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TIP OF THE DAY: Gluten-Free Quiche With A Potato Crust

Gluten Free Sausage Quiche

Idaho Red Potatoes

Caramelized Onions

[1] Sausage and caramelized onion quiche with a gluten-free crust of hash brown potatoes. [2] Idaho red potatoes (both photos courtesy Idaho Potato Commission). [3] Caramelized onions. Photo courtesy Pompeian | Facebook.

 

May 20th was National National Quiche Lorraine Day. We make a quiche every year, to celebrate the holiday. (In our college days, quiche was all the rage and we made several a week.)

There are numerous types of quiche, but we’ve never seen one as imaginative as this gluten-free recipe from Jennie Phaneuf of One Sweet Mess for the Idaho Potato Commission.

This quiche, packed with sausage and caramelized onions, has a crust made from hash brown potatoes, making it gluten free. You may enjoy a potato crust even more than a gluten-free flour crust.

You can also try a cauliflower crust and pack in some brassicas. Here’s a recipe.

You can serve quiche at breakfast, lunch, or dinner—or as a snack with wine or beer. In France, it is often served as a first course with dinner. In the U.S., it’s more common to serve it as a light entrée with a green salad.

Spicy sausage, sweet caramelized onions, and creamy blue cheese get combined with fluffy eggs and baked to perfection.

If you don’t like blue cheese, substitute gruyère.

Instead of purchasing ground sausage, we bought Bilinski chicken sausages (pick your flavor), removed the casings and crumbled the meat.

RECIPE: SAUSAGE & ONION QUICHE WITH A HASH BROWN POTATO CRUST

Ingredients
 
For The Crust

  • 5 medium red Idaho potatoes, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper
  •  
    For The Filling

  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Grate the peeled potatoes and add them to a large bowl. Cover the potatoes with cold water and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes. While the potatoes are soaking…

    2. HEAT a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until brown, breaking up the meat as you go, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.

    3. ADD 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the same pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the sliced onions. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to the onions and stir to combine.

     
    Continue to cook until the onions are amber in color and caramelized, stirring often, about 35-40 minutes. If the onions begin to over-brown, turn the heat down to low. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside (you can add them to the same bowl as the sausage). While the onions are cooking…

    4. DRAIN and rinse the grated potatoes. Press down on the potatoes to remove as much of the water as possible. Transfer the potatoes to a clean tea towel and pat them dry with paper towels.

    5. ADD 4 tablespoons of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the same pan. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the grated potatoes. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Press the potatoes into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.

    Using a thin metal spatula, lift up on the bottom of the hash brown to release them from the pan. Flip and cook on the other side for 8-10 more minutes. It’s okay if the hash browns don’t flip perfectly; just arrange them back in the pan and continue to cook. While the hash browns continues to get crispy…

    6. ADD the eggs and half-and-half to a large bowl; whisk to combine. Gently season with salt and pepper, because the blue cheese is salty. If you’re using a less salty cheese, you can add more salt.

    7. TURN off the heat. Arrange the sausage and onions evenly over the hash browns. Sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese over the top, and then pour the eggs over the entire mixture. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through and the center is set.
     
     
    MORE DELICIOUS POTATO RECIPES
     
     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF POTATOES

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Stocks & Soups From Trimmings

    Root Vegetables

    Chicken Stock

    Soup From Trimmings

    [1] Lots of trimming to come (photo courtesy True Food Kitchen). [2] Stock, ready to use or freeze—or season it and enjoy a cup of broth (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] Plan B: Instead of stock, turn those trimmings into a purée of vegetable soup (photo courtesy Botanica | LA).

     

    When we were quite young, a friend of the family was watching our mom cut vegetables for soup, and toss the trimmings. He had grown up on a farm in Sicily, and said: “We never threw away anything edible, not the smallest part. If we could have saved it, we’d have cooked the ‘oink’ from the pig.”

    That’s how it’s been through history, except in affluent homes in affluent countries, whose denizens weren’t scraping for every bit to eat.

    Modern cooks who want to minimize waste know that they can add flavor to homemade stocks by saving the carrot peels, celery leaves and trimmed ends, the last scrap of onion before the root, parsley and other herb stalks, wilted herbs, sprouted garlic and onions, the tops of scallions, and many vegetable trimmings.

    Consider anything that isn’t rotten or moldy, or on the “Avoid” list below.

    Limp vegetables? Stock. Herbs that have begun to yellow? Stock.

    Wash and trim the vegetables as usual. Then set the trimmings aside and let them dry a little bit to remove moisture before you bag them.

    Toss the ends, leaves, peel, roots and stalks into the same freezer bag—and feel good about not wasting money or contributing to a landfill. (If you’re planning to use them in a week, store in the produce drawer with the air pressed out of the bag.)

    When you’re ready to make stock, plan for 2 cups of trimmings per quart of stock from vegetables.

    And note that the venerable chef Jacques Pépin, an instructor at French Culinary Institute in New York City, always checks his students’ waste bins to see what they’ve thrown away. For him, scraps are more about flavor and less about thriftiness (although his wife has blocked the process at home; it drove her bonkers).

    SAVE THESE TRIMMINGS

  • Ends: asparagus, celery, chard, green beans, spinach.
  • Green tops: beet greens but not the rest of the beet (it will color the stock red), carrot and just about any root vegetable.
  • Herb stems: cilantro, parsley (basil and mint stems are best reserved for pesto or chopped into salads).
  • Onion family: garlic, leeks, scallions and any type of onion.
  • Peeled skin: cucumber, eggplant, potato, summer squash and zucchini, winter squash (unless you like to bake them—our Nana sprinkled them with cinnamon as a snack for us kids).
  • Root vegetable trimmings: except for the bodies of beets (color leaches in) and turnips (not everyone likes the way it tastes in stock).
  • Stalks: celery, chard, fennel (we’ve never tried rhubarb).
  • Other trimmings: bell peppers, bok choy, corn cobs, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, napa cabbage snow peas, sugar snap peas (we’ve never tried the pods of green peas).
  •  
    AVOID: COMPOST OR TOSS THESE TRIMMINGS

    What not to use: vegetables with very strong flavors:

  • The cruciferous group: arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, radish, rapini (broccoli rabe), rutabaga, tatsoi and turnips. Ditto, artichoke trimmings (but the cooked stem is delicious to eat).
  • Anything that will color your stock, unless you don’t care*, such as beet, tomato or the papery skins of onions (they’ll turn stock brown) and garlic. But here’s what you can do with those skins.
  • ________________

    *That being said, we once cooked a ton of beets and had lots of leftover red “beet water.” We reduced it and used it to cook white rice. It was fun.

     

    PLAN A: READY TO MAKE VEGETABLE STOCK?

    The difference between stock (photo #2) and broth is that broth is seasoned and ready to consume. Stock is left unseasoned, to provide flexibility for different recipes.

    You can use vegetable stock in braises, poaching, sauces, soups, stir fries and stews etc. We use it to cook rice and grains, including risotto: half-and-half water and stock (or all stock, if we have too much).

    Season it for udon or other Asian-style noodle soup.

    Substitute for cream in mashed potatoes, add to the vegetable steamer to infuse flavor, and many hundreds of other ideas.

    Ingredients For 2 Quarts Of Stock

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups of vegetable trimmings
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed, halved crosswise
  • 6 sprigs parsley (if you don’t have stems in your trimmings bag)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3-5 minutes or so.

    2. ADD 4 quarts cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the stock is reduced by half. This should take about 1-1 1/2 hours.

    3. STRAIN the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the solids. Let cool.

    4. USE immediately, or transfer to pint or quart containers (or freezer bags, if you prefer), portioning it based on how you think you’ll use it. Ideally use frozen stock within three months.

     

    Soup Used As A Sauce

    Root To Stalk Cooking

    [4] Trimmings cooked, pureed and turned into a sauce (photo courtesy Vital Choice). [5] This cookbook has delicious recipes for every part of vegetables (photo courtesy Ten Speed Press_.

     
    PLAN B: READY TO MAKE SOUP OR SAUCE?

    Make soup. Cook the trimmings (in stock or broth) and turn them into a puréed vegetable soup, like the one in photo #3.

    You can also turn the pureed vegetables into a sauce (photo #4).

    Good news: Plan B lets you use all the cruciferous vegetables. All those broccoli stalks and cauliflower stems: delicious! We cook them even when we aren’t making soup.

    Cook, taste and season. Dilute as desired with stock or milk and voilà: Your trimmings are now a tasty soup.

    And you’ll feel good about that!

     
    MORE FEELING GOOD

    There’s an entire cookbook devoted to using every part of the vegetable (photo #5): From Root To Stalk.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Plateau De Fruits De Mer For Vegetarians & The Seafood Averse

    One of our favorite I-deserve-a-treat meals is a big plateau de fruits de mer (PLAH-toe-duh MARE, platter of fruits of the sea—photo #1): a large pile, nicely arranged, of raw shellfish (clams and oysters in multiple varieties, scallops) and lightly cooked shellfish (crab legs, langoustine, lobster, lump crab meat, mussels, prawns, shrimp).

    Sometimes, in coastal areas, it may include delicacies that are rarely seen inland: abalone, cockles, limpets, periwinkles, sea snails, whelks.

    A plateau de fruits de mer is considered an appetizer and comes in different sizes depending on the number of participants.

    We’ll just have the whole thing as our appetizer and entrée combined—two or three tiers of it. We don’t even need the mignonette sauce and spicy seafood sauce that typically accompany it; just the lemon wedges.

    There are extra points for adding those custardy echinoderm corals* from sea urchins—ideally presented in their dramatic porcupine-spiky shells.

    Sashimi doesn’t count here…not that we wouldn’t be just as happy to eat the contents of a large funamori (sashimi boat—photo #3).

    But let the French serve their beautiful plateaux des fruits de mer and let the Japanese serve their beautiful funamori. It’s more special that way; and as the French say, “Vive la différence.”

    (The Japanese translation is “Vive no ra chigai,” although we’re not certain that the Japanese actually use the phrase.)

    But what if you’re allergic to seafood, a vegetarian, vegan, kosher, unable to eat raw foods, and so forth?

    You can create a kindred dish that we’ll call a plateau des légumes, a tiered platter of gorgeous vegetables (photo #2).

  • Similar to the plateau de mer, it’s a mix of raw and lightly cooked produce.
  • Serve it with two or more dips, including a tart, vinaigrette-type dip and a creamy one.
  • Consider some dipping spices, like berbere, dukkah or ras el hanout†.
  •  
    This inspired idea—serving a melange of raw and cooked vegetables on a tiered tray—is from Botanica, an exciting new vegetarian-focused restaurant in Los Angeles. If you can’t be there, you can still enjoy the riches of their webzine, which is available to everyone.

    We spent hours poring over their Facebook and Instagram photos of beautiful, nutritious, locavore‡ and guilt-free foods for every meal. There was nothing we didn’t want—immediately!

    Whether you go for the seafood or vegetable plateau, either is:

  • Gluten-free
  • Lactose-free
  • Low calorie
  • Low fat
  • Low-Carb
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • Sugar-Free
  •  

    Plateau de Mer

    Plateau des Légumes

    Sashimi Funamori

    [1] Plateau de fruits de mer at The Smith in New York City. [2] An analogous vegetable platter at Botanica in Los Angeles. [3] Funamori: the Japanese version of plateau de mer (photo courtesy Kintarouonsen.co.jp).

     
    If you decide to buy a tiered tray, you can also use it for cupcakes, cookies and other sweets; tea sandwiches’ and other festive presentations.

    FOOD HISTORY: THE ENTRÉE

    In the modern-day U.S. and Canada, an entrée refers to the main dish of dinner. In French cuisine, as well as in the English-speaking world outside of North America, it is a dish served before the main course in a multi-course dinner.

    In French, the word originally denoted the “entry” of the dishes into the dining halls of the wealthy. You can see Medieval paintings and illustrations (here’s one) that they enter with a trumpet fanfare from the musicians’ gallery.

    The procession of servants bearing a large number of dishes was led by by the maître d’hôtel, who carried the tureen. The procession marched around the room, presenting the fare to all diners before beginning to serve the courses [source].

    ________________

    *The corals are also called roe, both terms more appetizing than their biological name: gonads. Both male and female sea urchins have the delectable, edible “sea urchin roe,” which are difficult to gather and thus a pricey delicacy.

    †You can mix your own from any combination of chiles, citrus peel, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, nutmeg and peppercorns.

    ‡We acknowledge that it’s easy to cook locavore when you live in the land of perpetually plentiful produce: California.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Salad Bouquet

    We found this spring salad (photo #1) on the social media pages of the New York City outpost of Catch seafood restaurant (a charming spot with a roof deck for alfresco dining).

    The salad is no longer on the menu, but it looked so festive we had to make it for ourselves.

    The ingredients:

  • Beets: red, orange and yellow (choose two; substitute chioggia beets, photo #3)
  • Baby greens
  • Capberberrieshttp://blog.thenibble.com/2014/09/26/tip-ways-to-add-more-flavor-to-food/
  • Chives
  • Croutons: pumpernickel (for color contrast and flavor)
  • Radish (look for specialty radishes, e.g. breakfash radish, watermelon radish)
  • Smoked salmon (substitute prosciutto or serrano ham)
  •  
    It’s topped with zigzags of ranch dressing.

    We preferred tossing it with a sprightly vinaigrette (two recipes below)

    More To Add To Your Spring Salad Bouquet

  • Asparagus
  • Citrus zest
  • Fiddlehead ferns (photo #2, blanched)
  • Garlic scapes
  • Kumquats, halved
  • Orange segments
  • Spring peas
  • Sugar snap peas
  •  
    SPRING SALAD VINAIGRETTE RECIPES

    RECIPE #1: BASIL VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 9 tablespoons basil olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  

    Spring Salad

    Fiddlehead Ferns

    Chioggia Beets

    [1] A festive spring salad at Catch NYC. [2] Fiddlehead ferns (photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE). [3] Chioggia beets (photo courtesy True Food Kitchen).

     
    Combine all ingredients. To emulsify so they don’t separate, use a blender or an Aerolatte Milk Frother.
     
    RECIPE #2: BLOOD ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

  • 3 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar (substitute sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 9 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Combine all ingredients. To emulsify so they don’t separate, use a blender or an Aerolatte Milk Frother.

      

    Comments

    TIP: Spring Produce

    We just couldn’t resist sharing this photo from Good Eggs, a purveyor of specialty foods—including the best local produce—in the San Francisco Bay area.

    Eat up while they’re in season: The season is fleeting.

    Spring Produce

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