Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Simple Chai Spice Blend

I may be a bit late to the Chai Spice party, but I have finally arrived.  For the most part, I prefer my tea unadulterated, other than the addition of a splash of milk, and I wasn't a fan of the prepared chai  concoctions with their many ingredients I prefer not to ingest on a regular basis. However, I do like hot chocolate and as the summer transitions into fall, I thought the addition of a little spice would be a welcome change. 

I started experimenting with creating a blend of my own emphasizing spices that I particularly like or would like to use more of. The blend I came up with is quite simple and though I make no claims to authenticity, I like it fairly well as it is, though I will likely tweak it further whenever I feel the need for a change. I usually use about an eighth teaspoon per cup of liquid. 

2 teaspoons each ground cinnamon, ginger and cardamon
1 teaspoon each coriander and turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
dash each of white pepper and cayenne

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Asparagus and Prosciutto Quiche

It's finally starting to feel like spring so I've been feeling like doing more spring-like cooking. One of my favorite foods locally available this time of year is asparagus. We have it quite often, but usually, steamed or grilled, as a side dish. After my frittata experiment a few weeks ago turned out so well, I decided to expand a bit and try asparagus in a quiche. As usual, I googled around the a bit and discovered 'the internet' considers prosciutto  a nice compliment to asparagus. Who was I to argue?

I bought some of both (it may or may not have been the same day) and simply substituted them into my usual quiche Lorraine recipe, with a few minor alterations. The result? I now have a new ' usual'.

Asparagus and Prosciutto Quiche

Pastry for 9 inch pie crust
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 minced onion
1/2 -3/4 pound (ish) asparagus, cut on a diagonal into 1 inch pieces
4 oz shredded Swiss Cheese
4 eggs
1 cup cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 or 5 slices prosciutto

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in pan. Add onion and cook a few minutes over low heat until it becomes translucent. Add the asparagus and cook a few minutes more, until asparagus is softened, but not cooked through.
Sprinkle the asparagus, onion and cheese in pastry lined pan. Beat eggs until uniform yellow, then add cream and salt.

Pour into pie pan. Arrange the slices of prosciutto on the top. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and continue baking 30-40 minutes, or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting.