Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quiche + Savory Madeleines + Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Happy, almost, Friday all!!  I think I'm setting some sort of personal record in blog posts this week.
Are you all tired of me yet??!! :)  I wanted to finish up the week posting a few savory recipes.  The first is for a ham and leek quiche.  When I was growing up we frequently had our friends over for dinner.  My Mum is an incredible cook and served exotic dishes like buttered, caramelized endive, yorkshire pudding and leeks. Back in the 80s, in Southern Ohio, these were highly usual and made for lively dinner/European food lessons for my friends.  Everyone always loved the leeks. My favorite way to eat them was with a cream sauce along side mashed potatoes. My brother's favorite way to eat them was rolled up in ham and baked with a Gruyere sauce over top.  Now leeks are main stream and no one thinks twice about cooking with them.  I still often make them the way my Mum did and having them for dinner always brings back good memories of growing up and our dinners around the round kitchen table with the giant mid-century, egg yolk yellow, light fixture overhead.  It was a horrible thing, back from my parent's very contemporary Scandinavian furniture days.  For all I know, it was from some famous designer, worth a boat load of money today, and sold by my parents in a garage sale. Anyway, I digress.  {Gosh I wish I had a picture of that light fixture + table. I'm going to look in my old albums tonight, see if I can't resurrect that thing for all of you to see!}  Ok, back to the quiche.  This was the most requested recipe from the shower {along with the cake}.  Kevin, if you are reading, tell Toni to make it for you because you will love it!  I hope you all do too.  I liked it so much I made it again for dinner tonight.

1 refrigerated pie crust
1 TBS butter
3 c thinly sliced leeks
kosher salt to taste + 1/2 tsp
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 c diced smoked ham
3 eggs
1.5 c heavy cream
small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c finely shredded Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 400.
Butter + flour a 9 inch pie dish or removable bottom tart pan.
Unfold dough in prepared pan, fold over excess dough to form crust.
Line pie crust with a piece of foil and fill with pie weights. {or dried beans}
Bake 15  minutes.  
Remove foil and weights and cook 3-5 minutes longer till very lightly golden.  
Remove and cool.
Reduce oven temp to 350.
Melt butter in saute pan, add leeks, cook 5 minutes, season with salt + pepper.  Let cool.  Add diced ham.
Whisk eggs and cream. Season with 1/2 tsp salt + pepper + nutmeg.
Cover pie crust with leek mixture, poor egg mixture over top, sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 40-45 minutes.
{recipe from williams-sonoma}

Next, I made a savory version of the traditionally sweet Madeleine cookies.  It looks like I doused them in salt, I promise I did not. :) Ok, maybe a little, because that fleur de sel is oh so delish. I made them the night before, but I think they would be best eaten fresh from the oven.  Still mighty tasty though.

1 stick of butter, melted
1 c cake flour
3 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp fluer de sel
1/4 tsp ground pepper
4 eggs
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 TBS sugar
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Put rack in lower third of oven.
Brush molds of two 12 well madeleine pans with 2 TBS of melted butter and dust with all purpose flour. 
Sift the cake flour into in a bowl and gently stir in the rosemary + 1 tsp fleur de sel + pepper. Set aide.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high until yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and sugar and beat until the mixture drops from the whisk in ribbons, about 3 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture and 1 cup cheese, then remaining 6 TBS butter.
Spoon into prepared molds and bake 12 minutes. Immediately remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with salt and cheese and serve.  Makes 18.
{recipe from williams-sonoma}

And last {sorry for the long post, I vow in 2012 to find a better way to post + organize recipes!!} is an oldie but goodie recipe for sun-dried tomato pesto. Sun-dried tomatoes in the 1990's were like the salted caramel of today weren't they?!  They were such a hot ingredient and now you rarely come across recipes featuring them.  Since I was in college in the 90's and armed with my first subscription to Bon Appetit, I became quite fond of the sun-dried tomato.  I actually far prefer sun-dried tomato pesto over traditional pesto.  A little less over powering, though you really aren't very kissable after eating either.  Not a great date food, but the perfect meals-on-wheels food, welcome new neighbor food, potluck, appetizer, etc food.  I love it tossed with pasta like here, but also I use it to coat chicken breasts prior to searing them in the pan.  Works like a charm, so good and the easiest dinner ever. This will keep in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. For the shower, I skewered tortellini tossed in the pesto and served them at room temperature. {picture below was my lunch the day after}.

1 c drained, oil packed sun-dreid tomatoes {6 oz}
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese {or Parmesan}
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
2 TBS pine nuts
3 cloves of garlic
3/4 c olive oil

Combine tomatoes, cheese, basil, pine nuts + garlic in food processor. With machine running slowly add olive oil and process till smooth paste forms.
{recipe from bon appetit, cira 1994!!}

That's all folks!  Have a great weekend!! xo


  1. You are doing great with your blog posts this week! All the recipes look divine! My preference would be the quiche on this rainy night in Georgia, but my sons would love the sun dried tomato dish. Their favorite recipe is a grilled chicken dish with sundried tomatoes and goat cheese.

  2. Thank you, thank you! I think I will have that quiche for dinner tomorrow or brunch on Sunday; I haven't quite decided.

    Thanks again for the recipes. They all look delicious!


  3. I get so excited everytime you have a new post!You always have the best ideas, and yummy recipes. I loved the shower you recently hosted, it was beautiful and your home always looks so welcoming. Happy Weekend!

  4. Looks delish Tess, love your blog! Visit mine if you have a chance - I'm still a newbie!

  5. Awesome... I love your recipes. I have made your creamy chicken flautas several times. Family favorite.

  6. Thank you my friend. I've only have oatmeal, an apple, and a PBJ today so I'm going blind w/ hunger sitting at my desk right now. So I want to eat all this asap in one sitting.

  7. Love your recipes! I think Sunday might be quiche day at our house. Sure enjoy your blog!

    Sheila from west Michigan

  8. I would never tire of your posts! This looks yummy. Would you believe I've never had leeks? I don't recall if I have. This is going on my list to try though. Did you know today was National Chocolate Day? Check out my blog post today.....I featured your delicious cake!
    Happy Friday!!

  9. I have never cooked leeks. This looks delish! I am still really impressed with your photography skills:)
    Amy R.

  10. What a FAB recipe dahhling! I will have to try this!

  11. I will be making this quiche for the third time tomorrow! It is so delicious! Love it! Thank you for passing on the recipe!