There is not one thing not to like about brunch. Unless you are a brunch waitress, in that case, I tip my syrup stained hat to you, comrades. I think that my most favorite thing about brunch is the proximity of sweet and salty foods and the acceptableness of combining them on one plate. I also like the fact that brunch encourages booze before noon. I am by nature a salty food lover, but I do feel like at the end of every meal, I could go for something sweet to finish it all off. With brunch you usually have the option of adding something sugary sweet to your plate without having to convince your table mates to order dessert. Often when I go out to breakfast with my friends I like to order a chocolate chip pancake “for the table” so we can all jack our glycemic index up a bit before heading out into our day. When I found myself brunch planning this past week I knew two things. I wanted to make quiche and something with chocolate chips in it.
My mom is the undisputed master of quiche. She makes four at a time in her sleep while simultaneously juggling 3-4 grandkids and a glass of chardonnay. I sought her wisdom via email. This is what I received back (my comments/translations in parenthesis):
Sure you can make it ahead it will be fine and whatever veggies you have you can put in. I use warmed half/half with little bit of nutmeg, beat eggs 4, shredded cheese and pour into baked pie shell, I really feel like the baked shell is the answer (to it being good) and Heather (my sister, who has, in recent years proven her proficiency with quiche making) used either fontina or Gruyere in her quiche and that changes it up I always put in cheddar also. (I did not make these inexplicable line breaks- these are included in her email)
I think the quiche that goes over the best is green onion and bacon the classic recipe but they are kinda not the people you make that for. (“those kind of people” are vegetarians. I like how she presents it as a sort of alien race).
Do you mean your (*cough* you’re- sorry grammar nerd here) having them Saturday? you said tomorrow and that would be different.
I love so much how she did not give me ONE specific measurement reference save for the fact that I would be using 4 eggs. Fortunately the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and even though this was my first foray into quiche making, I eyed out my measurements successfully. The amounts below are approximations on what I made.
ASPARAGUS and RAMP QUICHE with GRUYERE CHEESE
Premade pie crust (or homemade)
One bunch ramps*, chopped
One bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-1 ½ inch spears
Half and half
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
*a note about ramps. Also called spring onions their flavor falls in between a scallion and mild garlic. Every spring foodies go absolutely apeshit over ramps. I guess this is because they are available for a limited time only and most foodies like the exclusivity this time constraint provides. I normally try to avoid trendy ingredients, but a couple years ago my friend Stevie bought some at a farmer’s market when I was with her. This was the first time I had ever seen/heard about them. I trust her judgment thoroughly, especially when it comes to food. I knew it was only a matter of time before I made something with ramps. Three years later and here they are.
Par bake your pie crust in a 400 degree oven. To do this: cover the crust with tinfoil and fill the foil with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove the weights and foil and let bake for another 2-4 minutes. Remove crust from oven and dial oven down to 375 degrees.
While the pie crust is par baking trim and chop your veggies and shred the cheese. Heat about 3 tablespoons of butter and olive oil (half of each) in a skillet over medium heat. Add the white part of the ramps and cook until they start to become fragrant (just a few minutes), add the green leafy part of the ramps and the asparagus, toss and sauté until brightly colored, just about 2-3 minutes. They will cook through while baking in the quiche so don’t overcook them. Meanwhile heat about 1-1 ½ cups of half and half on a low burner with just a pinch of nutmeg.
In a large bowl beat four eggs together, add about 1 cup(ish) of warmed half and half. Pour this into your pie crust, add the veggies, top with cheese. If your pie mixture doesn’t quite reach the top of your crust, top it off with a tid bit more cheese and half and half. Decorate with criss-crossed asparagus spears if you’re feeling fancy. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook. Test with a knife at 25 minutes, or simply eye it out by giving the pan a gentle shake and if the middle is still liquid, leave the quiche in the oven for another few minutes.
Do ahead: you can make this whole quiche ahead of time and simply reheat it the next morning in a 350 degree oven. I cooked mine early and then left it in the warm oven before our guests arrived.
So I started buying bananas recently despite my well documented, tempestuous history with them and the fact that I pretty much need them to ripen into brown blobs and bake them into something before I will consider eating them. I just still feel like I want to be the kind of person who buys bananas, or at least some kind of fruit. So I bought them thinking that I would make them into banana bread or pie or something or that I would finally get around to trying this “recipe” for one ingredient ice cream. Which is essentially just that you freeze bananas and then mash them in your cuisinart and you get ice cream (suspicious face) “riiiight.” We’ll see about that one. But then something happened. Paul started eating all the bananas. I bought one bunch, then another, then a third and he was all “I love bananas. I feel incredible. I think bananas are the fountain of youth.” Encouraged by his enthusiasm I continued to purchase bananas for a few weeks until he was like “meh. I’m sick of bananas.” Hey, I can’t fault him, I don’t even mess with them myself, so finally, I had some ripe bananas begging to be baked with. Enter chocolate chip banana muffins (which would soon become bread). They were easy, they facilitated the using up of extra bananas and they had chocolate in them.
CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 large egg
½ cup melted butter
¼ cup almond milk*
½ tsp. vanilla
¾ cup chocolate chips
*or regular milk, I just like almond milk and thought it would be good here
Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and combine with melted butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Butter and flour a loaf pan and pour batter in. Bake for about 1 hour, until a knife inserted in comes out with melted chocolate on it, but no uncooked batter.
So like I said, this recipe was originally muffins. If you are making them as muffins, they only take about 30 minutes to bake and I bet they would be delightful. I was out of muffin tin liners and I wasn’t about to individually butter and flour all my cupcake pans, so I was like “f-ck it, banana loaf it is.” This meant that it took substantially longer to cook but ah mah gah, this is some real good banana bread. Kind of almost exactly like the other banana bread I’ve made on here but dare I say, less fussy. There was like a quarter of a loaf left on the cutting board when I left that house that afternoon and when I got home that night it was just a buttery stain and some chocolate smears. Great success.