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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pollock Fish Fajitas with Navy Beans

Oh California.. I miss you so..
Fajita plates are my transition into outdoor cooking weather.  They make me feel like I'm at a picnic because I could have used my plancha to do the last minute veg cooking, but didn't because it was too cold outside.
Exactly the same as my last fajitas, except for the fish instead of turkey meat... Or just like my fish burritos but with different beans and plating style.
Pollock Fish Fajitas
Serves 4
Ingredients
4 Pollock filets (colin), cubed
1 garlic clove, grated
few pinches fleur de sel
squeeze from 1/2 lime
few grinds black pepper
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chile powder (optional if serving with spicy beans)
1+1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced into moons
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 green chile, sliced (optional if serving with spicy beans)
Directions
1.  Rub the grated garlic onto the fish cubes and sprinkle on some fleur de sel, black pepper, cumin,  coriander, chile powder, and paprika.  Add the lime juice, rub in to make sure everything is evenly distributed.  Set aside and let marinate for at least 10 minutes (while you chop everything else.)
2.  Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil on high in a wok or heavy based pan.  Add the onion slices and stir fry until just translucent, then add the bell pepper and green chile slices with a pinch of fleur de sel.  Cook on high, stirring for about 3-5 minutes.  Reserve.
3.  Heat the other Tbsp olive oil into the same wok.  Add the marinated turkey slices and cook until nicely colored.
4.  Add the vegetables to the meat and heat through.  You want the bell peppers to be crisp, so don't over-cook them into mush.

Smokey Navy Beans
Serves 6
Ingredients
3/4 cup dried white navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
1/4 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 bay leaves
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 chicken or veg bouillon cube
1 tsp coarse sea salt
5 chipotle ancho chiles with their sauce
4-5 cups water
1 small can corn
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
Directions
1.  Place everything up to the water in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for at least 6 hours.
2.  Add the corn, pepper, and cumin.  Stir to heat through, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
3.  Remove the bay leaves and whole chiles before serving.  If the chiles burst, the beans will be way too spicy.  By removing them, you can decide which plate you would like to add the chile to.. (by the way, it's always my plate that wins).

Fajita Plate Garnish
cooked rice (I used a trio of Basmati, Brown, and Thai Red rice)
shredded cabbage
shredded swiss or gruyère
dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions
tortillas (unfortunately, not pictured, but necessary to call this a "fajita plate")
I love the way changing one ingredient can transform a regular "classic" dish into a completely different work of art.  For the fajitas, I switched out the meat which is usually either flank steak or chicken for fish.  The fish works so well in these types of dishes.  Be sure to use a white firmed flesh fish and use filets to avoid any bones.
For the beans, I switched out the usual black or pinto beans for white navy beans, or "haricot lingot" which I lightly sprouted before cooking.  That part is optional and the sprouts were so tiny that it didn't make any difference in cooking time.
Now I need to find some masa harina (that doesn't cost 12€/kg) and a tortilla press to finish this job...

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pan-Fried Chicken Liver and Apples

It is quite difficult to get a good photo of a bunch of chicken livers, but I did try my best.  As Spring approaches, liver and gall bladder stimulating foods are encouraged, which includes sour foods, leafy green vegetables, and, of course, liver itself.
Sometimes, life just seems to synchronize itself all the way onto your plate...
Serves 4
Ingredients
300g chicken livers
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 golden apples, peeled and sliced
5-6 small shallots, sliced
1 cup savoy cabbage, shredded
1 tsp dried rosemary
some olive oil (about 2 Tbsp, but I didn't measure)
lots of freshly ground pepper
few pinches fleur de sel
1/4 tsp dried piment d'espelette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar for deglazing
1 very large handful arugula (rocket) per person
Directions
1.  Rub the grated garlic onto the raw chicken livers with a bit of fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper.
2.  Heat a small amount of olive oil on high heat in a wok or heavy based pan.  Add the chicken livers in one layer.  Cook for about 1 minute, then flip and cook for another minute.  If you can't make 1 layer, do this in batches.  They should be browned on the outside but tender on the inside.  Taste one to make sure.  Reserve.
3.  In the same pan, add a bit more olive oil along with the sliced shallots.  Cook until just translucent, then add the apple slices.
4.  Add some fleur de sel, rosemary, piment d'espelette, and black pepper, and cook until the apples are nice and golden and start to stick.  Stir in the shredded cabbage.
5.  Deglaze with balsamic vinegar and add the reserved chicken livers.  Heat through.

Serve over some arugula for the best effect.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Cantonese Braised Beef and Daikon Stew

Awkwardly, as I was about to prepare a Boeuf Bourgignon, my heart quickly switched to hoisin and garlic.  I suppose the beef and carrots and the "stew" part are the same, but my flavor yearning was for spice, umami, and daikon.  It's funny but I only just recently learned that my favorite "long white turnip" that I use regularly in various recipes from various cultures is called "daikon" in English.  I've always preferred it to it's stubby purple-beige counterpart in taste, and when it's available, I have a hard time resisting placing it into my basket.  I use it sautéed in duck fat when making magret, or in couscous, cooked in that magical ras el hanout meat and vegetable broth.  I've had it in miso soup with seaweed, too, which was a pleasant surprise.  My yearning directed me to a Chinese dish, but this time, a Cantonese recipe.
Adapted from Yi Reservation.
Ingredients
600g stew beef
500g daikon turnip (1 large), peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp oil
2 star anis
1 dried red chile (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 dried orange peel
5 cloves garlic, 3 sliced and 2 grated
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 Tbsp chu hou sauce (I subbed hoisin + the 2 grated garlic cloves)
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tsp doubanjiang (optional)
2 Tbsp shao xing wine
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp freshly ground green pepper
Scallions and cilantro for garnish
Directions
1.  Cut the beef into 1 inch cubes.  Blanch in some boiling water for 8 minutes, then drain and rinse.
2.  Heat the oil in a wok.  Add the star anis, dried chile, bay leaf, and orange peel and fry for 30 seconds until the aroma is released.
3.  Add the ginger and garlic slices and cook another 30 seconds.
4.  Add the blanched beef and stir to coat, cooking for about 1 minute.
5.  Deglaze with the shao xing wine, then add the chu hou, hoisin, oyster, and doubanjiang sauce.  Stir well to coat the meat and cook for another 3 minutes.
6.  Transfer everything but the dark soy, green pepper, and garnish into a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-9 hours.
7.  Before serving, stir in the dark soy and green pepper.  Taste and add salt or light soy sauce if needed.  I didn't think it needed anything extra.
Serve with rice or noodles and garnish with cilantro and scallions.
I served mine with some Stir-Fried Cabbage as well, which was a pleasant enhancement.
Do not skip the orange peel.
It's amazing...

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Roasted and Marinated Peppers

Something about roasting brings out the best in vegetables, especially when roasted with their skin on.  This goes for potatoes as well as pumpkins, but it's especially true for peppers with their thin skin and juicy flesh.  The veggies steam in their own juices and become magically sweet.  I like buying roasted peppers from a jar just as much as anyone does, because it's quick and easy.  Oven roasting them yourself, however, is a whole other story in terms of taste.  They are smokier, sweeter, and a bit more.. how should I say.... wild.
The method works on any fleshy peppers or chiles.
Use any combination of peppers and colors you like.  Here's what I used:
Ingredients
1 long green bell pepper (corne de boeuf -Capsicum annum)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 Moroccan green chile (or serrano or jalapeño)
Marinade:
juice from 1/2 lime
1 large clove garlic, grated
few pinches sea salt (mine was laced with piment d'espelette)
few grinds black pepper
a bit of chopped parsley
about 1/4 cup + some generous drizzles high quality olive oil
Directions
1.  Preheat your oven to 200°C 400°F.  Place the peppers on the highest rack, making sure you have a pan underneath to catch the drippings.
2.  Depending on the size of your pepper, the time can vary.  The Moroccan green chile took 10 minutes, the long green bell took about 20 and the yellow bell took about 25.  You want to oven roast them until the skin is a bit charred and colored all over.
3.  Remove the peppers (in intervals) from the oven and transfer to a plastic bag with a paper towel inside.  Close the bag and wait about 2 minutes.
4.  After the peppers have "sweat" in the bag, the skin should come off easily.  Remove the skin, carefully cut them open and remove the seeds.
5.  Pour the marinade over them.  If your recipient is to wide, you may need more olive oil.  Let marinate for at least 1 hour.

I served mine as a side to some griddled octopus and zucchini with a sucrine lettuce salad.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Coconut Ginger Pie

Ginger gives life meaning.  When I create, there must be ginger involved.  It gives any item intensity and can be used in savory as well as sweets.  I particularly like to snack on candied ginger, or have it for breakfast with a few cashews with my dates and oats.  I love to add it to fried spices along with garlic to extract that pungent aroma and breathe it in.  I like it pickled with sushi, and raw in cocktails or off my fingers after having grated it.  It heats me deep from within, and I firmly believe that regular consumption of the root can keep you away from most common ailments.
This is why I chose to integrate it into my coconut pie.  With all that coconut and ginger, there is very little need for sugar or any oter taste enhancers.  You can just let nature reveal itself piece by piece as you enjoy the heat that flows through your body..
Ingredients
Ginger Buckwheat Crust:
100g (3.5oz) room temperature butter
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp cane sugar
pinch salt
1 tsp ginger powder
100g (3.5oz) buckwheat flour
130g (4.6oz) T80 flour
1 egg yolk
5 cL (2oz) water
Make the crust using the method, then pre-bake it at 190°C 375°F for 10 minutes

Coconut Ginger Filling:
4 eggs, beaten until foamy
110g (3.9oz) cane sugar
1 inch piece ginger, sliced into thin strips
2 cups desiccated coconut

Directions
1.  Whisk together the filling ingredients.
2.  Pour into the pre-baked crust and bake at 180°C 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until just set.
3.  Remove and let cool for at least 1 hour.
Serve at room temperature or cold.

I wasn't sure how gingery this would come out since I did a complete freestyle evening with this recipe.  I'm happy to say the ginger was not too strong, but present enough to be felt.  It did not overpower the coconut, but rather infused in a synchronized dance.
The texture was incredibly interesting as well.  The desiccated coconut worked as a thickener and absorbed the liquid.  It had the texture of semolina halwa or couscous, but with the comforting flavor of coconut.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lemongrass Coconut Chickpea Curry

Something draws me in when I see a Burmese recipe.  It's probably that I have most of the items on hand and I can realistically imagine the outcome before even getting started.  While flipping through my favorite Burma book, I found chickpeas.. and anything involving beans usually ends up showing up at my table.
Another thing I like about Burmese cooking is that it's not just one recipe that you have at a meal, much like Indian cooking.  There are several small dishes filled with various things, some actual dishes, some condiments that can be counted as side dishes, some sauces, some garnishes.  You can always have a little bit of everything in one single meal.  Chinese cooking is similar as well.
Toppings are also extremely important.  Herbal toppings such as mint or cilantro give a refreshing addition to a cooked meal, and others such as fried shallots or crushed peanuts provide a wonderful contrast in texture.  All these little things are what make me tick.
I especially like that I get to make several dishes and intelligently use up the space in my kitchen.
My recipe is very loosely inspired by Naomi Duguid's "Burma: Rivers of Flavor" Chickpea Soup p.97.
Her's was a soup, mine is more like a creamy curry laced with leeks.
Serves 4-6
Ingredients
slow cooker:
1/2 cup dried white chickpeas, soaked overnight
1/2 cup dried black chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 leek, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1 inch piece ginger, grated
2 bay leaves
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 slice galangal (mine was dried)
2 thai chiles
1 tsp coarse sea salt (mine was from Camargue)
3-4 cups water
Seasoning:
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
6-7 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp tamarind paste
juice from 1/2 lime
garnish:
crushed peanuts
fried shallots
sesame seeds
chopped cilantro (which I didn't have but I should have had)
Directions
1.  Place all the "slow cooker" ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-9 hours.  The chickpeas should be tender.
2.  Heat the oil on high in a wok and fizz the turmeric.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring for about 3-5 minute or until shallots are colored.
3.  Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
4.  Stir in the tamarind and lime.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, then pour the sauce into the chickpeas.  5.  Stir to even out the sauce throughout the chickpeas.  Remove the bay leaves and galangal piece before serving.

Serve garnished with any or all of the listed toppings.
I served mine alongside some Stir-Fried Cabbage and a mix of brown basmati and red rice.

Mixing chickpeas with coconut milk is probably one of the most genius ideas our Earth has produced..

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Burmese Cabbage Stir-Fry

I'm quite a fan of cabbage in all its forms.  I like it raw, grilled, stewed, stir fried, as a main course, condiment, a wrapper, or a filling.  I like it American, Russian, Indian, and all types of Asian styles.
I like it red, green, white, small, large, frizzled, hard, soft, or fermented.
It's not a surprise that when I used my Burma cook book as a weight for my batch of weekend paneer and flipped through it once again, I paused for this cabbage-glorifying recipe.  I actually paused for a few different cabbage-glorifying recipes, but this one used napa cabbage which was the closest to what I had on hand.  What is it I like so much about cabbage?  Probably the sweetness it exudes when cooked and crunch it has when raw.  It's the way it can keep its freshness for weeks so I can afford to buy a whole head and be the only cabbage eater in the house.  I can always find several things to do with a single head of cabbage without wasting one shred of it.
That on it's own makes it an amazing food.
That and the fact it comes in purple... and that today is St. Patrick's day.. so it's almost a legal obligation to eat cabbage today.
Inspired by Naomi Duguid's "Burma: Rivers of Flavor" Smokey Napa Stir-Fry p.115
Serves 4-6 as a side
Ingredients
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 green chile, sliced
2 small shallots, sliced
1/2 inch ginger, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 head cabbage (about 3 cups) shredded
1 Tbsp oyster sauce (or mushroom sauce)
1/2 cup hot water
few grinds green pepper
garnish:
Thai red chile
sesame seeds
fried shallots
Directions
1.  Heat the oil on high in a wok, then add the turmeric until it fizzes.
2.  Add the green chile, shallots, ginger, and garlic.  Lower the heat just a touch and stir fry until the shallots are tender, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3.  Add in the shredded cabbage and stir until well coated and it starts to soften.  Naomi does this with savoy cabbage.  I happened to have just a normal cabbage and it worked out rather well.  Don't fuss about these types of details.
4.  While the cabbage is coloring, stir the hot water onto the oyster sauce and add the green pepper grinds.  Set aside.
5.  After about 5-7 minutes of stir frying the cabbage, pour in the oyster sauce mixture.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Serve garnished as you like.  I sprinkled some sesame seeds and fried shallots before deciding to add a Thai red chile.
I served mine in a Burmese thali alongside some Lemongrass Coconut Chickpeas and red and white rice.
I will continue to find more reasons for which cabbage must at all times be a part of my edible inventory.. especially this time of year... or should I say, especially any time of year!

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Turkey Fajitas with Smokey Black-Eyed Peas

A few weeks ago, a coworker brought me back some dried chiles from California upon my request.  As he handed over the package to me, he asked me, "What in the world can you do with those hideous things?"
This surprised me coming from someone who regularly visits SoCal.  If you don't know what do do with them, you at least know they are prized possessions and absolutely not hideous!  
Either way, the comment didn't bother me because I was so dang giddy just to be holding the little plastic bags filled with delight to even make a smart comment back.  All I could say was "Thank you so much" with a permanent smile and images of all the possibilities that were making my brain skip frequencies.
The thing about dried chiles that I don't understand is why they aren't available all over the world?  Seriously, they are dried, so easily exportable with a very far away expiration date (if any at all).  Here in France, you can find the Indian dried chiles, Thai chiles, Caribbean chiles, Moroccan ones, and of course, the prized French Piment d'espelette.  You can even find a variety of these fresh rather than dried, but you can absolutely not find any of the Mexican ones.  No Serrano, Jalapeño, California, Poblano, Ancho, Arbol, Chipotle in a can (come on it's in a can!!!).  So of course, when someone is willing to bring something back from home, I always ask for dried chiles and I give a map to go along with it...
you know, just in case.
So now that I've had a bit of time to ponder what I would do with my precious treasure, I have this lovely fajita plate to show.  The French love fajitas (though they pronounce them farritas with the throaty R) now that Dany Trejo has been doing commercials here for Old El Paso.  They are much much less familiar with the incorporation of various beans on the plate, which I always have a blast helping them discover.  I usually do black or pinto, but I put some black-eyed peas to soak last night and woke up imagining a smokey creamy bean side that I would be able to use as a soup after the fajita deal was over.
So to answer the question, you can make different salsas, marinades, broths, Mole, chili, dips, and pretty much transform any beans into a smokey spicy blissful dream with "those hideous things."
Turkey Fajitas
Serves 4
Ingredients
250g (1/2 b) turkey cutlets, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, grated
few pinches fleur de sel
squeeze from 1/2 lime
few grinds black pepper
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chile powder (optional if serving with spicy beans)
1+1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced into moons
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 green chile, sliced (optional if serving with spicy beans)
Directions
1.  Rub the grated garlic onto the turkey slices and sprinkle on some fleur de sel, black pepper, cumin,  coriander, chile powder, and paprika.  Add the lime juice, rub in to make sure everything is evenly distributed.  Set aside and let marinate for at least 10 minutes (while you chop everything else.)
2.  Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil on high in a wok or heavy based pan.  Add the onion slices and stir fry until just translucent, then add the bell pepper and green chile slices with a pinch of fleur de sel.  Cook on high, stirring for about 3-5 minutes.  Reserve.
3.  Heat the other Tbsp olive oil into the same wok.  Add the marinated turkey slices and cook until nicely colored.
4.  Add the vegetables to the meat and heat through.  You want the bell peppers to be crisp, so don't over-cook them into mush.

Smokey Black Eyed Peas
Serves 6
Ingredients
1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
2 bay leaves
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 chicken or veg bouillon cube
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 dried ancho chile
2 dried morita chiles
2 dried chiles de arbol
4-5 cups water
1 small can corn
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
Directions
1.  Place everything up to the water in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for at least 6 hours.
2.  Add the corn, grated garlic, pepper, and cumin.  Stir to heat through, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
3.  Remove the bay leaves and whole chiles before serving.  If the chiles burst, the beans will be way too spicy.  By removing them, you can decide which plate you would like to add the chile to.. (by the way, it's always my plate that wins).

Fajita Plate Garnish
cooked rice (I used a trio of Basmati, Brown, and Thai Red rice)
shredded cabbage (mine was Savoy)
avocado slices
shredded swiss or gruyère
dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream
tortillas (unfortunately, not pictured, but necessary to call this a "fajita plate")

When meals like this just happen in my kitchen, I truly feel fulfilled.  I know I'm treating every part of my body to a delight, either immediate or deferred.. because, well, yes.. those chiles have quite the effect on me..

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mackerel Rocket Canapés

As much as I like to have my weekly adventure on uncharted sea territory, I also am comforted by the more common simple and indulgences such as sardines, anchovies, herring, and mackerel.  Not only are they less expensive than their fancier fish friends, they are the bottom of the sea-foo chain, so eat the most unaltered original seafood, plankton.  They are also most likely to be caught rather than farm raised, which means less antibiotics (possibly, more Mercury.. but that only brings me closer to my Freddy, so I don't mind).
The thing about the simpler fish is that they blow me away much more easily than the complicated and "must time it right" fish.  I suppose they are a comfort food, because they are in my comfort zone.. harder to overcook and transform into mush.
By the way, if you ever do overcook fish and transform it into mush, just change your game plan.  Throw it into some fried rice or as a topping to a noodle dish, or in some pasta or soup instead of making it the centerpiece.  You may just surprise yourself.
Canapé means couch in French, but it makes you seem more sophisticated than just saying "thinly sliced lightly toasted bread."
Serves 2-3 as an appetizer (the photo is just a sample)
Ingredients
1-2 mackerel filets per person (I had 3)
1 clove garlic, grated + 1 whole
few grinds cracked black pepper
pinch fleur de sel
pinch piment d'espelette
drizzle lime juice
few drizzles olive oil
handful arugula (rocket)
6-8 slices fresh or toasted baguette
Directions
1.  Rub the baguette slices with the whole garlic clove.  Distribute the arugula onto each slice and await the mackerel preparation.
2.  Prepare the filets with a bit of piment d'espelette, evenly distributed grated garlic, some black pepper, and lime juice.
3.  Spray a bit of olive oil in a pan and sear the filets on high heat for about 2 minutes, skin side down, then flip them and do the same skin side up.
4.  Remove from the pan, cut into sections, and place onto the prepared baguette slices.
5.  Sprinkle a bit of fleur de sel onto each slice.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it so indulging.  I prepared it on a whim before preparing dinner and was rewarded with an embalming melding of flavors, from the pungency of the garlic, the sourness of the arugula, and the meatiness of the mackerel.  
Each simple ingredient connects with you individually before becoming the sum of its parts.. 

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Garlic Buckwheat Crusted Spinach Mushroom Quiche

What I like the most about quiche is that it's basically a fancier way of serving a jazzed up omlet.  It works perfectly for guests, and you can usually make it vegetarian without anyone noticing.  Make several in smaller portions to get extra fancy or just a big one you cut into slices for a nice appetizer.. Or meal it you pair it with a salad.
I'm on a sautéed spinach craze these days.  Until the local asparagus starts peaking it's coiffe, my go to wood ingredient is spinach.  Oh I can't wait for the first aparagus!  How I love to roast thee...
Since I was out all day and ended up having company, but didn't quite want to go shopping since I'm trying to empty my fridge for the upcomong abstinence week, my omlet no company plan flourished into this quiche-for-company creation.
The pairing of spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and garlic in a buckwheat crust is so symbiotic it seems one ingredient nourished and introduces you to the next with each bite.
Serves 6 as an appetizer
Ingredients
Garlic Buckwheat Crust:
100g (3.5oz) room temperature butter
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g (3.5oz) buckwheat flour
130g (4.6oz) T80 flour
1 egg yolk
5 cL (2oz) water
Make the crust using the method, then pre-bake it at 190°C 375°F for 10 minutes

Spinach Mushroom Filling:
200g (about 1/2 lb) fresh spinach, washed and patted dry
200g (about 1/2 lb) mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced into moons
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp dried savory or thyme
juice and zest from 1/2 lime
1 handful grated gruyère
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk (I used goat)
3/4 cup cream
1  tsp paprika
pinch nutmeg
lots freshly ground black pepper
pinch fleur de sel
Directions
1.  Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the sliced mushrooms.  Sautée for a few minutes until colored and add half the garlic slices, a bit of savory, fleur de sel, and black pepper.  Do this in batches if your pan is not big enough.  Set aside.
2.  Do this again with the onions by adding only a drizzle of oil, since the mushrooms probably let the surface viscous.  Set aside.
3.  Add the rest of the olive oil and sautée the spinach in batches.  Add the rest of the garlic, the lime juice and zest, and cook until the spinach wilts.  Set aside while you construct.
4.  Make the "appareil" by beating together the eggs with the milk and cream.  Do this until frothy.  The frothier your appareil, the fluffier your quiche will be.  Add in the nutmeg, some fleur de sel, a generous hand of ground black pepper, and the paprika.
5.  Construct.  Place the sautéed spinach into the bottom of your pre-baked shortcrust.  Add the onions, gruyère, then mushrooms.  Pour the beaten mixture over it all.
6.  Cook at 180°C 350°F for 35-45 minutes or until the top starts to become golden.  It should still be jiggly in the center when removed from the oven.
7.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.  This is admittedly the most difficult part.  During this time, clean the kitchen, set the table, make a salad.. try to keep yourself from cutting it open while it's still piping hot and not completely set.

I served mine with a lambs lettuce salad and it was a gorgeous little meal.

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