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Quiche with a Hash Brown Crust

Quiché w/hash brown crust

Sometimes an idea hits you and you think “I am a genius!” Then you google it and discover a lot of people have done it before. So maybe I’m not a genius, but it doesn’t matter! This simple Quiché with a crispy hash brown crust is delicious. It looks stunning, is super versatile and my family thinks I’m a genius for making it! So really, that’s all that matters, right? 😉

Quiché

The only drawback to this recipe is the length of time it takes to prepare. You don’t want to do this for a quick weekday dinner (like I did! We ended up eating very late!) but it’s perfect for a weekend brunch with your favorite people.

Quiché With Hash Brown Crust

4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided in half
1 package (1 pound) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 oz diced Pancetta
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBLS minced, fresh oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush a 9-by-2 1/2-inch springform pan with 2 TBLS melted butter. Line the sides of the pan with strips of waxed paper, brush paper with butter too. Be generous on the bottom of the pan so the potatoes don’t stick. If you don’t have a springform pan, don’t worry, it works just as well in a 9″ pie pan and then you don’t need the wax paper.

Squeeze as much excess moisture from hash browns as you can. The hash browns should be as dry as possible so the crust will get crispy. In a large bowl, mix thawed, drained hash browns with remaining butter, 1 egg, salt and pepper. Press hash brown mixture onto bottom and up the sides of your prepared pan. Press firmly to mold the potatoes against the edges. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until set and the edges of the hash browns are lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.

While the crust is baking, in a small skillet, sauté the pancetta until it’s crispy. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Do not discard the bacon fat! Put red onions and garlic in the same skillet and sauté in the bacon fat until the onion is soft and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the remaining eggs and milk, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into prepared crust. Bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes. When it’s done, let it sit for 5 minutes, unmold Quiché, and peel off waxed paper before serving.

Quiché

I love dishes that are flexible and this one has endless possibilities. Anything you put into an omelette, can be used in this Quiché. Next time, I want to try crumbled italian sausage, sautéed bell peppers with onions and sharp cheddar. You could use Spinach and Gruyère! Get creative! Fill it with your favorite vegetables for a meatless version. I think asparagus and leeks would be fabulous. Use different cheeses. Add your favorite spices to the crust. Whatever you’d like!

Quiche
I’d love to see what you come up with, so when you make it, please share! I’m looking forward to reading all about it!

Enjoy Foodie Friends! XOXO

Dutch Baby Pancakes

I’ve been sick for nearly three weeks and haven’t felt like cooking, eating or frankly doing anything other than napping. Over the weekend I finally turned the corner on this cold. This morning, I made breakfast. Not just breakfast, but a new recipe and a new dish – Dutch Baby Pancakes! I’m so excited! I’ve never made a Dutch Baby! Wait, let me rephrase that… I’ve helped make three Dutch babies. They are now 25, 24 and 18 respectively. Dutch Baby Pancakes in a cast iron skillet however, are new to me. 🙂

IMG_9526

Simple to assemble, this delightful breakfast is whisked together in a blender, then poured into a hot skillet and baked in the oven. Talk about your no-brainer breakfast! Not only is it simple to put together, you don’t need many ingredients and the resulting pancake is spectacular to see coming out of the oven. It does deflate after you take it from the oven, but that doesn’t change the flavor!

Dutch Baby Pancake

This was supposed to be a “Sundays With Joy” recipe, but her recipe calls for Coconut, Pineapple and Banana. My darling Dutch husband doesn’t like coconut or pineapple so I improvised and found a recipe we could try. This is Alton Brown’s version from Good Eats!

DUTCH BABY PANCAKE

Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
2 3/8 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar, plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
Lemon wedges

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven as it is preheating. Set the remaining tablespoon of melted butter aside to cool slightly. Wait 10 minutes before assembling the other ingredients.

Place the flour, vanilla sugar, salt, milk, eggs and remaining tablespoon of melted butter into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process for 30 seconds. Carefully pour the batter into the preheated skillet. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are puffed and brown. Sprinkle with additional vanilla sugar and serve with lemon wedges.

I wasn’t sure about the lemon wedges, but let me tell you, after trying it, I wouldn’t ever serve them without it! It brightens the flavor of the pancake and makes the sprinkle of powdered sugar actually taste sweeter.

Dutch Baby Pancake with Lemon Slices

This is a versatile recipe too! You can add fresh berries, apples or do a tropical version with toasted coconut in the pancake and top it with bananas and pineapple. My favorite Dutch Boy drizzled maple syrup on his.

Dutch Baby Pancake

Simple, delicious and yummy! This recipe will be part of our regular weekend breakfast lineup from now on!
Empty skillet
Yep, I think they liked it… 😉 Enjoy my Foodie Friends!

Best of the West – Chowderfest!

“Southern California Seafood goes ROGUE in the Ultimate Seafood Challenge” Local taste and local talent showcased the “Best of the West – Chowderfest” at the Aquarium of the Pacific this last weekend.

Aquarium of the Pacific

I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, than hanging out with my favorite foodie friends at the beach and eating chowder made by great local chefs, using fresh local ingredients!

We had such a good time! Sometimes I think I should pinch myself. It’s hard to believe my life is so richly blessed with these opportunities. Many thanks to The Aquarium Of The Pacific, Seafood for the Future, Edible Westside, The Sustainable Kitchen, Weiser Farms, Savor Magazine and all the other sponsors for a fun event. Here was the lineup for the day!

Chowderfest lineup!

When we arrived, things were just getting started. The Chefs were putting out there samples and the tables were finishing getting decorated. Each Chef was required to use fresh LOCAL ingredients in their dish. Not only were the Chefs and their creations displayed on the boards at each station, but so were the fishermen/farms involved in supplying the seafood and the seafood was highlighted as well!

Chowder Fest Chef Display

There was a Judges Choice Winner and the Peoples Choice winners. There were cooking demonstrations by Savor Magazine and of course, the samples!

Roe's Chowder

BlueWaterGrill

Chowder Samples

Gladstone's

My Favorite!

Tuna

Samples

Our little group was evenly between the Mussel Chowdah from Gladstones Long Beach and Kellet’s Whelk Chowder with smoked Potatoes from SIP Lounge at the Renaissance in Long Beach. My personal favorite was Chef Michael’s Kellet’s Whelk. It has so many layers of flavor and the fried leeks on top were outstanding!

Visitors

So who won? “Mussel Chowdah” created by Chef Pete Lehmar from Gladstones in Long Beach, using Mussels from Carlsbad Aquafarms won BOTH the Judges Choice AND Peoples Choice Award! It was tasty chowder, or should I say “Chowdah!”

Mussel Chowdah

Here was their display!

Gladstones

“Scott Breneman’s Sablefish Curry” created by Chef Paul Buchanan of Primal Alchemy Events and Catering Kitchen, using Sablefish from West Caught Fish Company won Second Place in the Peoples Choice. They had pumpkin in their Curry! It was an interesting twist.

Primal Alchemy

IMG_9433

And finally, tied for Third Place, was “California Dungeness Crab Chowder” by Chef Robin Higas from Market Broiler and (my favorite) “Kellets Whelk with Smoked Potatoes” by Chef Michael Poompan from SIP Lounge in Long Beach, with the Whelk provided by Fisherman Stephanie Mutz!

It was a delicious day! This is what our table looked like when we were done…
All gone!

I hope Aquarium of the Pacific does this next year. It was a great event and a great way to highlight local and sustainable seafood!

Thanks everyone! On to the next adventure! 😉

Wise Coffee! Pairings and Tastings!

Some of you know, I am part of a fantastic group of women, called W.I.L.F.S.(Women In the LA Food Scene). We get together monthly to network, share, plan, learn and of course, eat!

In February, our meeting was all about Coffee. Sheila Okabayashi and her husband Ryuichi, own their own micro-roasting coffee company called Wise Coffee.

Wise Coffee

They generously brought some amazing coffees for us to sample, and as we have incredibly talented bakers in our group, several ladies made specialized pastry items to go with each coffee. It was an afternoon of pure bliss!

“Until you’ve had great coffee, you really don’t know what you’ve been missing. But once you have an amazing cup of coffee, freshly roasted and respectfully brewed, you’ll never be able to go back to retail coffee again.” Ryuichi Okabayashi. Roaster & Founder, Wise Coffee, Inc.

I can’t begin to tell you how true this is!

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

The table was beautifully set and we happily began! Ryu carefully prepared each coffee, as Sheila walked us through the pairings and why she’d chosen the specific foods to go with each one.

Pairings - tasting mat

Not only did Sheila and Ryu prepare the coffee, we each had a tasting mat and a whole folder of information including a Glossary of terms, Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel, Coffee Tips on Storage and Brewing and a nifty paper explaining each coffee and the dessert that went with it!

Fresh Fruit and Brazilian Coffee

We started with Ethiopian Sidamo and Brazilian Coffee, paired with fresh fruits!

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

After we had our fruit, the next pairing was a Guatemala “La Reina” and a coffee from Peru. These were paired with an incredible Apple Pie.

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com


The cinnamon and spices in the pie brought out the flavors in the coffee, especially the Guatemala. Although the nutty notes in the Peruvian Coffee complimented the apple pie as well.

Apple Pie

The next delicious offering was a Colombian Medium Roast and Sumatra. Both strong in body with rich flavors, we paired this with a Butternut Brioche spice buns swirled with coffee and spices, topped with maple coffee icing.
Red Bread
Coffee baked into both the pastry and the icing, really enhanced the coffee notes and flavors of these particular coffees.

The dairy round of our tastings consisted of another Colombian – Light French Roast and a Mexican Oaxaca. These coffees were dynamically different, but paired well with a raw Mocha Cheesecake and French Vanilla Ice Cream.
Raw Cheesecake

Finally, a chocolate and caramel round of tastings ended our afternoon. We had a Shade Grown Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, paired with a pice of hand poured dark chocolate and a dark chocolate flour-less coffee cake with salted caramel drizzled over the top.
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Both of these pairings also used coffee as an ingredient in the pastry.

If you’ve never done a comparative tasting between two coffees matched with a perfect food item, you are missing out on an incredible experience.

More important than the food, is the way Wise Coffee offers 100% organic, micro-roasted, single origin coffees for the highest quality flavor and aroma. All their coffees are certified organic and fair trade certified. Even their coffee bean bags are made from 40% recycled and 25% PCW (Post-Consumer Waste) brown paper. The lining of the bags is PLA (Polylactic Acid), a thermoplastic derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch. They use stamps to mark their bags rather than toxic labels. So what that means is when you’re done drinking their amazing coffee, you take the wire off the top of the bag and you can throw the whole thing into the compost pile or your recycle bin!

How AWESOME is that?

If you want to know more, follow this link and check out Wise Coffee for yourself!

Crock Pot Chicken & Salsa

Crock Pot Chicken & Salsa

Dinner time can be crazy! Juggling school schedules, extra curricular activities, housework, homework and life in general makes things hectic. I remember the stress of wanting good food on the table every night for dinner, but feeling like I just didn’t have the time. Even though we aren’t at that stage in our lives any more, I still appreciate quick and easy dinners that are healthy and ready to go.

That’s when this crock pot meal (with only three ingredients!) comes in handy! Whether you are in the midst of kid centered activities, school/work schedules or empty-nest activities, this dinner is easy and delicious.

Start with a large jar of your favorite salsa. Pour half the jar in the bottom of your crock pot. Layer three boneless, skinless chicken breasts on top of the salsa.
Chicken & Salsa
Salsa and Taco Mix
Top with your favorite burrito or taco seasoning mix and then the rest of the salsa! EASY! Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Crock Pot Chicken

When you’re ready to eat, shred the chicken with two forks and stir to combine. Serve on warm tortillas with your favorite toppings! We used shredded lettuce, diced tomato and red onion, some chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
Chicken Burritos

This will quickly become one of your favorite “go-to” meals when you’re busy! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Till next time, Foodie Friends!

XOXOX

Cupcakes for a Cause!

I love foodie events! Especially events when there is chocolate or pastry involved! Cupcakes for a Cause is the Inland Empires FIRST Cupcake Fair. There will be cupcake tastings, baking competitions: both professional and amateur categories! There will be live entertainment, complimentary massages, a photo booth and even a Kids Zone!
IESO_CupcakesFAC_flier-frnt_rev

IEShineOn is hosting this event and I am excited to help spread the word!

Cupcakes for a Cause will be held Sunday March 17th from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, in Riverside California. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Foothill Family Shelter and the California Riverside Ballet.

ALL the event info can be found HERE!!

Are you a baker? Do you want to share your cupcake talents? Consider entering the baking competition! You can find all that information by clicking HERE

Don’t want to bake, but just want to attend? I am giving away TWO free general admission vouchers! You get entry to the event and six tasting tickets!

To enter leave a comment telling me your favorite cupcake flavor and who you’d bring to the event if you win!

Want extra chances?

“Like” My Imperfect Kitchen Facebook page and leave another comment telling me that you are following. If you are already following, leave a comment and say “I’m already following you!”

“Like” IEShineOn on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you liked their page.

Follow My Imperfect Kitchen on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you are following!

Follow IEShineOn on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you are following them!

That’s FIVE chances to win!

The winner will be chosen at 12:00 PM PST Friday March 15th so spread the word!! GOOD LUCK! I’ll see you there!

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