium-high heat until all the liquid released by the mushrooms and zucchini evaporates and there is some caramelization. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

6 In medium bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure), combine eggs, milk, cream, cilantro or parsley, remaining salt and pepper, and cheese. Stir in cooled vegetables. Pour filling into prebaked pie shell. Sprinkle with paprika. Use a pie crust shield to prevent overbrowning of crust edges. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is set but with a bit of jiggle. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes or all the way to room temperature. Delicious at any temperature. I use the silicone hotpads pictured as both pot holders and trivets for hot dishes.

* I think a glass pie plate gives the best results, and I always use the Pyrex Clear Oven Ware 9" Glass Pie Plate. There are lots of quiche recipes in Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set).

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.


08 July 2021

Pull-Apart Potato Dinner Rolls

Pull-Apart Potato Dinner Rolls / www.delightfulrepast.com

My recipe for pull-apart potato rolls makes 30 rolls! Yes, I know that's a lot of rolls. But I'm thinking ahead to when we can start having big gatherings. Also, these freeze well and can be enjoyed on multiple occasions with all the work being done just one time! Part of my streamlined cooking style.

Another time when a double batch of rolls makes sense is when you're delivering meals to people, as I've had occasion to do during the pandemic and for special occasions. It's nice to make enough to keep some for yourself as well!

Homemade dinner rolls simply "make" a comfort food meal. Back in the day, when I was better at multi-tasking, I baked my dinner rolls at the last minute. But these days I bake them as much as a month ahead and freeze them until 2 1/2 hours before serving time. Of course, you can just go ahead and serve these the day you bake them; but I've included instructions for freezing, thawing and reheating.

Yes, I have a big heavy-duty stand mixer, but I make all my bread by hand. You can do this in your mixer if you want to, but this lovely soft dough is so easy to handle, you might just want to go "unplugged" on this one.

Pull-Apart Potato Dinner Rolls (this photo, rolls hot and packed for delivery with a meal) / www.delightfulrepast.com

If you like it, please Pin it and share it wherever you're social!

Pull-Apart Potato Rolls

(Makes 30 rolls)

1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 packed cup (7 ounces/198 grams) cooked and well mashed russet potato (from a medium, 8- or 9-ounce, potato)
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) water
5 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (27.5 ounces/780 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs

1 Grease a 5-quart bowl* with 1 tablespoon of softened butter (for first rise). Grease two 13x9x2-inch baking dishes with 1 tablespoon of softened butter.

* Or two 2- to 2.5-quart bowls if you would like to let each half of the dough rise in separate bowls as I do when I don't want to get the huge bowl out of the highest cupboard!

2 Put milk and butter in a 1-quart glass measure. Microwave on high power until butter is melted and milk is close to a simmer. Stir until all the butter is melted. Stir in the mashed potato, then the water.

Tip: If you're having mashed potatoes for dinner, you can take out a cup of mashed-up potato and freeze it in a glass storage container for the next time you're making potato rolls. Then move from freezer to refrigerator the morning before the day you're making the rolls.

3 In a 4-quart bowl, whisk together 5 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (27.5 ounces/780 grams) of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour, then add potato mixture and egg to the well. With dough whisk or large wooden spoon, slowly stir until soft, shaggy dough comes together.

4 Spread 1/2 cup of flour onto work surface, and reserve 1/2 cup to use as needed. Turn the dough out onto floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding more flour if needed, until the dough forms a smooth ball. Place smooth ball of dough in buttered bowl and turn to coat all sides of dough. Cover bowl with buttered lid or plastic wrap and let rise until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5 Punch dough down (by pressing down in center and folding in edges), turn out on lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough in half, working on one pan of rolls at a time. Divide one of the two halves into 15 equal pieces by first dividing it into 3 equal pieces then rolling each piece into a thick log and cutting each log into 5 equal pieces. Keep dough pieces covered with plastic wrap or overturned bowl as you shape each piece into a ball, pulling edges under and pinching them together on the bottom. I also give them a little roll on the unfloured counter, a motion sort of like moving a computer mouse around. Place in 3 rows of 5 in buttered baking dish. Spray the same piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray, cover dish lightly. Repeat with second half of dough. Let rise until rolls have doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Note: I can be pretty persnickety about getting my rolls all exactly the same size, so I actually weigh the dough in grams and divide that number by 30, which this time came out to 58 grams (or just slightly over 2 ounces) each.

6 About 10 or 15 minutes ahead, preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Uncover rolls and bake for 25 minutes, or until well browned. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a center roll should read about 200 to 205F/93 to 96C. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Keeping rolls together, remove rolls from baking dish and cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Double-wrap with foil (probably one layer of heavy-duty would be sufficient); freeze for up to 1 month.

To serve after freezing: Remove from freezer 2 1/2 hours before serving time. Defrost, wrapped, at room temperature for 2 hours. During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place foil-wrapped rolls on a cookie sheet and bake about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.