Tag Archives: gruyere

Savoring the Savory

As a confirmed nibbler, I love baked goods, particularly warm from the oven. We don’t eat a great deal of sugar in our home, but tarts and scones are always a hit. I prefer the savory scone to a sweet one, and this scone has all the markings of a moist, slightly salty and savory mouthful. I return to these again and again for something unexpected and delicious.

GRUYERE, PROSCIUTTO & GREEN ONION SCONES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup grated gruyere or Comte cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture, until you have coarse crumbs. This can also be done in a food processor with a few pulses. In using a food processor, place contents in a bowl after pulsing.
  2. In another bowl, whisk and eggs and buttermilk together. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just moist.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the gruyere, prosciutto, parmesan and green onion. Add this to the batter, then mix lightly. The dough will be sticky.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, turn the sticky dough out and knead lightly until all the cheese, prosciutto and green onion are incorporated into the dough. Roll the dough 3/4 inch thick. Shape roughly into a circle and cut 8 triangles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, and lightly brush with half and half. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Place the scones in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Once the scones have chilled, bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.

Serves 8

“Baking is love made edible.”

We Eat With Our Eyes

It is often said that we eat with our eyes.  I believe this is true.  When a dish looks appetizing and beautiful we want to savor it; we might eat a little slower so we can stretch out the experience.  I have made many quiches; some with, some without a crust, but this technique makes the final product a feast for the eyes.  We are fortunate to raise chickens that lay eggs with extremely dark yolks.  This made the color of this quiche a bright yellow, which only added to its appeal.  It is made in a spring-form pan instead of a pie plate.  This allows for a nice deep well for the filling, which I appreciate; but the real joy comes from using hash browns as the crust.  It literally comes out looking like a work of art.

Feel free to change up the ingredients in the filling to suit what you have or your taste preferences.  You can use arugula instead of spinach or a combination of the two.  You can also use Swiss chard.  Vegetarians can leave out the bacon, and you can use Comte instead of Gruyere.  You decide. It will all taste delicious.

SPINACH & GRUYERE QUICHE WITH A HASH BROWN CRUST

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INGREDIENTS:

FOR HASH BROWN CRUST:

  • 1 package frozen hash browns, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 farm-fresh egg, light beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

FOR THE QUICHE:

  • 1/2 cup red (or any color you have) seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 farm-fresh egg whites, and 3 additional farm-fresh eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or Comte cheese, shredded
  • 4 cups lightly packed spinach and/or arugula mixed
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CRUST:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Brush the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with olive oil, then line both bottom and sides with parchment paper; brush with oil again.
  2. Combine the hash browns, melted butter, garlic salt and egg.  Mix thoroughly and press into spring form pan, pushing them up the sides.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hash browns start to crisp up.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR QUICHE:

  1. Fry bacon in skillet, drain and crumble.
  2. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute onions, red pepper and garlic for 8-10 minutes or until soft and translucent.  Add spinach and saute for another 1-2 minutes or until spinach has wilted.  Set aside to cool.
  3. In a bowl, combine the egg whites, whole eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.  Add the cooled onions and red pepper and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into hash brown crust in spring form pan.
  4. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 40-45 minutes or until eggs are set.

Serves 6

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Note:  This recipe is from my new cookbook Twisted Basics: Laugh, Cook, Eat.  You can purchase it at our website

“The kitchen is seasoned with love.”

Shelter From The Storm

As we wind up week six of social distancing, I am recognizing my emotions looming large.  One minute grief, then anger, jumping to anxiety, then surprising me completely by hope. I can be washing the dishes or folding clothes and I find tears running down my face.  I listen to the news and feel angry at people who aren’t taking this virus seriously.  I’m furious at the misinformation and lies.  I wake up during the night and process thoughts for 2-4 hours.  There are times I think, “What’s wrong with me? Am I losing my mind?” The truth is, I am completely normal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I am simply leaning fearlessly into my emotions. I want to know what is below the surface of my packaging. The average person didn’t see the corona-virus coming; and then the world came to a collective pause. Everything changed. Nothing is as is was.

We are in shock. I keep hearing people wanting to get back to normal. Yet what does that look like? Why long to return to an existence that was not working for most of us? I for one, have no desire to return to the times of collective exhaustion, greed and disconnection.  In this collective pause why not dream of a better way? Why not take these precious  moments and rein-vision something that sustains and nourishes us? We already know how to distance. We’ve been running away from healthy solutions for humans and the planet for generations, chasing our desire for bigger and better until the world couldn’t take it anymore.

For now, cooking and my kitchen help to steady my emotional tides. Preparing food for me is like meditation or prayer for some. One thing I do know: we need to practice a lot more kindness and compassion for each other. Our world is not a virtual reality; it is the reality. Right here, right now. We all yearn for shelter from the storm.