Po-Quiche

I honestly have no idea what to call this recipe! I wanted to make something for a brunch and I saw a lot of recipes that were quiches. I thought to myself, “Well, yeah, quiche. Everybody has quiche for brunch.” I don’t like being one among numbers. I am a Sagittarius through and through and enjoy being in the spotlight. That’s why I played center field in softball and was a point guard in basketball. I had to do something different!

The name comes from my not so creative mind that combines a typical quiche with potatoes. Since in all honesty, that is what it is. Instead of using a pie shell, I used potatoes and created a casserole.

PoQuiche

Ingredients:
4 potatoes; peeled and sliced
baby spinach
4 breakfast sausage links cooked and sliced
8 oz. Swiss Cheese sliced
8 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 eggs
1 cup light cream

Directions:
1- coat the sliced potatoes in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste
2- spray a casserole dish with cooking spray
3- layer the potatoes to cover the bottom of the casserole dish
4- add a layer of baby spinach
5- add the breakfast sausage
6- add a layer of sliced Swiss cheese
7- create a second layer of potato, followed by spinach
8- add the crumbled bacon
9- add a second layer of Swiss cheese
10- cover with shredded mozzarella
11- mix eggs and cream together and pour to cover
12- cook in a preheated oven. 350o for 40 minutes
13- let cool for 10 minutes and serve

We paired this brunch with a non-vintage Blanc de Noir from Gloria Ferrer.

~Sláinte!

Mexican Chicken Pot Pie

Mexican Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients
1 box prepared pie shells (2 shells)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
olive oil to coat pan
2 cans condensed chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese, softened
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables ( I use peas, carrots, stringbeans)
3 Tbs. butter, melted
1 package Old El Paso taco seasoning
1 package Old El Paso fajita seasoning

Directions
1- About two hours prior to cooking, melt butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add chopped chicken and coat.  Mix the taco and fajita seasoning together and pour over the chicken. Shake to coat completely and let marinade at room temperature.
2- Preheat oven to 375oF. Spray a deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. Arrange one pie crust on the bottom of the pan.
3- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the chicken and cook until no longer pink. Stir in the chicken soup, cream cheese and tomatoes. Stir until melted. Pour in chicken broth. (if too thin, let simmer for awhile) Stir in the mixed vegetables.
4- Pour chicken mixture into the prepared pie pan. Place the top crust on top, crimping the edges to seal. Slice a few openings into the top pie crust. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
5- Bake in pre-heated oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

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We paired this meal with a 2014 Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon. IMG_2619 (1)

Peanut Butter Pasta

Peanut Butter Pasta

Ingredients:
1 lb pasta (I like rigatoni)
three cloves garlic
2 pieces chicken breast, cubed and cooked
1 can chicken stock (low salt)
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 cup milk
1 cup chunky peanut butter

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.

Sauce:

–          Sauté garlic in oil in a non-stick pan.

–          After garlic browns.  Add about 1 cup chicken stock (low salt).  Careful of splatters.  Add slowly and cover with a lid.

–          While chicken stock starts to simmers, with lid removed, add ground ginger, cinnamon, and a few table spoons soy sauce.  Stir in to dissolve.

–          After simmering about 10 minutes, add about 1 cup milk.  Continue to simmer 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

–          Add from 1 cup peanut butter.  I like chunky, but not required. Whisk into the sauce.

–          Continue to cook and thicken sauce about 5 minutes to heat through.  If it gets too thick, add more chicken stock.  If not thick enough, add a tablespoon peanut butter at a time.

Once the right consistency, add the cooked pasta into the pan and toss to coat.  You can add broccoli to give it some color and vegetables, but that is not necessary.

Serve immediately otherwise it gets too thick.

 

This dinner was prepared in honor of Open That Bottle Night (#OTBN) and was paired with 2013 Nostre Pais by Michel Gassier.

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Bacon and Spinach Quiche

I love quiche! I actually never have it for breakfast or brunch, it is a main dinner meal for me. It is great even on a weeknight because it is easy to through together.

Bacon and Spinach Quiche


Ingredients:
1 premade pie shell at room temperature
1 cup baby spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
12 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled
4 Jumbo eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1 – Preheat oven to 350o F.
2- Unroll pie shell and place into pie dish.
3- Layer the baby spinach, bacon and swiss cheese into the shell.
4- Mix eggs, heavy cream and salt and pepper then pour into shell.
5- Bake for 35 minutes or until slightly browned.
6- Let set by cooling for 10 minutes. Serve.

Now, if you were going to make this dish for brunch, a mimosa would be outstanding! But as a dinner dish, I went with a Chardonnay.  I am not a big fan of the butterbombs, but if you are , that would be perfect. I went with a J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay. This wine has gone through malolactic fermentation, so there is a hint of creaminess. It was an exceptional pairing.

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~Sláinte!

Pasta Carbonara

This is one of my favorite meals to make. It is so simple and quick to pull together and it is always a crowd pleaser.  Another fantastic thing about this meal, is that it is super easy to modify the amount of ingredients to make it as a single serving or for a full family.

Pasta Carbonara


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 pound thick spaghetti
1/2 bag frozen peas
1 Tbs olive oil (plus extra to pour over pasta)
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
6 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1- In a large pot bring enough salted water to cover pasta to a boil.

2- While water is boiling, cook bacon (I use a microwave) until crispy and set aside. Put one Tbs olive oil in pan and cook chopped onion until translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chopped bacon.

3- Prepare eggs by cracking and mixing in with salt and pepper. ALL INGREDIENTS MUST BE READY TO GO AS SOON AS PASTA IS OUT OF WATER. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE PASTA IS STILL HOT WHEN YOU ADD THE EGGS.

4- Cook pasta according to directions to al dente. With one minute left, drop frozen peas into boiling water with pasta. Drain and immediately return to same pot you cooked it in. Pour enough olive oil over so the pasta does not stick. Quickly mix in the bacon, onion and garlic. Add Parmesan cheese and then immediately pour the eggs over. Stir to mix completely. Serve immediately.

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We paired this meal with a Cabernet Franc from Lang and Reed in Napa California. The is a lighter body Cab Franc so it did not over power the meal. In addition, the smokiness of the bacon was ideal to bring out the earthiness flavors of the wine.

Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage

I’m at it again. Well, honestly, once you make one pumpkin dish, you need to make a second since the pumpkin puree can is so large!

Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage

INGREDIENTS
2 pieces of sausage (sweet or spicy, your choice); sliced
2 tbs. olive oil
1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz)
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
3 cloves of garlic; chopped
1 small onion; chopped

1/2 pound shaped pasta (I used Campanelle)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1- Cook pasta according to directions. Drain when done.
2- In a large pan, warm oil and cook sausage until browned. (I actually grilled the sausage first, then sliced them and browned in pan)
3- Remove sausage and cook garlic and  onion until onion is translucent.
4- Add chicken broth and pumpkin puree and cook until boiling.
5- Add cooked pasta to mixture and coat. Return sausage to pan and stir.
6- Salt and pepper to taste.
6- Serve immediately. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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Wine pairing suggestions:
White – Pinot Grigio, crisp Chardonnay, Riesling from Alsace
Red – Syrah, lighter Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Malbec

Pumpkin Rice

Oh yeah! It is Fall. This is my favorite season of the year. The leaves begin to change color, its the perfect weather to take a long hike, and it is PUMPKIN season!  I am a pumpkin fiend. Well, I’m a weird pumpkin fiend. I love pumpkin food, but I don’t like pumpkin pie or pumpkin drinks. I know, I’m weird!

Pumpkin Rice


INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cans of chicken broth (14.5 oz. cans)
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic; chopped
2 fresh sprigs of thyme
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz can)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1-In a large, deep pot, add the olive oil and butter and heat over medium  heat.
2- Once the butter is melted, add the onion, garlic,and thyme, stirring occasionally. Cook until the onions are translucent.
3- Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter and oil.
4- Add the broth and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
5- Add the pumpkin puree and stir to incorporate. Add the spices and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6- Serve warm, sprinkle with as much Parmesan cheese as desired.

We paired this meal with an Achaval Ferrer 2012 Quimera which is a blend comprised of:
50% Malbec, Medrano and Luján from Cuyo
24% Cabernet Franc, from Tupungato
16% Merlot, from Tupungato
8% Cabernet Sauvignon, old vines of Medrano and Tupungato
2% Petit Verdot

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Disclosure of wine sample submission:  I received this wine at no cost from Achaval-Ferrrer and Protocol Wine Studio. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own. Read more about Malbec here