Category Archives: leek

BLT (Bacon, Leek, and Tomato) Quiche + a Quick Quiche Cheat Sheet

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I have been wanting to do something different for breakfast lately but Kevin, bless his heart, has taken over the chore of making breakfast on the weekends and he leaves too early in the morning to make breakfast through the week. It is not that I don’t love his breakfasts, it is just, well……it is “Man food”. You know what I  mean? Pure, simple, straight to the point. Eggs with sausage, hash browns, and toast. 
I have tried doing BFD (breakfast for dinner) but he hasn’t been real thrilled with that idea. So I decided I had to put my foot down and tell him that I was making something with veggies in it for breakfast. I did add the footnote that there would be bacon in it. I mean bacon, eggs, cheese? How can that be wrong? Right?
He also went along with it because I had picked up leeks for a recipe I made a few days ago and he hates wasting food even more than me. So when I said it was a  great way to use the leeks up he was on board.
When I was buzzing through the grocery store the grape tomatoes looked great so I new exactly what I wanted to do. Bacon, leek, and tomato, yummmm!!

I love quiche. My Mom used to make them when I was little. Although back in the day they sold quiche mix in cartons right along with the Egg Beaters. How simple could that be? Frozen pie crust, carton of quiche mix, hot oven, BOOM, breakfast! But seriously making quiche is so ding dang simple there is no reason to not give it a try. I will have a handy little “Quiche Cheat Sheet” after the recipe.
BLT (Bacon, Leek, and Tomato) Quiche
1 large leek, root end and dark green leaves cut off, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half moons
1 handful gape tomatoes, halved
4 slices thick cut smoky bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
3 eggs
Kosher salt and cracked pepper
1 1/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
Pie dough (handmade or store bought)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the pie dough in a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges, chill for 30 minutes. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (can use dried beans if you do not have pie weights). Bake about 20 minutes, remove the foil and weights and continue to bake another 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool.
Place the chopped leek into a large bowl filled with cold water. Swish them carefully and allow them to sit a few minutes to release the dirt and grit that is between the leaves. Scoop out with your hands and lay them on a clean kitchen towel. Roll the towel and squeeze the moisture out. Set aside.
Meanwhile cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once bacon has rendered its fat and begun to crisp slightly, remove it with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the leeks and saute being careful to not brown the leeks. Once the leeks begin to soften add the halved tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes to let the tomatoes release some of their juices. Remove from heat.
In a bowl combine the eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and evaporated milk. Whisk until completely blended. 
Spoon the leeks and tomatoes into the pie crust and sprinkle with the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the top and bake on a baking sheet for 40 to 50 minutes or until the filling is set. Allow to cool 20 minutes before serving.
ENJOY!!
Easy Quiche Cheat Sheet
Make Your Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the pie dough in a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges, chill for 30 minutes. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (can use dried beans if you do not have pie weights). Bake about 20 minutes, remove the foil and weights and continue to bake another 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool.

Choose Your Veggies
1/2 to 1 cup of up to 3 of the following veggies;
Roasted Asparagus           
Roasted or Steamed Broccoli     
Shredded Potatoes, sauteed     
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved
Green Peppers, chopped and sauteed
Mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
Onions or Shallots, sliced or chopped and sauteed  
Green Onions, chopped
Jarred Roasted Red Pepper, chopped
Spinach, chopped and sauteed (or frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained)
Frozen peas, thawed
Meat
1/2 cup of up to 2 of the following meats;
Bacon, chopped and cooked
Sausage, cooked and crumbled
Ham, chopped
Shredded chicken
Crab, picked clean
Now Some Cheese
Up to 1 cup of the following cheeses, crumbled or shredded;
Swiss
Gruyere
Fontina
Provolone
Gouda
Brie
Mozzarella
Goat Cheese
Cheddar
Jack or Pepper Jack
Feta
Parmesan
Now Let’s Make Some Quiche
Whisk 3 eggs, salt, pepper, and 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, half and half, milk, or evaporated milk in a  large bowl. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (if desired), seasoning such as chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, grated lemon zest (would be awesome with a crab quiche). 
Spread the vegetable/cheese mixture on the bottom of the prepared pie crust and pour the egg mixture on top. Bake until the filling is set, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

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White Wine Braised Chicken

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Last night was the first night that we have had the kids over for dinner since we moved. They have been getting settled into their new place and we have been getting settled into ours. It was nice to have a bit of family time so we could all relax and take a deep breath after all the craziness (moving sucks…just saying). So I really wanted to make a nice hearty home cooked meal for them. Plus I had gotten a phone call from my son saying, “Mom I really miss your food!”. Tasty dinner coming right up!!
I have been making sandwiches, and fast food knock offs all week. I decided I wanted a meal that was balanced, filling, and full of good stuff. I mean we know what kids eat when they are on their own right? Protein, veggies, and some nice crusty bread seamed like a wonderful choice. I really do miss cooking for the whole family. It is nice for Kevin and I to have our own space but I’m seriously going through the empty nest thing here!!

I made this with skin on bone in chicken thighs because, well I just love the flavor and juiciness of thighs. But you could do this just as easily with breasts if you prefer. I would use skin on bone in breast though if you want that nice golden brown crust on the meat. I wish I had browned mine just a tad bit longer.
This one of my meals that I call a “kitchen sink” meal. I threw a tons of stuff in the that was on hand. Beans, veggies, herbs, you name it. That is the beauty of a recipe like this. Once you  have the meat and braising liquid you can go crazy and make it your own! 
Everyone loved it and it just ended up being a nice tummy filling comfort food kind of dinner to share with my family! I hope you give it a try!!
White Wine Braised Chicken
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed clean of grit
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 19-ounce can of Cannelinni beans, drained
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 ears of corn)
  • 8-ounces frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, opptional


Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and, working in batches if necessary, brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total per batch. Remove to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks and red pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and wilted and absorbed most of the chicken fat. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. 

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine using a wooden spoon to scrape up and browned bits that are on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute or so to cook off the alcohol. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with tin foil to keep it warm.

Add the beans and corn to the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Continue to cook while stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the corn kernels have softened. Add the peas, chives, and lemon juice and cook for an additional few minutes to heat up the peas. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning.

Ladle the broth and veggies into a bowl and top with 2 chicken thighs. Serve with crusty bread.

ENJOY!!


Food Star Friday – Alton Brown’s Vichyssoise

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Happy Food Star Friday everyone! I am so excited about today’s post. Well, I am always excited about Food Star Friday, but today I tackled a Food Star that I not only adore, but admire for all of the knowledge he has about everything food. Jessi (Miss Picky Pants) and I used to watch every, and I mean every episode of Good Eats. We even taped them for a while (that tells you how long ago it was, we had a VHS still). They were not only educational, but so entertaining. He is somewhat of an odd bird and, having grown up in theater, I feel like I could fit right in with him. Birds of a feather and all of that you know.
I was watching an Episode of Good Eats the other day and he was highlighting leeks. I love leeks and am always trying to use them in as many dishes as I can. I love it when the nice fresh ones come into the store. Like I have said in the past, my produce guy must think I am nuts because I do happy dances all over the place when new produce comes in. I know he thinks I need to get a life, or serious medication, not sure which.

So anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Good Eats. I was watching the episode but we were on our way out of the door so I was very upset that I missed the whole show. Enter the wonder of youtube.com. After a bit of a search I found the episode I was looking for. It was in two parts, but it had the info I was looking for. How to make vichyssoise. Just that word used to strike fear in my little foodie heart if I thought about trying to make it. It sounds so ominous doesn’t it? OK, maybe it is just me, but I would just think there was no way I could make it, it must be difficult just listen to the name of it!
Now that I have been cooking for a while I guess I have gotten braver. I actually think it has a lot to do with the fact that I used to be afraid to try something and then mess it up. Now that I have had a few epic fails under my belt (lets just say I have an issue with baking bread *sigh*) I am more courageous about flexing my culinary muscles and jumping it to just about anything and I am so glad I did. 
As I was making this Kevin kept asking me “What is that?” a little bit later “What is the name of that?” and then later again “What are you making?”. I think he was partially throw by the name but mostly by the fact that I said we were having cold soup. When I told him that his nose wrinkled up like I was telling him to drink expired milk or something. I just told him to stop giving me the stink face and went on with making the soup. 
I will admit, this does take quite a bit of time. With prep and cooking you are probably looking at about an hour and a half or more, but it is well worth it, trust me!! I can’t wait to have a dinner party and watch my non-foodie friends make that face when they here what I am making for a starter. Then watch their faces as they taste it!  
I can’t stress enough how good this was. It was gone so fast I am surprised I was able to take a picture. Everyone was hovering over me like a bunch of vultures!!
Here is the 2nd part of the Good Eats episode on leeks. 

Vichyssoise
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 leeks (about 1 1/2 inch in diameter)
Kosher Salt
14 ounces Yukon potatoes (3 or 4)
1 quart vegetable stock (I had to use chicken because I forgot the vegetable stock DUH me!!)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon white pepper

Cut the root end and dark green leaves off of the leeks. Cut each one in half length wise and place in a large bowl of cold water, swish and shake them to get the dirt out of them. Take them out of the water and dry them a bit. Cut each half into 3 strips length wise and then chop them across the entire length of the strip.

In a large soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat. Once the butter has heated up, add your leeks. Stir them a bit to coat them in the butter and add a healthy pinch of salt, at least a teaspoon. Then turn your heat down to medium-low. You don’t want to hear the leeks sizzling or see them getting brown at all or they are sauteing, you want them to sweat and stay nice and green. Cook for 25 minutes.

Add the potatoes and stock and bring the pot to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 45 minutes. Remove lid and blend the potatoes and leeks with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can blend it in batches in a food processor or a regular blender. Just be careful, it is very hot.

Once everything is blended well, add your cream to the buttermilk before you pour it into the soup. Add to the soup and blend again. (if you are using a food processor or regular blender you can do this before you return the soup to the pot).

At this point you can ladle into bowls and serve hot or chill it before serving.

ENJOY!!!

This recipe was also shared on;

Amee’s Savory Dish Fit and Fabulous Fridays

Bobbi on a Budget – Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham

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I know I haven’t posted a budget meal in a while but it has been a bit difficult for me to make meals for 4 when I never know how many I am going to have here. At any given time it could be 2 or 6 with no warning *sigh* the joys of kids right? This was a meal that I knew could be made and if it wasn’t all eaten I could freeze the rest. Yes, I love soup!!

I actually chose to make this because I was thinking about my Dad. I miss his little comments “What experiment are we having tonight” “I love being a guinea pig” “Can we please have something besides chicken I am going to sprout feathers and cluck” My Dad was a crack up! One of the things I knew I could make any time and he would be happy about it was split pea soup. He LOVED it. I haven’t made it since he passed away last year so this one was for my Daddy.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham
  • 8 to 10 parsley stems
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 1 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds ham, cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Tie the parsley stems and thyme together with kitchen string and place in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the split peas, leek, celery, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine. Add 4 cups chicken stock and 3 cups water. Cover and cook on low until the split peas are tender 6 hours. Add the cubed ham and cook on low an additional 2 hours.
Discard the herb bundle. Vigorously stir the soup to break up the peas and make the soup smoother. Thin with water, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with the thawed peas. Serve with bread, if desired.

Food Star Friday – Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

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Happy Food Star Friday my fine foodie friends! I was really excited about this recipe because, well, as of late I am obsessed with soups and this one sounded sooooo good. Potato soup is a true comfort food to me. Mind you the potato soup I ate as a child was Campbell’s soup, but my Mom made it for me, so in my childhood memories it was a comfort food.

When I grew up, I lived in a tiny little trailer in a small town just outside of Reno, NV. It is one of those places that has weather extremes. Over 100 degrees in the summer at times, and snow in the winter. So when winter hit Mom would crank the heater and break out the Campbell’s soups. Cream of Potato, Cream of Mushroom, and Creamy Tomato all bring back vivid memories of my childhood and are true comfort foods for me. Poor Kevin just doesn’t understand my fondness for soups. He just keeps wondering why I seem to be determined to make a vegetarian out of him! That is why I chose this Emeril Lagasse recipe.

Now I will warn you, since it is Food Star Friday I did not change the recipe from the original. I mean that is the idea, do the star’s recipes and then review them right? OK, this recipe is great and the soup tastes amazing. However, if I had been making it just for my family I would have changed a few things to try and “healthify” it a bit.

I would substitute a tablespoon of olive oil for the two tablespoons of butter and use half and half instead of heavy cream. Doesn’t change it too much but I feel it makes it a bit better. Plus, as a person that has had gastric bypass, very heavily creamed food can make me feel a bit sick and this one, although it tasted AMAZING, made me feel a bit woozy. I know those minor changes would have made all of the difference.

I love my Goodwill finds, no more boring white bowl
Folding 2 leek leaves around the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and peppercorns for a bouquet garni
wilt the sliced leeks 
add the wine, stock, potatoes, salt, white pepper, and bouquet garni
it all fit into my blender in one batch and came out so nice and smooth and creamy
Creamy Potato and Leek Soup
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, about 1 pound
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives

Trim the green portions of the leek and, using 2 of the largest and longest leaves, make a bouquet garni by folding the 2 leaves around the bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Tie into a package-shaped 

bundle with kitchen twine and set aside. (Alternately, tie 2 leek leaves, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme together in a piece of cheesecloth.)
Using a sharp knife, halve the white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water to rid the leek of any sand. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is very soft and has rendered most of its fat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the reserved bouquet garni,chicken stock, potatoes, salt and white pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart and the soup is very flavorful.
Remove the bouquet garni and, working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender. (Alternately, if you own an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot.) Stir in the creme fraiche and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, with some of the snipped chives sprinkled over the top of each bowl of soup.
Serves 4

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