Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jerk Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Hash

I feel like every time I write a new post, I am all like "Jeez, it has been FOREVER since I've posted and I'm so so so sorry!".  It is true; I have been a very bad blogger.  I simply have not have had as much time lately.

Reason 1:  I joined Orangetheory Fitness.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I like this workout.  I'm the type of person that needs to be pushed, and boy do they push me!  

Reason 2:  Being an adult is kind of sucky sometimes.  Working full time AND working out after work leaves me with about 12 minutes total to throw together some sort of edible dinner. So my meals have been pretty boring and simple lately. 

Reason 3:  It has been so unbearably hot and humid here, that most of my weekends have been spent cooling off at the pool all day.  DC folks- WHY does it feel like a Florida summer here???  Yuck!

The good news is that I did manage to throw together this wholesome breakfast two weeks ago and it was AWESOME!  I had just returned back from the gym and was starving.  After a quick survey of our kitchen, I determined that I had all of the ingredients to whip up a kick ass hash.   Voila!  The most flavorful and satisfying breakfast was born.  This hash has a bit of a spice to it, but in a good way.  The homemade jerk seasoning packs a TON of flavor.    

Who needs a fancy brunch out when you can make something this good at home???  Try it, I dare ya :)  

1 large sweet potato, cut in small cubes (about 2 cups chopped)
1/2 large sweet onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound chicken chorizo sausage
2-4 eggs
olive oil
salt & pepper

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the sweet potatoes on the sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes until slightly softened and browned.  Remove from oven and let cool.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, brown the chicken sausage. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil if it is dry.  To the sausage, add 2 teaspoons of the jerk seasoning.  Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.  To the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1-2 teaspoons of jerk seasoning, onion, red peppers, and garlic.  Cook until translucent and caramelized.

Add chicken and sweet potatoes back to the the pan and cook for 4-6 minutes until all ingredients are incorporated and warmed through.  Keep heat on low while you fry up some eggs.  Serve with a fried egg and garnish with cilantro.

(Here is my go-to method for the perfect sunny side up egg)

Jerk Seasoning
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chipotle powder
2 teaspoons dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.  Use as a rub or seasoning to jazz up meat or seafood.

Adapted from Bobby Flay

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ham + Leek + Gruyere Deep Dish Quiche


The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.  First, because of the three day weekend, but secondly, because it is our wedding anniversary.  We were married on July 5, 2008 and it was the most perfect weekend ( you can see an read a little more about that here).  Last year, we were in the process of moving and spent the holiday with friends.  This year, we decided to stay here in D.C. for the weekend and are looking forward to some much needed FUN!

I actually made this quiche the weekend after Memorial Day for friends that were visiting from Jersey (Hi Megan, Jeff, Jen and Danny!).  Clearly, I have not been the best at staying on top of  posting regularly.  Our friends were actually guinea pigs for this quiche, as I was assigned to making many quiches for a wedding shower and I wanted to make sure this was a solid recipe before I served it to 40+ women. I am proud to report that this quiche passed with flying colors.

This crust is un-freaking-believable!  It is so flaky and buttery.  Plus, using a spring form pan to make this deep dish is simply a show stopper.  The best part is that you can make it ahead of time and just warm it up in the over before your guests arrive.

For the shower, I took the shortcut and went with premade pie crusts.  I just didn't have the time, energy or enough spring form pans!  However, I did make a vegetarian version with roasted butternut squash, kale and goat cheese (inspired by this lovely bakery in SOHO, Maman).

I hope this recipe inspires you to make your own version and may all your quiche dreams come true :)  Happy Fourth everyone!

Deep Dish Quiche Crust
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cubed
10 ounces cream cheese
heavy pinch of salt
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
pie weights or uncooked beans (for baking)
non-stick cooking spray
10" spring form pan 

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, add the butter, cream cheese and salt and mix lightly. Slowly add the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time.  Once the dough comes together in a ball, turn out onto a floured surface and pat until all loose bit form a ball.  You want to see clumps of the butter/cream cheese mixture in the dough because that is what makes it flaky! You can also do this in a food processor or by hand.  

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Once the dough has chilled, remove dough and place on a heavily floured surface.  Roll out the dough until it is about a 1/4 inch thick circle.  You want the circle to be big so it can fit in the spring form pan.

Spray the spring form pay with a non-stick spray and carefully place the dough in.  Working it carefully, form the dough in the pan going all the way up the sides.  You want some overhang around the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze in the pan for at least 2 hours to overnight.

When you are ready to assemble the quiche, remove pan from freezer and place a large piece of parchment in the well.  Fill with pie weights or beans (you can save these beans for other baking adventures!) and partially bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  The overhang will most likely fall off during this time, so best to bake it on a cookie sheet.  If it doesn't fall off, press on the edges to remove the overhanging crust.

Remove from oven, let cool and prepare the filling.

Ham + Leek + Gruyere Filling
2 tablespoons fat (I used 1T. butter and 1T. bacon grease..mmmmm)
1 pound ham, cubed
2 cups chopped leeks
8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
2 cups sour cream
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
touch of fresh grated nutmeg

Chop up the ham in small cubes and set aside.  Shred both cheeses and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat the fat over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the ham to partially brown and heat through.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, milk, cream pepper, salt, and nutmeg.  In the cooled, partially baked crust, layer the ham and leek mixture and cheese. Slowly pour the custard mixture over the  ham/leek/cheese, gently tapping the pan on the counter to make sure it permeates through the filling.  Be sure that the custard fills the pan all of the way to the top.

Place the quiche in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, until the quiche is slightly browned on the top and the center is no longer "jiggly".

I actually baked the quiche the day before and then refrigerated after it was done.  To reheat, carefully remove the side of the spring form pan while the quiche is cold and place in a 300 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes to warm all of the way through.

Slice and serve this masterpiece!

Adapted from Foodie Crush 

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