Tag Archives: make-ahead

Mushroom and Leek Quiche

Take a leek.

Being able to make that joke each and every time I make this may in fact be the only reason I like leeks. It’s hard to dislike food that so easily lends itself to 12-year-old humor. In fairness to the leek, though, this is quite good even without the lame jokes. Leeks are milder and sweeter than onions, and are a great way to impart an onion-like flavor without the tears and inevitable halitosis. They also contain less of the sulfur compounds that make onions difficult for some people to digest, and thus make a good substitute for people who don’t tolerate them well. And that is why the leek shall inherit the earth.

Okay then. Now that I’ve indulged my insatiable need to pun, let’s move on. This quiche is a weeknight staple for us – although the total prep-and-cook time is close to an hour and a half, it’s easy and extremely satisfying. And I’m saying this as somebody who isn’t really a quiche person – my general rationale is along the lines of “if you’re going to throw a bunch of eggs together and call it dinner, why not make an omelet and save us all the hassle?” But this isn’t a quivering three-inch-high egg pile like some quiches. The rich flavors of the roasted mushrooms and leeks are the real stars here – the eggs just quietly hold it all together. Serve with a simple green salad and as many bad leek puns as you can think of.

Mushroom and Leek Quiche
1 pound mushrooms, quartered or diced (I use a combination of cremini, shiitake, and portabello)
1 bunch leeks, washed and sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup half and half or milk
1.5 cups grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
3 eggs
1 9-inch pie crust
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine mushrooms, leeks, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a large bowl and toss to combine, making sure everything is well coated with the oil. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Return to bowl and stir in cheese.

Prick pie shell with fork and prebake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove and lower oven temperature to 350 F.

Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add the half and half and thyme, and more salt and pepper to taste. Spread mushroom mixture into the pie pan in an even layer and pour half-and-half/egg mixture on top. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until lightly browned and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Cranberry Orange Muffins

There are two things I always seem to have around: dried cranberries (because I impulsively bought a five pound bag at Sam’s Club last year) and at least one pathetic-looking orange that I bought weeks ago with the best intentions of juicing/zesting/otherwise providing with a good home. And you know the saying – when life hands you a pathetic-looking, abandoned orange, make cranberry-orange muffins.

I first tried this recipe a few months ago when a good friend had her first baby. I was trying to fill her freezer for the next week or two while she adjusted to life with a newborn, and had already made cupcakes, peanut butter chocolate chip muffins, pizza, and mac and cheese – I was down to staple ingredients and a few stray pieces of produce in my fridge, but I was on a roll and didn’t want to quit yet. After digging out my steadfast sad orange and a bag of dried cranberries, I went looking for the perfect cranberry orange muffin recipe and found it on the first try. These are truly divine – they’re perfectly sweet, balanced by a lovely contrast of tartness from the sour cream and zesty orange topping, and they freeze beautifully for a quick and easy breakfast down the road. I can tell you that since I found this recipe, I have far fewer oranges languishing in the bottom of my produce drawer – and these muffins are even better with new, happy oranges.

Cranberry Orange Muffins
Yield: 12 standard-size muffins

For the Muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups sour cream
3/4 cup dried cranberries

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice

For the Orange-Sugar Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Make the glaze and orange-sugar topping: Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon orange zest in a small bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup orange juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and syrupy.

Make the muffins: Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat the egg, sugar, and orange zest together at medium speed until combined and thickened. Add the cooled melted butter and sour cream in separate additions at low speed until just combined. Add the flour and beat at low speed until combined. Fold in the cranberries with a rubber spatula.

Divide batter into prepared muffin tin. Fill cups 1/2 – 2/3 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for five minutes. Brush the top of each muffin generously with the sugar/orange juice glaze, then dip into the orange-sugar topping. Serve, and pat yourself on the back for not having to throw your sad orange away.

Source: Barely adapted from Bakingdom