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Saturday, January 14, 2012

laughing man coffee & Basic Quiche Recipe



I just had the most delicious cup of coffee ever.  Ever.  Smooth and simply perfect, in my opinion. Now, it must be known, that I am a "grande pikes brew with 3 pumps classic and an inch & a half of steamed soy" kinda girl.  Nothing too sweet or frilly for me.  And that is exactly what it takes for me to enjoy my Starbucks bitter, acidic brew.. 3 pumps simple syrup + soy which is sweet and creamy.   And I do enjoy it.  Now.  But it took a long time to get there. Starbucks coffee at 1st taste, I never really liked.  Love their marketing, their branding, their whole 3rd place concept.. but their coffee? No thanks. I like a smooth mug that eases you into the day in comfort and warmth. That is not what Starbucks pours out.  Bitter, too strong.. coffee.  So, I grew to like my pikes place brew and what it needed to become satisfactory. 

So, back to this amazing cup that sits in front of me this morning. Laughing Man Coffee.. Reserve Java Taman Dadar.  The description sounded too good to be true.  CREAMY DARK CHOCOLATE BODY, WITH A BUTTERY MILD EARTHY AND NUTMEG FINISH.  I haven't located the nutmeg, but I can detect the chocolate body and buttery finish.  
Never heard of Laughing Man?  Neither had I.  Until the other day when, oh-so-charming, Hugh Jackman was on daytime talk show the Chew introducing this new coffee company he helped start.  Not only is the man handsome as all get out of town, but he has a wonderful heart.  He helped start this company after meeting a coffee farmer Dukale when he was with World Vision in Ethiopia.  When I say, this cup of coffee is so good it's life changing.. I don't mean just my coffee loving life. Here is a bit from under Hugh Jackman's about...
It was Hugh’s visit to Ethiopia and his friendship with Dukale, a local coffee farmer, that inspired our efforts here at Laughing Man. His hands-on involvement, collaboration and thoughtful insight into the issues Laughing Man is hoping to address, are invaluable. Hugh’s genuine interest and hope for humanity are a source of great strength and belief in our motto "ALL BE HAPPY."
 Anywhoo... head over to their site. read more about it and what it's about.  And then order a pound or 2.  The cost is right on, but shipping is $7.. so, it's best to order a few!   It's that good.  I will be ordering the espresso next.  Dukale's dream.  Indonesia & Ethiopia blend.  Organic, balanced chocolate, smooth finish. Uh, yum.  


 


This morning I am pairing it with my Broccoli Onion Bacon Cheddar Quiche.  Simple, easy.. once you make it, you will know it by heart and whip it up any time you need something warm and comforting, healthy and the best part is there are always leftovers which makes life much easier around here. 

Here's the versatile recipe.  Follow my basic quiche recipe and then always add whatever fresh veggies or leftovers you might have. Use ready-made pie crust here. It works well and saves a lot of time and keeps this recipe super easy.  If you have time and want to knock it out, here is my pate brisee recipe which would work well here too.   

Note:  There is also the cream vs milk issue.  Using heavy cream, this recipe will turn out delicious and sometimes, I opt for it.. if I have it in the house.  Other times, I mentally want a slightly lighter version and I opt for half & half.. still very yum.  But do not, I repeat.. do not opt for milk.  It will not set up properly, it needs the structure of a creamier ingredient.. otherwise it taste kinda flat.  If it's a healthier version you are looking for.. try evaporated milk. (2%) It is a pantry staple and works really well here.  Almost, if not as good as the cream it has the structure that works well in the quiche.  Also, a good thing to know if all you have is milk in the house, is to melt and slightly cool 4-6 tablespoons of butter and whisk this into your 1.5 cups of milk.  Basically, you just made heavy cream.  And it works.

Versatile Basic Quiche

Preheat oven to 375º
   1 ready-made pie crust, thawed
Place this in bottom of un-greased pie dish. (I use pyrex glass) Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together really, really well... or blitz together in a blender or processor.
   6 eggs, beaten
   1.5 cups cream, half & half or evaporated milk (see note above)
   S+P 
   fresh nutmeg, grated (like 4 swipes)
Set aside.
Layer in over the pie crust..
   2 cups broccoli, (cooked tender crisp) roughly chopped
   4-6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
   3/4 cup onion (saute´d in bacon fat or butter, til slightly translucent)
   1.5 cups cheddar cheese

Pour egg mixture over and place on a foil lined baking sheet.  
Bake for 35-45 minutes.  Quiche top will begin to brown and egg in center will be set.  Give it the "jiggle" test to see this.


Versatile.. yes! Quiche is a fun recipe to play and experiment with.  Whatever veggies you have, leftovers are great.  For fresh veggies... Just remember to try and pre-cook, especially if they have a lot of water content. (you will want to squeeze it out a bit before adding)

Here are some of my fav combos..
   Sausage, potato, spinach, carmelized onion with cheddar-mozzarella mix
   Broccoli-rabe, carmelized onion with mozzarella-parmegano reggiano mix
   bacon and chive with goat cheese or swiss
   goat cheese, arugula and spring onion
   leek and ham with swiss or gruyere
   mushroom, carmelized onion, sausage with fontina
   spinach red pepper, feta
   chard, carmelized onion & garlic (cooked with glug balsamic) with mozz-cheddar-jack mix

oh.. it goes on! Have fun and do tell what is your fav quiche? 

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