Friday, July 16, 2010

A Taste of Santa Fe

Alex and I just got back from a trip to Santa Fe.  Oh GOODNESS, do I LOVE that town!  I think it is most appropriate for cities to put in place ordinances requiring builders to stay with the same general design when constructing buildings.  It gives the location a unified feel.  I dig it! 

While we were in Santa Fe we hit several FABULOUS restaurants, museums, shops, cathedrals, art galleries, ancient indian dwellings and a SWEET outdoor concert featuring Cuban music.  I wanna move to Santa Fe!  Since I can't do that right now, I'll settle on a reminder of the yummy food we had.

On our first day cruising around Santa Fe we visited a restaurant called, Cafe Pasqual.  The main dining room was a decent size and they were able to fit an inordinate number of people for the lunch service.  They offer organic soda's, organic food AND a kick ass cookbook so you don't have to miss out on the experience. 

The first recipe that caught my eye in Cafe Pasqual's cook book was the Chorizo Quiche with Cornmeal Crust.  I LOVE chorizo.  And if this cook book isn't cool enough, they have a recipe to make your OWN chorizo!!!  SWEET!!!!!

Chorizo Quiche with Cornmeal Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 large organic egg - you can use the straight up hormoned eggs if you don't have organic. :)
1 teaspoon ice water, plus more if needed

Chorizo Filling:
3 large organic eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
8 oz chorizo sausage, crumbled and uncooked - I JUST BARELY noticed this says to use uncooked chorizo.  I cooked mine up because I didn't think it would cook fully in the quiche otherwise.
1/2 cup chopped green onions, green and white parts
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

To Make the Crust:
Lightly butter a glass baking dish 9 inches in diameter by 2 1/2 inches high.  Put the flour, cornmeal and butter into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Process in short bursts until it has the consistency of small peas.  Add in the egg and egg yolk and process again for a moment.  Turn this mixture out onto a work surface and add in just as much ice water as it takes to work the dough into a firm ball....I didn't need to add any additional water because it was pretty warm when I made the dough and the butter was all the moisture I needed. :)

Flour your work surface and a rolling pin.  Roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick and fit it into the glass dish.  Crimp th edges of the dough and refrigerate the crust for at least 20 minutes before baking to allow the gluten in th edough to relax.  Prepare the filling while the crust chills.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the eggs and the heavy cream into a bowl and which together.  Add the chorizo and green onions and which again.  (I highly suggest cooking the chorizo before hand - I think it is weird it doesn't require it.)

Preheat the crust for 5 minutes (it is funny to have to re-type a recipe after I have made it, because I TOTALLY missed this step when I was making it), then sprinkle the bottom of the shell with half of the cheese.  Pour the filling mixture over it and top with the rest of the cheese.  Sprinkler the top with the cayenne pepper.  Bake for about 40 minutes, until the custard is set, the top is a light golden color, and a knife inserted into the center comes out cleen.  Allow for about 30 minutes of cooling time.  Serve while warm.  DON'T SKIMP ON THE COOLING TIME.  When mine came out of the oven it was all puffed up.  It needed the full 30 minutes to sink and set completely.

I was kind of surprised this recipe didn't have any salt and pepper in it.  I added a tiny bit while I was cooking it.  I LOVED the cornmeal crust on this quiche.  What an ingenious idea!  The ingredients for this dish are so simple, I was a little surprised at the burst of flavor when I tasted it.  This is DEFINITELY going into my repetoire of recipes for future use!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I have started a 4th of July tradition of making individual cherry pies to help celebrate the festivites.  This is the second year in a row I have made the yummy goodness.  When I was a kid we used to go to the Hostess store and pick out our favorite pie flavor.  They had cherry, blackberry, blueberry, vanilla and chocolate pudding pies....Oh, the memory of having one of those pies in my small childhood hand.  And now it ROCKS that I can make ANY flavor I choose.  YES! 

It took me awhile to perfect this recipe.  Many of the recipes out there require you to deep fry your pie.  Yeah....I don't deep fry ANYTHING anymore.  This is a total side note....but today we went to the arts festival here in Colorado Springs and they were serving giant corn dogs.  The novelty of a giant corn dog was more than I could handle and I purchased one.  Oh goodness, did I get sick to my stomach!  UG!  Deep frying is BA-A-A-A-D!  Back to pies....I figured if you bake real pies, why couldn't I back my individual fruit pies?  BINGO!

4th of July Fruit Pies!
Cherry Filling:
4 cups cherries, rinsed, stemmed and pitted

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine cherries, sugar and lemon juice in pan and cook down until the cherries have released some of their juices, about 10-15 minutes.  Add almond extract and cornstarch.  Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the juice becomes a thick sauce.  Allow sauce to cool before use.

At this point you can use the premade pie crusts from the grocery store, or if you feel adventurous, you can use my recipe for pie crusts.  Roll out the pie crust and cut into 3-4 inch circles.  I used a regular cereal bowl to ensure my circles were all the same size.  Spoon about 8-9 cherries with sauce into the center of the pie crust and fold the crust over on itself.  Crimp the two edges together to create a seal.  Do your best not to let the filling seep out the edges or you will get a bad seal.  Cut a small whole in the pie and place on a cookie sheet.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees and cook for 11-13 minutes.

Glaze:  From Rebecca Rather Rather Sweet Bakery cookbook
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all together and whisk out lumps.  Use a pastry brush to brush over warm pastries.  Allow pastry to cool before serving.