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

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Garlic Tomato Marinara Sauce – Recipe Swap!

I belong to several food bloggers groups on Facebook. One of the groups is doing a recipe swap! The basic idea is to pick a recipe from another blog and try it! Simple, yes?

Recently, the lovely Bernadette from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen, tried my Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers. Read her blog post about them… HERE!

I tried Bernadette’s Garlic Tomato Marinara Sauce! I did tweak it just a bit. The first thing was to cut the recipe in half. There are just two of us for dinner most nights now and we don’t need that much. Thankfully this recipe also freezes beautifully, so the leftovers went straight into a container for another dinner next month! I also used a bit more tomato paste for some added depth! In the summer when we have fresh tomatoes, I will be using this recipe again. It’s simple, easy and I love the tangy garlicky tomato aroma it gives off as it simmers on the stove! Delicious!

Garlic Tomato Marinara Sauce

1 TBLS olive oil
1  14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1  14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 TBLS tomato paste
1/2 cup onions, diced
1/3 cup garlic, diced
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 TBLS chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté just until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the parsley. Cover again and finish simmering!

What did I do with this fabulous sauce? I made Pizza-dillas!

Pizzadilla with Garlic Tomato Marinara Sauce!

Who knows what I’ll do with it next month, but I see pasta in our future! Thanks Bernadette for a great new recipe!
XOXO,

Sara~

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Chicken!

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers are one of my favorite appetizers. Then, I ran across a recipe with the same flavors stuffed inside a bacon wrapped chicken breast! Well, you know what happened next, right? Yep! This was dinner last night…

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Stuffed Chicken

It’s SO simple and easy! I used the same filling from my Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers and they came out perfectly! Why didn’t I think of this before? This meal is going into our usual dinner rotation and I couldn’t be happier!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Chicken
Inspired from Closet Cooking – Serves 4

4 large chicken breasts, pounded thin
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 green onions, diced, both green and white parts
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 jalapeños, finely diced
8 slices bacon
Salt and Lemon Pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, cheddar, onions, garlic and jalapeño together. Set aside.

On a cutting board, lay chicken breasts flat. Season both sides with salt and lemon pepper. Place 1/4 of the mixture on the widest section of each breast. Roll the breast up tightly. Wrap two pieces of bacon around each breast. Secure with a toothpick if needed.

Place bacon-wrapped breasts on a rack in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp.

Bacon wrapped jalapeño chicken

We really enjoyed these. Start to finish it took less than an hour to get on the table. I love that!

Try them yourself and see what you think!

Italian Sub Soup!

Hands down, this is our FAVORITE soup of all time! It comes complete with homemade croutons and plenty of meaty/garlic goodness.

Looks good, right? Oh, trust me! It is! This photo is “pre-croutons” so it gets even better! This recipe is an adaptation of Rachel Ray’s Italian Sub Stoup with Garlic Toast Floaters. We’ve changed a few things and omitted a few things to fit our family. That’s the great thing about cooking! You can take a basic recipe and make it completely your own!

So how do you make my version of this incredible pot of soupy delicious-ness? Start by chopping everything in advance! It’s a huge time saver. You’ll need to chop sausage, pepperoni, ham, onions, bell peppers and garlic.

After all that chopping is done, heat a bit of olive oil at the bottom of a large stock pot.

When the oil is hot, crumble Italian Sausage and cook until brown. Add pepperoni and chunks of ham. Continue to brown for a few more minutes. Can I tell you a secret? I know it’s terrible, but I don’t drain the fat after I brown the meat. There usually isn’t that much and it’s a great flavor enhancer!

Add the onions and bell peppers and continue to cook for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

After a few minutes, add the garlic!

Now we’re ready for tomatoes! Use the liquid from the tomatoes to scrape up those lovely brown bits on the bottom of the pan. These are great flavor bites too! Season the tomato mix with plenty of salt, pepper, basil, oregano! Add the broth and bring the pot to a simmer. Once everything is bubbly, add half a box of Gemelli pasta. You can also use penne rigatoni, elbow or orecchiette. The pasta takes about 15 minutes to cook in the broth. It will be fairly thick.

While the pasta is cooking in the soup, chop up sourdough bread for the croutons.

In a separate pan, add oil, garlic and crushed red chile peppers.

Then when everything is brown and toasty, you put them on top of the soup!

Delicious!

Here you go!

Italian Sub Soup

2 TBLS olive oil
One pkg (about 5 links) Italian Sausage, with casings removed. You can use either Sweet or Hot sausage. (I usually buy one pkg Hot and one pkg Sweet, then I use a combination of the two and freeze the others to use for soup next time!)
1 1/4 lb piece of pepperoni, cut into small dice
1 ham steak, 1/2 to 3/4 lb, diced (Left over ham works well too – you’ll need about 1 1/2 cups)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, quartered and then diced to match the ham cubes.
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 boxes chicken broth (32 oz each)
1/2 of a 16 oz box of Gemelli pasta, uncooked. (Save the other half for next time you make soup!)
1 tsp of each: dried basil, dried oregano and dried thyme.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Croutons

1/4 cup of Olive Oil
4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
5 cups crusty bread, cubed (Our favorite is Sourdough, but French or Italian Bread works well too!)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat a large soup pot to medium high. Drizzle the olive oil around the bottom of the pan and toss in the sausage. Brown and crumble the sausage. When it’s brown, add pepperoni and ham. Cook for a few minutes, then add your veggies. Cook until the veggies just start to get soft. Add the garlic and continue to cook for about a minute longer. Add the tomatoes and use the juices to scrape up the browned meaty bits on the bottom of the pot. Season the tomato/veggie/meat mix with seasonings and salt and pepper. Stir well, then add chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook for 10 minutes.

While the pasta cooks in the soup, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Regulate the heat carefully so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the bread cubes, toss to coat and continue stirring and toasting them for about five minutes. Season the croutons with grated parmesan.

Ladle soup into big bowls and top with seasoned croutons! This recipe makes a lot, so serve it with friends and a great bottle of wine!

The soup tastes even better the next day, but the pasta will swell, so you might need to add additional broth to thin it out a little.

Enjoy!

Provencal Chicken with Tomatoes and White Beans

Not everything that comes from My Imperfect Kitchen is sweet. Some things are deliciously savory.  A perfect example is Provençal Chicken!  This is one of my new favorite recipes.  It’s warm and filling and pairs well with a glass of white wine, good friends and great conversation.

When you try this recipe, it’s important to use chicken thighs with the skin on and bone in, as it will give flavor to the dish and keeps the chicken moist.  Start cooking the chicken with skin-side down first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove the chicken to simmer the herbs and tomatoes.  Return the chicken to the pan with the olives and beans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the chicken on a serving plate.  Simmer the sauce a bit longer so it thickens, then pour over the top!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished and delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provençal Chicken with Tomatoes and White Beans

Ingredients

8 chicken thighs (with skin and bone)

1 TBLS olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 TBLS thyme, chopped

2 tsp chopped rosemary

1  28 oz can plum tomatoes, crushed up with your fingers

1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives

1 1/2 TBLS capers, rinsed

2 cans White beans, rinsed and drained (I used Cannellini Beans)

1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.  Add the chicken (in batches if needed) and season well with salt and pepper.  Saute the chicken about 8 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and pour off all but a tablespoon of the drippings from the pan.

Return the pan to the stove and on medium and sauté the garlic and shallots for about 20 seconds.  Add the wine, herbs and tomatoes, increasing the heat to high, deglaze the pan for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken back to the pan and cover, simmer over medium low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a large serving plate and tent with foil to keep warm.  Add the olives, capers and beans to the skillet and bring to a simmer.   Cook until the sauce thickens – about 10 minutes.  Remove foil and spoon olive and bean mixture over the chicken.  Garnish with basil before serving.

Serves 4

Recipe Source: Chef Amanda Cushman

Pita Chips and Artichoke Dip – Recipes

It’s Friday night.

Our son is at work and my husband and I are alone…

We should do something spontaneous…

Something romantic…

Something sexy…

I know the perfect thing!

Pita Chips.

That’s right.  Pita Chips.  We’re going to spice things up by making a Spinach Artichoke dip too. We are living on the wild side!  I will even share my romantically, spontaneous, sexy recipes with you!  Be warned though, they just might make your Friday night a little hotter!  🙂

Friday Night Pita Chips

Six Pita Rounds

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper

1/2 tsp Cumin

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cut each Pita round into eight wedges. (You’ll have 48 chips)  Spread wedges out over a cookie sheet.  Brush each wedge with Olive Oil and then sprinkle with Salt, Lemon Pepper and Cumin.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!

Since every good chip needs a great dip, here is the Spinach Artichoke recipe too!  The flavors really compliment the Cumin and Lemon pepper on the chips!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

8 oz sour cream

16 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 can artichoke hearts, finely chopped

1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups Cheddar/Jack cheese mix, grated

6  TBLS butter, divided in half

1/2 cup Paresan cheese, grated

3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if you make the chips first, the oven will already be hot!)

Melt half the butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for about a minute until the garlic gets soft.  Add artichokes and spinach, stir till combined and heated through.  Add the sour cream and cream cheese.  Heat until melted and smooth.  Finally, add the Cheddar/Jack mix and stir until cheese is completely melted.  Pour into a greased 8X8 dish.  To make the topping: combine remaining butter, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese till crumbly.  Cover the artichoke mixture with the cheese topping.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

 Mmmmm…. now THAT is sexy!

Have a great weekend everyone!  🙂

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