Ham & Leek Quiche

With spring now upon us, we get to enjoy a whole new crop of vegetables.  Leeks are a great spring vegetable which can be used in many different ways.  Here, we have developed a very tasty quiche that you can use them in, as well as your leftover Easter ham.

Ham and Leek Quiche

Ham & Leek Quiche
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Pastry
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 3/4 tsp Salt
  3. 1 cup shortening
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tbsp vinegar
  6. 2 tbsp ice cold water
Filling
  1. 2-3 leeks depending on size, white and light green parts only
  2. 1 1/2 cups cooked ham chopped into cubes
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 2 cups milk
  5. Black Pepper freshly grated
  6. freshly grated Parmesan if desired
Pastry
  1. Sift together flour and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening and cut into dry mixture with pastry cutter or two knives. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
  2. In a small bowl, beat together egg, vinegar, and cold water. Add to the flour mixture and stir together roughly with a fork so it comes together. You don't want to work the pastry too much; it's okay if it looks a bit shaggy when you're finished bringing it together.
  3. Flour your work surface and turn out the pastry. Cut in half and work with one half at a time. Roll until pastry is about 1/4 inch thick. Once the pastry is rolled out, carefully use the rolling pin to transfer it into the pie plate. Gently press the pastry into the edges of the plate and leave any extra around the edges until it has been filled. The pastry is quite resilient, so if it cracks it can easily be repaired simply by bringing the two edges together and pressing. The key is to move as quickly as possible - you don't want to leave the pastry on the counter for too long once it has been rolled.
Filling
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Once the pastry is ready, prepare your leeks. Wash and trim the dark green leaves. Slice thinly, about 1/8" thick, and saute over medium low heat until softened. This may take about 10-15 minutes and you can add some salt to draw out excess moisture. This will reduce the chances of your quiche turning out soggy.
  3. Prepare ham by trimming excess fat and chopping into 1/2" pieces. The bottom of the pastry should be well covered with ham.
  4. Break eggs into a bowl and add milk. Whisk together very well. You don't want any little pieces of yolk visible in the mixture. Season with freshly ground pepper. You can trim the edge of the pastry now, if needed.
  5. Once leeks are finished, add to the pie plate and pour egg mixture over top. Place pie plate onto a cookie sheet, just in case the quiche bubbles over. Slide into oven and bake for 50-55 minutes. The filling will be set, but not solid. It should be a light golden brown on top and the pastry will be golden around the edges.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Stuffing (or Dressing)

One of my favourite side dishes when the holidays roll around is stuffing. There are many, MANY different ways to make it, and who doesn’t love bread?! Our family is a big fan of the boxed favourite, Stovetop Stuffing, while my bf’s family keeps it real and cooks it in the bird. You can add so many things to stuffing to suit your taste, which makes it a great option for holiday dinners. Traditionally, stuffing is cooked in the bird, hence its name. The term dressing is used when it is cooked outside of the bird.

I’ve kept this recipe super simple and the crispy, toasty bread on top and around the edges is soooo good when it is fresh out of the oven. 

 

 

Stuffing
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Ingredients
  1. ~5 cups day-old cubed bread (about 1/2 pound bread)
  2. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  3. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  4. 1 small onion, diced
  5. 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  6. 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  7. 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  8. salt and pepper
  9. 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat oil in medium non stick pan over medium heat. Add celery and onion and saute until celery and onion is soft and translucent (about 8-10 min). Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cube bread and place in large bowl.
  4. Chop the fresh herbs and add to onions and celery in the pan. Cook for 1 min until the herbs become fragrant.
  5. Add the veggie mixture to the bread in the bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Pour half the chicken stock into the bowl with the bread and stir until the bread becomes moist.
  7. Pour into 9x9 glass or baking dish. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the top, along with salt and pepper. Pour the remaining chicken broth over the mixture in the pan.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more.
  9. When it's finished, the bread will be brown and toasty on top and the internal temperature should be about 165F.
Notes
  1. The internal temperature is more important when you are cooking stuffing inside a bird. When it's in a dish, if you bake according to the directions above, it will be fine.
  2. If you are adding meat, make sure it is completely cooked, or very close to completely cooked before adding it to the bread mixture.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/

 

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(Leftover) Turkey Quesadillas

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, spending time with your loved ones and eating until you can’t possibly eat any more! As wonderful as your meals have been, I have a sneaking suspicion that many of you are close to being tired of turkey, if you aren’t already are. So, here is a recipe to add some spice (literally or figuratively – you choose) to that leftover turkey.

Turkey Quesadillas
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tortilla
  2. 1/2 cup grated cheese
  3. 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
  4. 1/4 orange bell pepper, sliced
  5. 1/4 onion sliced
  6. 1/3 cup cooked turkey, shredded or sliced
  7. salt/pepper
  8. salsa
  9. sour cream
Instructions
  1. In medium frying pan, heat a teaspoon of oil and add the onion and red bell peppers. Saute until softened and the onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In large frying pan, put the tortilla in the frying pan. Cover half the tortilla with half the grated cheese. Add the sauteed peppers and onion and turkey to the tortilla. Cover with the remaining cheese.
  3. Fold over the other half of the tortilla, so it looks like a half moon.
  4. Leave in the frying pan until cheese is melted and the bottom is golden brown. Flip the tortilla and repeat on the other side.
Notes
  1. The amounts in this recipe are for one quesadilla. It is really easy to double or triple the recipe for more than one quesadilla.
  2. If you like a bit of heat, add some cayenne or chili pepper to the peppers and onions when you are sauteeing them.
  3. Feel free to enjoy with sour cream or salsa when it's hot and fresh.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Zucchini Fritters

If you are a gardener, you are officially approaching the season of produce, produce, and more produce.  So much produce that you don’t know what to do with it.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, Swiss chard, zucchini, the list goes on.  At the very least this quick recipe for zucchini fritters, or pancakes, should help take care of some of that extra zucchini that you don’t know what to do with!

 

Zucchini Fritters
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated
  2. 1 tbsp salt
  3. 1 egg
  4. 2 tbsp flour
  5. 1 tbsp goat’s cheese
  6. 2 tbsp ricotta
  7. ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  8. 1 tbsp canola oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Place zucchini in a colander and sprinkle salt all over and let sit for 20-30 minutes to drain.
  2. Once you are ready to make the fritters, squeeze as much water as you can from the zucchini. Place in medium bowl.
  3. Add egg and mix thoroughly. Add ricotta and crumble the goat’s cheese as you add it to the mixture. Combine well.
  4. Add the flour and grind some fresh pepper into the mixture. Stir until well combined. The mixture should look like pancake batter.
  5. Heat pan over medium heat and pour oil into pan once it’s hot.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the pan to make approximately 2" diameter cakes in the pan. Fry until they are golden brown (about 3-4 minutes). Flip and fry until the other side is golden brown. The fritters will be nice and moist, so as long as they are golden brown, you don't have to worry about them being cooked through.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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