Tag

eggs

Browsing

Mini artichoke and goat cheese quiches
Mini artichoke and goat cheese quiches are sublime little soufflés, you can make a whole bunch and keep the rest for lunch the next day accompany with a nice green salad. They are as good warm or cold and terribly easy to do. I’ve done already a few types of those in previous posts, the leek mini flamiche or the asparagus mini quiches, but this new version is done slightly differently ;”soufflé” style. I’ve separated the yolks from the whites and whipped the egg whites into a light foam (soft peak) just to give the egg some extra air to puff up. The soufflés don’t last eternally so you’ll have to serve the quiche as soon as possible, then they will loose their air and become normal quiches. There is nothing like biting into a soufflé; all that airy warm and fluffy texture filled with flavors is just one of my favorite thing in the world. Makes my eyes roll right up!

artichokequichepin
Mini artichoke and goat cheese quichesThe artichoke main season is from March through May usually, but there is strangely also a mid peak in october-novembre. But at the end of the day… the truth here is, I’ve used frozen artichoke heart, not fresh, but it could as well be fresh, or even canned artichoke hearts. I’ve chopped them finely to incorporate into the quiches. You could also replace the artichokes for your favorite vegetable or simply plain quiches is also delicious! The only needed element I believe in any quiche is lots of salt and pepper, the rest is up to you, if you prefer a punchy blue cheese with it go for it.

So let’s make those little quiches!


Mini artichoke and goat cheese quiches

Makes 15 mini quiches | Difficulty: easy | Preparation: 30 minutes (+1 hour to defrost de phyllo)

Ingredients
  • Mini artichoke and goat cheese quiches6 eggs
  • 260g of phyllo (12 sheets)
  • 150g of cream
  • 150g of artichoke (6 hearts) (frozen or canned) heart finely chopped
  • 80g of fresh goat cheese crumbled
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • nutmeg, salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Defrost 1 hour in advance the phyllo
  2. Make a 40cm x 40 cm square with the phyllo (slightly overlapping 2 sheets of phyllo and stacking the rest over changing the direction of the sheets) adding a light spray of olive oil between the phyllo sheets
  3. Cut the phyllo into small squares (4 x 4), install each in a silicon (or greased) muffin rack, pushing down to make a flat bottom
  4. Separate the egg yolks from the whites
  5. Add the cream to the yolk with the flour and artichokes and mix well
  6. Whisk the egg whites until soft peak (light foam)
  7. Incorporate gently the yolks mix to the foam, season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix until homogeneous (always gently so keep the air from the egg whites).
  8. Pour the mix into the phyllo bases
  9. Add the crumbled goat cheese to each quiches, plus extra pepper
  10. Cook in the lower part of the oven at 180°C (350F) for 18 minutes or until the phyllo turns light brown
  11. Serve immediately (to keep the puff)

Serve with a crunchy green salad. Enjoy!

Mini artichoke and goat cheese quiches

Mini leek flamicheMini skinny leek-gruyere flamiches is my take on the northern France dish called Flamiche. The traditional recipe is a kind of quiche filled with leeks and a touch of cheese. It’s quite an easy dish, plus you’ll get some great leftovers for lunch since those tiny leek flamiches are as good warm or cold. You can prepare them in advance for a picnic, party or camping and they stay great for 2 days, still crunchy and flaky on the outside and smooth and savory on the inside. They are so polyvalent, you can have them for breakfast, lunch, as a snack or dinner. They always fit right in, on the go or at the table served with a nice green salad and a good riesling, those little bites are quite adaptable.flamichepin

Mini leek-gruyere flamicheThe flamiche usually use a lot of cream, for this skinny version, I’ve done a velouté (bechamel with broth instead of milk) instead to lower the calorie intake. Also, I’ve used my favorite trick to bring down the calories; I’ve used phyllo lightly sprayed with olive oil instead of the filled with butter flaky pastry. The result is a lighter, yet still crunchy, creamy and tasty flamiche. It’s suitable for lactose intolerant and ovo-vegetarian people, simply omit the cheese and you’ll get a lactose free version of those mini flamiches. The gruyere could also be substituted by goat cheese (lactose free).

Mini leek-gruyere flamicheLeeks are too little used, I believe, they are a great vegetable, however often forgotten. Those long onions are the highlight of this recipe, and of course a good gruyere is making it a touch more interesting, no need to invade it with cheese, especially if you use the real gruyere, it’s a quite strong cheese, just a touch will do.

 

So… let’s make those delicious mini leeks flamiches going!


Mini Leek-Gruyere Flamiches

Ingredients
  • 3Mini leek-gruyere flamiche leeks (white part) cut on the length into 4 (check the picture) to clean them good then cut them into fine slices
  • 260g phyllo sheets
  • 3 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil + some for the phyllo
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • Mini leek-gruyere flamiche100ml of cold vegetable broth
  • 100g of gruyere cheese (or emmental, comté, mature cheddar, etc.)
  • 2 eggs (separate 1 yolk to spread over the flamiches at the end)
  • nutmeg
  • salt, pepper
Directions
  1. Mini leek-gruyere flamicheIn a pan, soften the leeks in a bit of olive oil and salt, medium-low heat, until half it’s original size
  2. Add the 3 tbsp of olive and the flour to the leeks, mix
  3. Let cook the flour for about a minute or 2
  4. Add the cold vegetable broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix
    well, bring the heat to medium Mini leek-gruyere flamichehigh and whisk constantly until it becomes thicker
  5. Take off the fire and add half of the cheese, mix and let cool down by the window
  6. On a dry and clean working space, stack the phyllo sheets over one another with a light spray (or brush) of olive oil in between sheets (I had 2 packs of 6 legal size sheets, so 12 sheets thick)
  7. Cut the phyllo into 12cm squaresMini leek-gruyere flamiche
  8. Add them to a silicon muffin mold (or lightly greased metal one) and push down the bottom to make it fit the mold
  9. Crack the 2 eggs (reserve one yolk) and add to the leek mix
  10. Add the mixture to the phyllo cups and fill them up
  11. Brush them lightly with the yolk
  12. Add the rest of the cheese on top and cook at 200°C (375F) on the lower level of the oven for 20 minutes Mini leek-gruyere flamicheor until the phyllo turns light brown
  13. Let cool a bit before taking them out from the mold
  14. Serve

 

Enjoy with a green salad and a good white wine!

Mini leek-gruyere flamiche

 

Goat cheese and tomato omelette

Omelette is the French way of doing eggs, just like the Spanish have their tortilla de patata, the Italian their frittata, the Japanese their square omelette, etc. The way French makes omelette is quite a fast and precise way to make eggs, the technique can be a bit “a pain in the a..” at first, but once you nail it, you’ll never lose the skill. Some people add a little milk or water to the egg mixture before frying it in the pan, I, usually, do my omelette without any of those, simply a pinch of salt and pepper. Also, this dish version is with olive oil instead of butter, simply because I believe it’s healthier, and especially with the Mediterranean herb crusted goat cheese that I’ve used for the topping it fits perfectly. Butter is usually used… it’s a French recipe after all.omeletpin

Goat cheese and tomato omeletteThe omelette can be served plain, of course, but most of the time, you’ll add a filling. In this case, I’ve used a herb crusted goat cheese with tomato, but it could be mushrooms, ham, cheddar, spinach,etc. Also, I’ve added the filling on the outside of the omelette, which looks better in this case, but most omelettes you’ll see the filling inside. Again… it’s up to you and depends what is the filling. With a cheddar or mushroom filling, I would hide those inside, to melt the cheese and mushrooms aren’t exactly pretty… The ultimate omelette is smooth and yellow (not brown) and still creamy on the inside.

 

The technique

The technique to achieve a smooth omelette is to bring your small (I suggest a good quality aluminium cast with non-stick layer) non-stick pan to med-high heat and make sure the pan is really warm before adding the egg mixture. Turning gently into circles the pan in a circular manner (or simply shake gently the pan non stop) and with the wood spatula mix in the opposite direction in circular manner too, taking the sides of the omelette stuck to the side off. You keep doing this for a minute or until the omelette have a “cottage cheese texture”, then stop shaking/mixing and let set the bottom until cooked, no more than a 15 seconds, then take off the fire, fold it into a 1/2 moon, or simply fold it twice on itself, if the interior looks still too runny, let the residual heat do the rest of the coccion. *As shown in the pictures above and also in the directions.

 

Golden rules

A top omelette is never brown on the outside, this means it burned, and strangely, most online recipe of omelette are overcooked. On the inside it should still be slightly creamy. The whole conception of the omelette is quite fast, I would say, about 3 minutes. It makes a great breakfast, lunch, brunch dish. The filling, in this case, is an herb crusted goat cheese and tomato, can go either inside the omelette or out.  I’ve learn this “art” of making omelette from my culinary school teacher, which was specialized in eggs, he did a special course in France on the subject. I didn’t know they had such precise speciality classes, but apparently “eggs” are part of a full world to discover.

So here is the technique to the perfect omelette!

 


Omelette

Makes: 1 portion | Preparation: 5 minutes | Difficulty: medium

Ingredients
  • 2-3 eggs
  • salt, pepper
  • filling or topping of tomato and goat cheese here but really it’s anything you want.
Directions
  1. In a non-stick pan, bring it to med-high heat, until quite hot
  2. Add a touch of olive oil or butter
  3. In a bowl mix well, (but not too much) your eggs, *optional; add extra 1 tbsp of milk or water (milk make the omelette slight creamier and water puffier)
  4. Add salt and pepper (white pepper preferably)
  5. Add the egg mixture to the pan and right away turn gently into circle the pan in a circular manner (or simply shake gently the pan non stop) also with a wood spatula mix constantly, gently and fast in the opposite direction in circular manner too, taking the sides of the omelette stuck to the side off and back into the wet mixture until the egg look like “cottage cheese” (check the picture on the right)
  6. Make sure the eggs are covering the bottom of the pan, no holes, and let cook the omelette for a 10 seconds more without touching it, to set the bottom
  7. Take the omelette off the fire and fold gently, in the form you prefer, if you do a filled omelette, add the filling now, if not, simply fold into 2 or 3 with the help of your fingers and spatula
  8. You can wait a few seconds, if the inside seems too runny before letting it slide right into the plate, this way the residual heat will finish the coccion
  9. Serve with the filling of your choice or as it is.

 

Bon Appétit!

Goat cheese and tomato omelette

Avocado eggs

Avocado eggs with a sparkle of spicy paprika and crumbled feta on a toasted round grain thin bread is a great way to start the day. If you are searching for a fresh, light bite on your next brunch or even for lunch this is an easy, fast and delicious way to go. The lightly spicy paprika bring an extra dimension to the eggs, just like with deviled eggs, it jazz up the dish. Also freshly cracked black pepper is the best friend of any eggs, an egg without pepper it’s like a plant without water, it won’t bloom.eggspin

Avocado eggsSince I’ve been living in Spain, I’ve noticed a big difference in the taste of egg yolks. I’ve researched a bit about it on the web and found a few interesting informations about it. In Europe eggs are not washed when picked up, neither they are refrigerated, contrary in North America, eggs are sanitized and cleaned to prevent salmonella on the shell and then refrigerated right away. Salmonella can be lying whether on the shell of the egg or could be already inside the egg, which make the sanitizing not 100% effective. Also some study showed that the sanitizing of the eggs makes the shell weaker and susceptible to bacterias, for this matter the eggs are right away refrigerated in North America. In the UK, the chickens are vaccinated to prevent the salmonella disease but even with all those precautions from America to Europe, salmonella keep ravaging stomachs around the world. So who knows better? Don’t know… all I know is that the running egg yolks do not taste the same in Europe than in North America, must be because of this process they do to them. If someone out there knows more about the subject, let me know please, even search engines cannot help me with this matter.

Let’s make our tasty breakfast!


Avocado eggs

2 portions

Avocado eggsIngredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 avocado cut into slices
  • 4 half thin round grain breads toasted
  • 1 big tomato in thick slices
  • Spicy paprika (it’s still mild)
  • Feta cheese crumbled
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp of vinegar (any kind)
  • lime
Directions

*the fresher the egg, the better the poché

  1. Bring a pot of water to simmer
  2. Add the vinegar
  3. Crack each egg in a mini bowl then add to the simmering water
  4. Let cook 2 minutes and take out with a spoon with holes, touch to check the coccion
  5. Add to paper towel, salt, pepper and reserve
  6. Repeat the process with all the eggs
  7. Slice the avocado and add a squeeze of lime, salt to it
  8. On the toasted bread, add a tomato slice, the avocado, the egg sprinkled with spicy paprika, feta and salt
  9. Serve with a wedge of lime

Enjoy!

Avocado eggs

cheese&thyme souffléCheese and Thyme Soufflé is a pure airy, fluffy bite into a cloud of cheese and a touch of thyme. You can use your favorite cheese, I wanted to try it with roquefort at first but then I finally went for the queen of cheeses: Gruyere! Everyone that knows me… knows I have a thing for cheese… borderline an illness. Anyways, let’s get back to the soufflé.

cheese&thyme souffléSoufflés are quite easy to make… although it can infuriate some… like me yesterday. I had the perfect soufflés… coming out of the oven… then, just the few seconds to bring them to the shooting table, they’ve reduced a lot. Although still great texture inside, the soufflés needs to be eaten right away… Like the French say: “you don’t wait for people to sit at the table for a soufflé, you make them wait for it”. Because it need to be eaten right away! It’s mainly an esthetic matter, because the inner texture stays warm and airy.

A few trick to nail that soufflé! When it’s time to add the soufflée to the oven, a metal plaque with a bit of water in it should be preheated too. The soufflés love humidity, and this will keep them moist and puffy. Also, if you like the usual flat cheese&thyme soufflétop soufflé (vs the broken round top) then you should grill your soufflés for the first 2-3 minutes under the oven grill (max temp) then adjust to 180°C (350F). This will set the top flat.

At last but not the least, another trick would be to incorporate the whites, slowly, without breaking them in 2 different shots until the mix is homogeneous. This way it’s gonna keep all its air and if you like extra airy, just add an egg white to the mix. A pinch of sugar mid time you bring up the whites will help to keep the soufflé fluffy.

Ok let’s do those delicious airy cheezy bites!


Cheese and Thyme Soufflé

Makes 4 portions appetizers or 2 main meals (4 x 8 cm diameter ramekins)

Ingredients
  • cheese&thyme soufflé250ml milk
  • 70g gruyere (or cheese of your choice)
  • 30g flour
  • 30g butter
  • 4 separated eggs (1 extra white to make it extra airy)
  • nutmeg, salt, pepper
  • 1 tbsp of thyme
  • *pinch of sugar *optional
Directions

Bring oven to the max grill (2-3 first minutes) then 180°C (350F) with a metal rack containing a little water at the bottom

  1. cheese&thyme souffléButter the ramekins, then flour them and let them cool in the fridge
  2. Grate the cheese, separate the eggs
  3. Start by doing a bechamel, add the butter to a small sauce pan, medium heat, melt
  4. Add the flour, mix it up, and wait a minute or twocheese&thyme soufflé until it smells nutty
  5. Add the cold milk, bring to high heat and whisk
  6. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and bring the bechamel to become thicker
  7. Take off the fire
  8. Add the grated gruyere cheese and thyme, mix
  9. Let coolcheese&thyme soufflé
  10. During that time whisk the egg whites, in a big bowl, until a soft peak forms like in the picture on the right (add a small pinch of sugar mid-way to make it hold better)
  11. Add the yolks to the cooled bechamel, mix
  12. Transfer the bechamel (now a Mornay sauce) to a big bowl
  13. cheese&thyme soufflé (10).jpgAdd the egg whites in 2 shots, turning gently the whites in the Mornay sauce until homogeneous
  14. Add the mix to the buttered ramekins, leave a finger high at the top, because they will puff too high if too filled.
  15. Add the ramekins to the metal rack and grill them for 2-3 minutes at first, then lower the oven to 180°C (350F) for small ramekins 10 minutes cheese&thyme souffléis enough if you make a big ramekin a bit longer or until the top is light brown
  16. Serve as soon as it comes out from the oven

 

 


Serve as a main meal or appetizer, a side of salad and a great white wine. Enjoy!

cheese&thyme soufflé

Mini asparagus quiches

Those mini crunchy asparagus quiches are a bite into spring! The beauty of this meal is: it’s polyvalence, whether you eat your quiche warm, or cold… or change the vegetable in it… if you feel like mushrooms or ham etc. Go ahead make those with whatever you feel like. A mini Quiche Lorraine maybe? the original one with smoked Mini asparagus quichespork belly bits, which is slightly less healthy… but Oh! so delicious! If your metabolism allows you, go ahead and make some nice mini lard and cheese ones. I’ve chose my favorite spring vegetable; the green asparagus, also a bit of leeks and gruyère to make it extra tasty!

You can prepare them in advance and serve them as tapas on a warm spring afternoon or pack them up for a picnic. I mean, those mini quiches are so useful.They are as delicious warm or cold.

For this dish, I’ve used the filo (phyllo) sheets, I love the crunch of filo sheet and it’s way healthier, which could surprise a few. First of all, filo pastry is from the Middle East cuisine, and it’s really not easy to make by hand because of it’s extra thin finish. Lucky us, filo sheets comes, in our days, in frozen packs. You’ll simply need to unfreeze the pastry 1 hour before using. The content of the dough is simply flour, water and sometimes an extra touch of vinegar, you are the Mini asparagus quichesone adding the fat (oil or melted butter) between the sheets, which is so little compared to the amount you’ll find in all the other basic pastry like shortcrust, puff, flaky or hot water crust. Back in cooking school, they showed us how to make them all, and let me say… I got traumatized by the amount of butter that can get into those doughs… some more than others… Although, with the filo pastry, it is up to you to add the oil in between sheets, which for this meal is about 30ml of olive oil, added with a brush, no more. If you feel lazy just buy yourself a nice olive oil spray and you’ll be done within a few minutes to assemble your filo sheets.

So let’s make those flaky, spring tasty bites!


Mini Asparagus Quiches

Makes 12 mini quiches

Mini asparagus quichesIngredients
  • 325g of asparagus (1 pack)
  • 250g (1 frozen pack) of filo (phyllo) pastry sheets
  • 6 eggs
  • 75ml cream
  • 50g gruyère finely grated
  • 1 leek finely cut
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil 
  • nutmeg
  • salt, pepper
Directions

Bring the oven to 180°C (350F)

  1. Unfreeze your filo (phyllo) pastry
  2. Cut all your vegetables into small pieces (maybe reserve a few longer asparagus tips for topping)
  3. In a lightly oiled pan, medium high heat, cook “al dente” all the vegetables
  4. Add salt, pepper and reserve
  5. In a bowl, add the eggs, cream and beat the eggs with a whisk
  6. Add the grated cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the egg mix
  7. Make the filo pastry bottom by lightly brushing each sheet and adding them one on top of the other (until 6 sheets)
  8. Once oiled up, cut the filo (phyllo) pastry into about 14 cm large square sheets
  9. In a greased up muffins rack, add each of the filo square has a bottom, pushing down to have a nice flat bottom
  10. Add the asparagus mix to the bottom
  11. Then the egg mix
  12. Bake the quiches for 25 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven at 180°C (350F)
  13. Pick them out and leave them on a cooling rack for a few minutes
  14. Serve

Serve with a green salad and a hibiscus-grapefruit sangria. Enjoy!

Mini asparagus quiches

Morning glory

Feeling like having a good bite into your morning?

This is your answer, a simple and fresh morning glory sandwich. They say the most important meal of your day is breakfast… well let’s make it a delicious one. This isn’t exactly a recipe, but rather a simple idea for a different kind of morning bite, or even lunch bite.

Any good breakfast should include an egg, a creamy, perfectly cooked egg is what everyone deserves ahead of a big day. So let’s talk eggs… they are a great source of protein and increase your HDL (good cholesterol) to keep you heart healthy. On top of it all, there are millions of ways to cook them.

In Europe, eggs are stamped with a code, when it’s starts with “0” it means it’s an organic egg, “1” is free-range egg, “2” indoor housing and “3” is for in-cage. I know not everyone has the means, but we should always be grateful for the nice eggs those chicken give us. We owe it to them to buy a “1” at least.


Morning glory sandwich

2 portions, 1 ogre

Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbs zucchinis, mini cubes
  • 1 tbs onion
  • tomato slices
  • lettuce of your choice
  • slice of ham
  • mayonnaise
Directions
  1. Soften the onion + zucchini cubes in a pan with olive oil
  2. Mix the eggs
  3. Add salt, pepper
  4. Bring the pan to high heat
  5. Add the eggs and shake the pan gently and use a spatula until it looks like “rice pudding”. Let set for one minute
  6. Turn the omelette
  7. Add all the ingredients to a nice, healthy and slightly toasted bread, bagel or English muffin.

Enjoy the rest of the day!

 

 

 

TortillabetterLiving in Spain, one must know how to make a tortilla. Personally, I think they usually miss some color those traditional ones… so I’ve made a tortilla with purple potatoes instead of the usual white ones. They taste actually pretty much the same, it just nicer to look at and since I eat with my eyes too… also I must say it’s an hybrid of traditional and healthier version, since I don’t fry the potatoes first, they were pre cooked leftover from the fridge. Important note: do not use recently boiled potatoes to make a tortilla, they will lose water, ending in a massacre.

Tortilla de patata is one of the most popular dishes from Spain. It is served at any time of the day, as a meal or a simple tapa. The only variation is with or without oignons and not too cooked and well cooked.

There are 2 ways of doing a tortilla de patata: the Spanish way and the “guiri” way… The Spanish way is in a pan all along, so if you intend to do a flip with a big sticky pan you might find it hard… also it’s oil heavy… because you pre cooked you potatoes and onions in oil before. The “guiri” way (the way they call non native people like myself) is healthier because barely any oil and easier because you just end up cooking the tortilla in the oven (no flipping). So you decide…


 

Tortilla de patata

Instruments
  • a small, high enough, unsticky pan
  • a big plate to flip the tortilla
  • Spatula
  • a lid for the pan or the plate can do
Ingredients
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 big or 2 small potatoes (white) 3 purple ones
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Directions
Traditional way
  1. Add olive oil to a pan, about 1 cm from bottom (depends of the size of your pan)
  2. Add the potatoes and cook at low-medium (no frying) 5min.
  3. Add the onion and cook another 20min, always low-medium heat.
  4. Drain the potatoes and onion
  5. In a bowl mix the eggs and salt
  6. Add the potatoes to the mix
  7. Bring pan to high heat with little olive oil
  8. Incorporate the mix and turn rapidly but softly with spatula, and move around the pan. Until the texture change to a “rice pudding” consistency
  9. Add the lid and lower the heat to medium for 1 minutes.
  10. Put the big plate on top of the pan and flip it in.
  11. Slide the uncooked part back in the pan, cover.
  12. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  13. Let it cover a bit and serve warm or cold as a tapa.
The healthier “guiri” way

*preheat your oven at 180°C (350F) for this one

  1. Warm up your pre cooked potatoes and onion in the pan with olive oil for about 2 minutes.
  2. Mix the eggs + salt
  3. Bring the pan to high heat
  4. Add the eggs to the pan and turn rapidly but softly with a spatula,
  5. Make round with your pan, until consistency of a rice pudding.
  6. Cover and put in the oven for a 12 min.
  7. Let it cover a bit and serve warm or cold as a tapas.