Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Quiche made with Carrots, Onions, Sundried Tomatoes, Swiss Chard, Ricotta, Swiss, Cheddar, and Parmesan Cheeses

The beauty of making a Quiche during a Storm such as "Hurricane Sandy" is that if you lose power and have to eat it cold, it is still just as wonderful and elegant as serving it hot. It can also be a meal for any time of day, breakfast, lunch, or dinner! I made this up in advance to keep during the Hurricane and my husband couldn't wait to eat it for breakfast! I even had a piece for lunch. Luckily we didn't lose power and I was able to make a salmon dinner tonight but if I wasn't able to do that, I could have served this with a salad and been as good as gold. Storm cooking at it's best! So if need be, remember doing something like this before a storm! I think it works well for snow storms too!


This is a Three Layered Quiche with a Pâté Brisee Crust. See Crust recipe at this link.

I lined a glass pie plate with this crust.
I then did a saute in olive oil of 1 chopped onion, a little grated carrot, and about 1/2 c. sun dried tomatoes. After the onion was clear, I placed this on the bottom layer of the quiche crust.  I then cooked another onion in some oil separately in a frying pan until clear and placed it in a food processor. I then took about 1 1/2 c. cooked swiss chard (you can use spinach) from my sisters garden and whizzed it up in the food processor with onion and about 1 1/2 c. of ricotta cheese. I made my second layer with this. I then places 3 slices of swiss cheese on top of that as a layer. For the top layer I whizzed up three eggs, a little nutmeg, with 1/2 c. milk and 1/3 c. grated cheddar cheese (you can use swiss) and then poured the mixture over the top and then topped that with 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese. I baked this in an oven heated to 425 degrees for 10 min. and then turned it down to 350 for an additional 30-35 minutes.

This is what the pie looked like going into the oven!

Take it out of the oven when it is golden brown! You can serve it right away or save it for a later time and reheat. You can even serve this cold! A wonderful repast and so versatile!

Happy Cooking!

Hurricane Sandy Just Before Noon - Oct 29, 2012

Top Gloucester Gourmet Stories for Mon., Oct. 29, 2012



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gloucester Gourmet Top Stories Sunday Oct 28



Thursday, October 25, 2012

French Honey Apple-Blueberry-Cranberry Cake

French Honey Apple-Blueberry-Cranberry Cake
This is an adaptation of the Classic "Joy of Cooking Recipe". I have been making this cake since the 1970's 1 Deep Dish 8" Pie Pan
Preheat oven to 425
and it is a family favorite. It is so versatile because you can use any type of fruit and it makes an impressive little topping without a lot of sugar and fat.

I use a:
Pie Plate or other large cake Pan and I Preheat my oven to 425 degrees.

Fruit on Bottom - Batter on Top
Grease the pan and cover the bottom well with 2 c or more peeled sliced apples and blueberries soaked in vodka for this I used whole blueberries that had been soaking in my blueberry cordial recipe link is below.

Sprinkle the fruit with
1/2 c. honey
Cinamon or nutmeg
grated rid and juice of 1 lemon
Dredge with
1 Tbls all-purpose flour
Pour over surface
2 - 4 Tbls melted butter
Prepare the following batter. Sift together
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c honey
1 tsp double-acting baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. Blueberry Cordial or Vanilla Extract See Blueberry Cordial Recipe: 

Making Blueberry Cordial and Blackberry Brandy for Holiday Gifts

Beat and add
2 egg yolks
1 tbls melted butter

1/4 c milk

Beat and add
2 egg yolks
1 tbls melted butter
1/4 c milk
what it looks like when you take it out of oven!
Flip onto a pretty plate and then top with whipped egg whites!
Beat these ingredients with swift strokes until blended. Cover the frit with the batter. Bake the cake for about 30 minutes. Reverse it onto a platter. Cool slightlly.
whip egg whites
Use the 2 egg whites for Meringue and brown as directed.

Place eggwhites on top of cake and place under broiler in your oven for 
several minutes to brown - keep an eye on it closely! 
Serve on a pretty plate. 

I can't tell you how many times I have whipped up this cake for last minute guests or even a surprise birthday cake! The topping gives it a baked Alaska Feel and meanwhile you haven't fussed with all that sugary frosting and waiting for the cake to cool. It is made with Fruit so it is healthy. I substitute Honey for sugar because I have beehives and want to use my backyard honey and this is the perfect sweet!

Happy Cake Baking,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Super Yummy Kale Chips using Vita Mix Blender and Excalibur Dehydrator

The BEST EVER Kale Chips!
These are THE BEST Kale Chips I have ever eaten if I do say so myself! I have tried doing them in the oven with olive oil and salt and was really dissatisfied with the results. I have tried coating them and then dehydrating them in my Excalibur Dehydrator with huge success!
First of all I grow a row of kale in my garden every year and it grows like the dickens. Some people are just not huge Kale fans so it is kind of one of my plants that gets ignored a bit. I decided to try doing Kale Chips in my Dehydrator this year and I want to use up my Kale before a killing frost sets in so this is what I cooked up and it is REALLY GOOD!!
 I started off the coating with my own version of Sun Dried Tomatoes which I made myself in a recent blog post called: 

"Adventures in Dehydration Preserving Tomatoes a Natural and Cost Efficient Way - Making Sun Dried Tomatoes from My Backyard Garden Produce"! Here is the Link:

First I placed in a Bowl to Soak: 15-20 Dehydrated Tomatoes, (I think you could substitute the ones you buy in oil) 1/2 c. sunflower seeds, 3/4 c. walnuts, 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds, 1/4 c. raisins. 1/4 c. chia seeds, and 2 c. filtered water. Make sure there is enough water to cover everything in the bowl.

Cover the above ingredients in a bowl with filtered water
for 1/2 hour to 1 hour

NEXT: I got out my trusty Vita Mix Blender and into that I popped: 1 stalk celery, 1 peeled carrot, 1 onion, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder or Taco Seasoning Powder (adjust to your taste for spice), juice from 1/4 of a Lemon and whiz up in blender until a very combined paste. 

Whizzing up the Veggie Mixture

NEXT: After I whiz up the Veggie Mixture in the Vita Mix, I add the bowl of soaked seeds, nuts, and dried tomatoes to the blender into the Veggie Mixture. I may have to add a bit more water to make the paste a little thinner. I added 1/2 c. more water. When it is all combined, it should be about 4 cups of paste.
Whiz Soaked Nuts, Seeds, and Sun Dried Tomatoes
with Veggie Paste in Vita Mix Blender
I take 1 cup of the veggie/nut paste and coat a bowl with a rubber spatula and then add freshly torn kale. When you tear the Kale top make chip size pieces, make sure to take off the middle vein.

Add Torn Kale Pieces to bowl
Mix kale until each piece of Kale is Coated
After it is coated place the Kale Chips on Paraflexx Sheets. There is enough coating to do 4-5 racks of Kale Chips and 1 big bunch of torn kale.

Close up of what paste looks like coating each piece of Kale

I got 5 racks of Kale Chips out of this one Batch and this is my Excalibur Dehydrator being loaded up.

I processed the kale Chips for 2 hours at 135 degrees and then turned down the temperature to 115 degrees and dehydrated for about 18 more hours or overnight.
The next morning I had the crispest, tastiest Kale Chips I had ever eaten and my husband and I were eating them out of the dehydrator before we even had breakfast!

This is a close up of what the Dehydrated Kale Chips look like! They are super crisp and I got about 6 c. of loosely packed Kale Chips from this recipe. 

I think you could experiment with different nuts, nutritional yeasts,  dates, cranberries, and other herbs and salts for flavoring with huge success. I loved these Kale Chips and I can't wait to make another batch!! Super Super Yum and Healthy! There is no reason why an unspicy version wouldn't be your child's favorite snack!

Happy Dehydrating,

Monday, October 22, 2012

Clam Chowder made with Clams dug on the Annisquam River by my husband Charlie Abbott

CLAM CHOWDERThis particular soup is historically very important on Cape Ann. In the old days, folks didn't have much variety to eat. They dug the clams, maybe had a cow for milk and butter, grew some potatoes and onions. This particular dish nurtured whole families on many a cold night. It is Simple and Delicious!
Washed Clams before Shucking
Shucked Clams
Charlie still has the hard bottom inflatable in the water and the day before yesterday wasn't windy and low tide was at around 10AM so he and his brother dave took a ride up the river and dug some clams. We were really in the mood for a chowder so thats what we made with his treasures.

Cleaning Clams

Charlie cleaning Clams
First Charlie carefully cleans the clams by cutting off the tip, taking out intestines and bellies out, and taking the slime off the neck of the clams. He then chops the clams finely.

Meanwhile, I chop an 1 large onion and sauté it in a few tablespoons of butter, then add four large peeled and cubed PEI or locally sourced potatoes and sauté that for a few minutes. Do not overcook, cook on low heat slowly in a big heavy pot. I often salt and pepper at this time. I use an enameled cast iron pot. Next, I added 3/4 c. chopped clams and sauté on a lower heat. I add about 4 -5 cups of milk and 1 c. of cream. Cook over a lower heat for about 30-45 minutes before serving. Do not boil. 
Cook for 45 minutes in Heavy Pot over very low heat
Serve in a pretty Bowl and Underliner
Serve in a lovely bowl with an underliner and lots of Oyster Crackers. Cooking a chowder is really quite easy and it makes a nice light supper with a nice home made french bread , a glass of wine and a tossed salad.

 I like to sprinkle some chopped parsley from my garden just before serving. SO Good and it is fun making this historic dish with my husband!

Happy Chowder Making!


Angel Hair Pasta with Swiss Chard and Sun Dried Tomatoes - Served this with Boiled Lobster and it was Super Yum!

 On Saturday Night, my sister Shelley came to visit from New hampshire. She had cut back her Swiss Chard before more strong frosts and brought be some gorgeous fronds of the stuff from her garden. I had read a recipe recently where a cook had used a Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato mixture for a pasta dish and I thought I could adjust it to use Swiss Chard instead of Spinach plus use some of my own Dehydrated "Sun Dried" tomatoes in the process. Sun Dried tomatoes add a very interesting tanginess to any dish and I was wanting to try it.
First I sautéed some chopped onions in a 1/3 c. olive oil and then added about 1 c. of my own deydrated sun dried tomatoes. I did a post this summer my Adventures in Dehydration
My Husband, Charlie's,  Gloucester Harbor Bugs!
where you can learn all about how I made my own Sun Dried tomatoes from my garden bounty. I then tossed in the swiss chard, about 8c. chopped. It really cooks down. I also added a couple slices of my dried chili peppers, salt, and pepper. I also added a swig of Marsala Wine over the chard and then covered it and cooked it down. While it was cooking, a made some Angel Hair Pasta in a separate pot and then at the end I tossed the cooked Angel Hair into the Pot with the Sun Dried Tomatos and Swiss Chard Mixture.  I actually served this with a Boiled Lobster Dinner I made as a side dish.  Shelley and I ended up putting our shucked hot lobster straight into the pasta. It was super delicious and I have no picture of that because we were so busy eating it. 
Tomatoes and other Veggies from my Garden

Jars of Dehydrated Tomatoes from my Garden

I will probably do another post which will be more organized using some Fall Vegetables from my garden. I still have Kale, Broccoli, and Potatoes with the Sun Dried Tomato Idea. This was the first year I have ever dehydrated vegetables from my garden. It was fun and a way to preserve things which didn't involve lots of hot steaming water and boiling jars on a 90 degree day. It also avoids all the salt of pickling and is extremely healthy. Most of the recipes I have found using sun dried tomatoes use tomatoes packed in oil. This is why I used a healthy dose of olive oil when I sautéed the onions and tomatoes in this recipe. I think you can probably do it using less oil too because the taste of the tomatoes is very distinct and delicious.

Happy Cooking Everyone! Thanks for Reading!

Melissa Abbott

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Honey Oatmeal Bread with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Raisins

Honey Oatmeal Bread with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Raisins

Every wonder what to do with that left over Oatmeal? For this bread, I had some leftover steelcut oatmeal made with raisins and walnuts.  The recipe below is how I did it!
1 1/2 leftover cooked cereal with honey, raisins, and walnuts in it
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. Dried Yeast
5 c. +- flour (I used 2 c. White King Arthur and 3 c. Whole Wheat King Arthur Flour)
1 teasp. salt

Mix everything together in Kitchen aid mixer with dough hook, until it forms a ball. Let rise in warm place for 1 hour and then form into 2 small loaves and place in loaf pans and let rise for 1 more hour and then back for 25 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven.

Just as an FYI: I used my own local honey from my beehives in this recipe so it made it extra special good. A good firm sandwich bread and very good for toasting.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Apple Cranberry Pie made with Pate Brisee Dough using my own Honey and Dried Cranberries

Cranberry Apple Honey Pie made with Pate Brisee

I recently visited Russell's Orchards in Ipswich, MA

Local Cortland Apples from Russell's

Pate Brisee Pie Crust - Makes enough for 2 crusts or 1 Apple Pie

Using a Food Processor place the first 4 ingredients into the food processor and pulse until you have a granular looking pea sized meal. While food processor is running add 6 Tbsp ice water and run food processor until a ball forms. DO not over mix. Make two balls of dough and place in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour while you peel and slice the apples.

21/2 c. King Arthur Flour plus a little extra for rolling out dough
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp sugar
6-8 Tbsps. ice water

Apple Mixture over Bottom Crust
Core, Peel, and Slice 4-5 Large Cortland Apples into a bowl, add 1/2 c. Honey, 2 Tbs. Cinnamon, 1/2 c. dried cranberries (I take fresh cranberries and dry them in my Excalibur Dehydrator) and 2 Tbsp. Flour. Toss everything together so the apple slices are coated.

Roll out the dough using the extra flour to make 2 make 2 crusts. I use a pastry mat to do this and it makes clean up so easy.

Place Apple mixture in pie plate after lining it with a crust and then place the 2nd crust on top and flute the edges with your thumb. I brush milk across the top.

My own Dried Cranberries
I preheat oven to 425 degrees and then I place pie in middle to high rack and I immediately turn down oven to 350 degrees and set timer for 45 minutes. At 1/2 way point, I take out the pie and place it on a bottom rack so the crust doesn't get overdone.

Pie with Milk Wash ready to go into the Oven!
After 45 minutes I watch the pie carefully and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from Oven and let cool a bit before serving. Wonderful with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

There is something really amazing about baking Apple Pies in the Fall. Maybe it is the leaves turning and the chill in the air. The small in the house is out of this world!

A wonderful way to use the Honey from my hives, local apples, and my own dried cranberries.

I hope you can smell the pie just by looking at these photos. It is exquisitely beautiful!

Happy Fall, Melissa