"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oatmeal Trail Mix Cookies and Semi-Ultimate Quiche

I only had one complaint about Oatmeal Trail Mix Cookies, and it didn't have anything to do with the cookies.

It had to do with the weather.

It has been so humid here that although these cookies were lovely, crisp and ever-so-slightly chewy when they came out of the oven, within twenty minutes they were soggy to the point of falling apart on their cookie racks.

This did not destroy their deliciousness--on the contrary, it made for a great excuse to eat more of them, since as everybody knows, portions of cookies have no caloric impact whatsoever.

Look, I'm getting artistic with my food photos! I stole this idea from Martha Stewart's cookie book. Amazing what you start paying attention to.


Why "Semi-Ultimate" Quiche, and not "Ultimate", as it's listed in the book? Because I neglected to buy the puff pastry the recipe asks for, and had to whip up my own crust from scratch. Hey, an all-butter crust is a pretty good substitute, I think, but I believe "ultimate" is probably called into use when something is not only delicious but user-friendly, and what could be more user-friendly than rolling out a piece of puff pastry to fit a pie plate?

When quiche is done right, it's like food from heaven. And by done right, I mean with cream, people. This recipe is not on Epicurious, but basically it goes like this: cut up and fry some bacon, and throw it in with six eggs and 2 cups creme fraiche. Sprinkle Gruyere on top (I used a blend of Exotic Cheese From the Fruitful Basket That Was Leftover In The Cheese Drawer).

And here's my technical cooking question of the day. We cook quiches for the same amount of time that we cook pies, right? So why do almost all quiche recipes ask you to blind-bake your crust before putting in the filling? I don't get it.

This recipe has a nice touch that prevents any kind of possible bottom-crust sogginess, which is that it has you put a baking sheet in the oven to preheat, and then you put your pie plate on top of that. I did not blind-bake, and my crust was done perfectly (with no burnt crusts from over-baking, thank you very much.)

This is not my quiche. I can't believe how tragic this feels to not be able to get my own photos up here, lousy as they are (soon to change! Thank you, Joe!) But it looks kind of like my semi-ultimate quiche except I didn't use a tart pan.

(edit: card reader fixed! Thanks Teena for the temporary use of your photo and stay tuned readers for better food photos soon...)

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