The winter has been seriously long and spring came ridiculously late but, well, it might have been worth the waiting. These days NYC's greenmarkets smell heavenly thanks to all kinds of flowers and blossoms (yesterday Union Square was a sea of Lilacs!), not to mention ramps who are literally all over the place (Recipes are coming up soon). Among other finds: nettles, fiddlerheads (I'll buy them as soon as I figure out what to do with them), more ramps, rhubarb (honestly, I expected way more rhubarb around - where is all the rhubarb?!), and loads of crunchy radishes. What I did with my market finds will be on next week's post, in the meanwhile, enjoy some pictures of the Greenmarket at Union Square.
So, my daughter's class was having a potluck breakfast last week, and I got to bring a meat quiche. To be honest, I'm more a vegetable quiche kinda girl and the only meat that I can accept in a quiche is bacon, as a result the super classic quiche lorraine seemed to be the only solution for me. Boring!
I started thinking and before long I was convinced that since I already had eggs and bacon, I might as well throw in another couple of typical amercian breakfast ingredients in there. My breakfast quiche would have bacon, eggs, potatoes and cheddar, and just a hint of maple syrup as well. A bite-sized brunch, basically. Like eating a hearty potato and bacon hash, dressed up in a cute little french tart. I still had to cook it but I loved it already.
Basic Quiche Shell Dough
Rub 6tbsp (90gr) cold butter in 1+2/3c. (200gr) all purpose flour and 1 tsp (5gr) salt. Add 1 egg and 20ml cold water and kneed just enough to have the dough coming together. Wrap in plastic film and keep in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and line a a tart or muffin tin with it.
To this we add the
American Breakfast Filling
Slice thinly 2 slices of maple uncured bacon, then cook it in a non stick pan until crisp. Drain the bacon strips on a piece of paper towel, keep the rendered fat and use it to cook one big potato, peeled and diced, until golden. Set aside. Add 1 small, chopped shallot in the pan, let cook for a couple of minutes until softened, then add 3tbsp grade B maple syrup an 1 tbsp water. Let cook for another minute or so and set aside.
Beat 1+1/2 c. heavy cream with 2 large eggs. Add 2 tbsp shredded cheddar, the cooked shallot, salt and black pepper. Put 1 tbsp of potato and bacon in every tart shell, then fill the tarts with the cream mixture and put a sage leaf on top (I needed something green and fresh enough to contrast with the fatty filling, of course if you do not like sage then you might as well just skip this), and pop everything in the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes (or until the quiches are golden). Serve lukewarm. For 10/12 muffin sized quiches.
I have been following Sweet Paul pretty much since the first issue of his oh so pretty food & lifestyle magazine. I love how inspiring his work is and, among all things, Paul actually got me to bake for my dog : his recipe for dog cookies was on one of his first issues and when I saw it I went all Why did I never thought of that?!! - So when I first met Paul I thanked him on behalf of my sweet Olive (not sure if that was actually the best way to introduce myself :-)
However, besides providing better treats for my dog, Sweet Paul has been a source, through the years, of a significant amount of delicious eye candy to me, and I felt totally honored to be asked to share my Happy Dish with his SP's followers. It was actually hard to choose a recipe: I realized I have quite some good old favorites that I love to cook and share, over and over again, and that make me, and others, well, Happy!
I ended up choosing this pasta salad, for it's a true concentrate of summer, which is everything I crave right now: I love how it's a perfectly fresh mix of sweet, juicy, crunchy, salty and tangy, and basil and melon bring me straight in a mediterranean summer mood, every single time. I have shared this salad on so many occasions - pairing it with chatting and sips of cool wine on warm summer eves - and it never failed to operate his magic. It is such a lovely dish for a relaxed get together and, most of all, I still have to find someone that does not love it.
You can find the recipe here, on Sweet Paul magazine