Not the Turkey You Were Looking For

For Thanksgiving this year, I was unfortunately unable to secure the turkey I was looking forward to cooking and consuming. Instead, I wound up scrounging in the kitchen to come up with a passable meal. I think this one counts as a win.
IMG_0471We had a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Wine for Dummies collection to start with, that my partner found in, of all places, a dollar store (but not for a buck). It had a lovely, dark color, a somewhat fruity nose, and a delightfully full-bodied tartness.

IMG_0476In the chest freezer I found a pound each of ground buffalo and lamb. When mixed with the right spices (onion, garlic, and white pepper) and with a bit of red wine, this became what is affectionately known as a BAM loaf. With all the ingredients thoroughly mixed by hand, it went into a 300F oven for about two hours.

IMG_0475Then there were the sweet potatoes. they were peeled and washed rather than simply baked whole. We played with spiral cutting them, the spirals becoming “butterflies” and the leftover chunks going into a pan to roast. We seasoned with garlic, cinnamon and seasoned salt. While the chunks cooked to a turn, the spiral butterflies did not bake so well. I think we will try deep frying them next time.

IMG_0481In a heating skillet we dropped some butter and minced garlic with white pepper. Once it was browned a bit in went some sliced crimini, fresh baby spinach leaves, and a couple of tablespoons of red wine. Stir, heat to wilting stage, and serve!

 

 

 

 
IMG_0487The plate turned out attractively, and everything passed the discriminating taste testing. Voila!

— Ann Cathey

Quiche!

Quiche, while it sounds all French and difficult, is actually a very simple dish. I bless the Frenchman who invented it. I could get into the history and etymology, but I’d rather just link you to Wikipedia rather than quote them heavily.

Quiche is typically a pie-style crust filled with meat, cheese, seafood, and/or vegetables. It is often served as tarts, mini-tarts, and is a popular party food.

Quiche with crab, Swiss Cheese, and tomato

Quiche with crab, Swiss Cheese, and tomato

My favorite quiche recipe is from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and is courtesy of William Rolle, owner of Cafe Rolle in Sacramento, CA. I often use a pre-made crust, much to my shame. My daughter can whip up a delightful crust every time, but I do not seem to have a good hand for it.

With this recipe, I have literally walked into my kitchen, started pulling random items from the refrigerator and cabinets, a pie crust from the freezer, and about 45 minutes later have a hot quiche in hand to share with my foodie partner. He loves quiche!

Quiche Provencial (tomatoes and Swiss cheese)

Quiche Provençale (tomatoes and Swiss cheese)

Some simple and delightful combinations have included:
• Quiche Lorraine (ham and Swiss)
• Quiche au fromage (cheese, to your taste)
• Quiche aux champignons (mushrooms)
• Provençale (tomatoes)
• Florentine (spinach)
• Florentine Special (spinach, grilled onions and mushrooms)
• Ham and cheddar
• Bacon and any cheese you like
• Breakfast (hashbrowns, bacon or sausage)
• Southwestern (taco meat, Monterrey Jack cheese, chilis, salsa on top)

Quiche with roasted carrots and asparagus

Quiche with roasted carrots and asparagus

Of course quiche requires eggs. Adding a little cream or half and half as Chef Rolle’s recipe requires is essential. The eggs will smooth out and maintain a light a fluffy texture, rather than becoming hard and rubbery when cooking.

If you are looking for a light and quick breakfast or brunch idea, you can’t go wrong with quiche.

 

— Ann Cathey