Friday, September 17, 2010

Potato Asparagus Tart & Freezer Cooking Day Results

I've accomplished a lot today, due to careful planning. I map out my cooking days the day before. I usually break it down step by step so I am efficient- combining like tasks (like chopping all of the onions I need for every recipe all at one time), starting the longest recipes first, etc. I was able to get all of this done in about 6 hours today. I took a few breaks and took my time. 

10 cups pancake mix
2 jars of fresh salsa
8 lunches of broccoli & brown rice
8 lunches of potato asparagus tart
30 cups poultry stock
3 dinners light turkey tetrazzini
3 dinners turkey & brown rice casserole
2 pans whole grain cinnamon rolls
3 dinners (1 1/2 lbs) parmesan chicken nuggets
1 lb sliced roast turkey for sandwiches
one jar of ranch dressing
one jar of italian dressing
one jar of french dressing

Now, for a new recipe- Potato Asparagus Tart

I've made this tart once before. It was delicious. I had stocked up on fresh asparagus in the springtime, so I was able to use it right out of the freezer today. This makes for a nice warm lunch, nice for fall even though it's got spring flavors. 

For tart:
10 stalks of asparagus
1 large potato, sliced
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
5 eggs
1 cup milk
sea salt & freshly ground pepper

For crust:
1 cup ap flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup butter
pinch of salt
ice cold water

Combine flour, salt, and butter with a pastry blender until you get something that looks like wet sand. Add a little cold water at a time until the dough holds together on it's own. Start out stirring the water in, then move to gently kneading it. 
I use my food processor for this- pulse flour and butter, scrape sides, and pulse again until you get the wet sand-ish looking crumbles. Add ice cold water in a stream while the processor is running. Takes about 30 seconds to form into a bunch of crumbles and a slightly sticky ball of dough. 

Remove dough and pat it together to form a ball. Use a little flour if it's sticky, but not too much because it toughens the dough.
Grease a 13x9 baking pan. Pat crust into bottom of pan and up the sides about an inch. 

Clean asparagus & chop into 1 inch pieces.

Slice potatoes and add to a pot of cool water. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender. Drain & cool. 

On top of tart crust, add a single layer of potato slices and sprinkle with grated cheese. 

Season with salt & pepper. 

Combine eggs and milk in a bowl and pour over the potatoes/cheese layer. Sprinkle asparagus spears equally across the tart. 

Bake at (375°F) in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes or until the egg mixture is slightly brown and throughly set. 

Serve warm with soup or a salad. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Seasoned Oven Fries

These fries are one of our new favorite recipes. We eat them as a side with grilled foods or on their own with spicy ketchup.

4-5 medium potatoes cut into thin wedges, leave the skin on
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika (smoked is best)
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
black pepper
1/4 cup flour

Toss & coat the potatoes in a gallon size ziploc bag with the olive oil. Sprinkle in seasonings and coat them again. Sprinkle flour in bag and gently toss potatoes. The flour will be mostly absorbed by the oil & moisture on the potatoes.

Place potato wedges on large baking stone, making sure they don't touch. Take them out of the bag to put them on the stone. The excess flour will fall to the bottom of the bag.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 20-25 minutes depending on how crispy you'd like them.

Sprinkle with salt. Serve with a bit of sour cream or spicy ketchup.

Spicy Ketchup:
a little mayo

Mix up with a fork.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chicken & Noodles

This thick stew has slightly chewy, dumpling-like egg noodles. Warm, filling, and comforting!

Chicken & gravy:
6-8 cups chicken stock
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced
fresh or dried parsley, rosemary, & thyme to taste

2 cups flour
1 egg
about a 1/2-1cup warm water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder

For noodles: 
Combine flour, egg, baking powder, & salt. Add water slowly until a slightly sticky but firm dough forms. It should combine into a ball, with little dough/flour left on the sides of the bowl. Let dough rest while you prepare the chicken & gravy. 

Bring stock to a boil in a large pot. Add veggies and seasoning. Poach chicken breasts in simmering stock for about 20mins. Remove chicken & shred with two forks, pulling it apart into bite size pieces. Place chicken back into stock.

Roll out noodle dough with ample flour to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza or pastry cutter to slice the noodles into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 2-3 inches long. Sprinkle more flour on top of the sliced noodles. Gently pick up noodles and toss them together with ample flour. They will slightly lose their shape, but should be coated in flour and easily able to separate from each other.

Place the noodles very gently into simmering stock. Place lid on pot for 3 mins. Remove lid and gently stir.

Combine 1/4 cup flour with a little cold water. Stir to dissolve flour. Add to simmering pot and stir. This will thicken the gravy.

Check for seasoning. Add as desired.

Serve steaming hot.

Vegetarian option: Use vegetable stock, omit chicken, & add double the veggies.

Can be frozen. Thaw & reheat on stovetop. Add a little water as gravy will thicken substantially.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Make-It-Your-Way Easy Quiche

This recipe makes one 9" quiche. It can be frozen (after cooking) & reheated.

1 cup milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, or plain yogurt (or any combinations of these that equals 1 cup)
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 cup All Purpose flour
1 cup shredded cheese (any flavor)
1-2 cups veggies (any kind, I use spinach, carrots, broccoli, etc.) The easiest to add the veggies is 1 box frozen veggies (a medley or chopped frozen spinach, thawed & drained)
1/2 cup meat (ham, bacon, etc.) OPTIONAL

Combine everything in a bowl and pour into a 9" pie pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees.

To freeze, wrap  cooled quiche in plastic wrap or put into a gallon size plastic bag.

To reheat, place frozen quiche in oven for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.