Search Results for: pate brisee

Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust or Get a Pedicurist Who Cooks

Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust or Get a Pedicurist Who Cooks

Having my toes done is one of the guilty pleasures in life.  I guess you might call it getting a pedicure.  I go every month in the summer, sit with my feet soaking, and allow someone to trim and paint my feet.   And I love it.  I do it in the winter, too, but not so often.
There’ve been a few toe-artists over the years, but the latest may be the best.  She’s great at what she does, but also likes to cook.  Double dose of fun for me.

Over Christmas, when my toes always turn bright red (called “I’m Not Really a Waitress” though I was for years of high school and college), she described this gratin that’s baked in a crust.   In fact, she described it so well (after a story about her new pans) that I knew I could go right home and make it.  Being able to describe a dish and its prep that well is a definite talent.
Still, by the time I got around to making it (after Christmas!), I thought I’d see if I could find the recipe online.  Search, hunt.  Well, well.  The recipe came from SOUTHERN LIVING (which I knew), a notoriously fattening publication, but the award-winning food blog, The Bitten Word had blogged it and I got the recipe there. 
Clay Dunn and Zach Patton of The Bitten Word blog (photo-Chris Leaman/CC)
I’ll share it here, but note that it calls for store-bought pie crusts and I like to use my own.  Si place, as my conducting instructor (Angie, Angie)  at University of St. Thomas would say.  It means, “Do as you like.”  I have nothing against store-bought crusts, but can make a crust at home faster than I can drive to the store.   And I do like mine better.
This is a show stopper dish.  Touted as a side for tenderloin or something equally luscious at holiday time, it could also be a brunch dish or a lovely vegetarian lunch with a big crunchy salad.
I’m leaving the pics all in a row for you to see…
While it was quite a process, it wasn’t difficult, and was well worth the effort.
I agree with The Bitten Word that it needs to bake longer than the recipe allows, but then again, I’m at altitude.  I’ve made notes for adjustments.
Just when I know you needed salads or stir fries (frys?)….here’s something gooey, warm, heartening, and fattening.  Sorry.  Check out (Colorado Springs Entertainment–Food and Drink) for a healthy Chicken Minestrone–quick version I published yesterday if you need something slimming.  Meantime, this should be shared. Dave and I ate it twice and then I shared it with my book club.  I froze a little bit just to see how it’d hold.  I couldn’t throw it out.
P.S.  As is sometimes the case, the Gruyere was cheaper at Whole Foods than at King Soopers.  (This is true of chicken broth, orange juice, other cheeses and other stuff, too.)

Here goes… I forgot to photograph making the pate brisee (pie crust made with butter) in the food processor.

I made my own version of pate brisee in the food processor.  Carefully possible.  You might want to wait to put the rosemary and cheese on until after you put the first crust in the pan.  See pic below as I roll the crust onto the pin.
Do buy Gruyere.

Grate the cheese in the food processor if you have one.  Save your hands.

This is one way to move a crust from the counter to the pan–wrapped very loosely around the rolling pin.

The edge of this crust is purposely quite thick and will be very crunchy.  There’s no way to get it looking perfect.  (Though is will taste that way!)

Get a kitchen scale.  Don’t guess at weights. Scales at groceries are inconsistent.  3 potatoes can weigh 3/4# or 1.5#, depending on their size.

I slice most potatoes in the food processor.  The mandoline, while perfect for some, is dangerous for me!

Warm the cream and garlic in the microwave.  Buen idea!!!

After removing foil and before second baking.  Looking yum already.

Oh dear.


Ready for its closeup.

Once more for grins and giggles.

And now that you’ve gained a pound just looking, you’re done.  Hey, let me know if you make this.  It’s not any harder than scalloped potatoes really…and the presentation is just WOW.  Here’s the recipe:

Total: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: Makes 10 servings

  • 1  (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts* (I make my own–recipe at end.)
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 2  cups  (8 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided (Grate in food processor)
  • 1 1/2  pounds  Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2  pounds  sweet potatoes
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 2/3  cup  heavy cream
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Unroll piecrusts on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle rosemary, pepper, and 1/2 cup cheese over 1 piecrust; top with remaining piecrust. Roll into a 13-inch circle. Press on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan; fold edges under. Chill.
2. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice Yukon gold and sweet potatoes. (Slice in food processor.)
3. Layer one-third each of Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and salt in prepared crust. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice, pressing layers down slightly to fit.
4. Microwave cream and garlic in a 1-cup microwave-safe measuring cup at HIGH 45 seconds; pour over potato layers in pan. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Cover pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet.
5. Bake at 450° for 1 hour.  (I added 10 minutes here.) Uncover and bake 25 minutes (I added 5 minutes here) or until potatoes are done and crust is richly browned. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving plate, and remove sides of pan. If desired, carefully slide gratin off bottom of pan using a long knife or narrow spatula. Garnish, if desired.  Note:  At altitude, I still though this could have used an extra 10-15 minutes.

Alyce’s Double Pate Brisee Crust Made in the Food Processor

2 2/3 c unbleached white flour
1/4 t kosher salt
12 T salted butter, quite cold, cut into chunks
1/2 c ice water (you might need a tad more if flour very dry)

In the bowl of your food processor, blend flour and salt.  Add butter and pulse until some pieces are pea-sized, some are smaller and some are bigger.  With machine running, pour water through food tube and process until dough comes together.  Stop machine and remove dough.  Carefully pat together into a ball and divide in half.  Sprinkle counter with some flour* and place one half of the dough on it.  Sprinkle dough and rolling pin liberally with flour.  Quickly (trying to keep it cold here), roll out into 12-13″ circle.   Roll the dough loosely around the pin and place crust in pan.  Sprinkle crust with the cheese and rosemary.  Refrigerate pan.  Roll out other crust, roll it around the pin, and place on top of refrigerated crust.  Press top crust into bottom briefly and turn edges under, trimming crusts if needed.   Pinch edges of crust together quickly; don’t spend long on this.  Continue as above.

* You can also roll dough between  two pieces of waxed paper (some of the crust will escape!) and leave out the floured counter entirely:

First–dampen the counter by wiping it well with a very damp cloth.  This insures the waxed paper will stay put and not slip around.  

-Place half of the dough between two sheets of waxed paper, place “package” on damp counter and, with rolling pin, roll out (start at center, roll to edge, and repeat- Go around the crust clock-wise) until crust is 12-13″…

–  Flip the crust over, quickly give one roll with the pin on that other side, take off that paper, flip again and, as you gently ease the crust into the pan, peel off the second piece of paper. 

–  Throw that paper away, get new paper and repeat procedure. 

Reading, Listening, Viewing, Whatever else and Cooking Currently:

I’m so late.  I just finished THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein for book club.   I love the idea of a dog talking, but wish he’d re-write this in 20 years.  The club, over all, liked the book and, I think, all of them read it! 

I am reading -all at once!- DEVIL’S TRILL by Gerald Elias (2009), THE APPRENTICE  by Jacques Pepin (biography) and MATHILDA SAVITCH by Victor Lodato.  I continue to read Dorie Greenspan‘s newest book, AROUND MY FRENCH TABLE, as well as Melissa Clark’s In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite.     Want cookbooks?  Buy these gems.

I am listening to Hildegard von Bingen…a Christmas gift.

We saw “The King’s Speech” last weekend and were bowled over.  Stunning film.  Go.
This week, I made a point to find out when “Glee” was on and watched an episode.  Interesting, but I couldn’t figure out what all the hoopla was about.   Maybe because I’m a choir director.

I am playing things I haven’t played in months.  Did Advent intervene here?  Maybe.  But I spent an hour playing and singing last night before I read DEVIL’S TRILL.  Singing your heart out is good for you.  Remember singing around a camp fire?  Or on a road trip?

I am not dreaming this week (I’m not a big dreamer), but I did wake up over and over one night thinking about a new job I’ve applied for.  As I glanced out the windows in the dark, I saw (and  I’m near-sighted) a white bird–a big one–fly into a tree in the wildwood between our house and Mike and Sara’s.  I laid there a minute or two, wondering if I’d imagined it and finally got up to put my glasses on and peer out into the gloom of early morning.  No bird then, but there was a falling star!! I haven’t seen one since Emily and I beat it up the road of the campground in Brown County, Indiana to hit the outhouse in the middle of one long night.

I talked to Tina from Prive (lovely, lovely Oregon winery)  today about our upcoming shipment.  While they did make wine, they made a lot less.  Oregon weather just didn’t cooperate for a large yield.  A cool fall meant delaying and delaying picking, though they had pruned hugely in September and knew they might not get much, but they’d get tasty.  And so it happened.  She’s concerned that the wine being shipped now (last year’s) will travel through places with temperatures under freezing, thus not just compromising, but ruining the wine–blowing the corks for the cardboard to drink the fine Pinot.  Tina and her husband Mark have a capital T Teensy vineyard in Oregon Pinot country, where they make boutique Pinot Noir (there’s another name, I’m thinking) from their own on-site grapes and also a couple of other wines  from grapes they borrow and whip into shape from Washington (a Syrah and a red blend).  Between the pristine, reminiscent of France winery and their house is a comfortable patio replete with tables, chairs, plants, flowers and, the piece de resistance, an outdoor pizza oven.  Now I envy Mark his vineyard and Tina her winery, but what I really covet is the pizza oven.  Wineries like Prive sell pretty much on futures only; you must buy ahead (barrel tasting that vintage sometimes) or  you get no wine.  These wines don’t appear in stores or restaurants often, though you might have a better chance in Oregon itself.  So our wine, waiting for shipment in her cellar, is well worth the wait for good shipping weather.   It’ll keep just fine right there.  Our Sunday weather promises a snow storm and -12.

Our friends (and students)  Jacque, Tom, Joel and Miss Ellie moved this last week.  Current cooking includes a big pot of bean soup (I do this a couple of times a winter and make 20 qts or so), a slab of corn bread and hazelnut brownies (with Valhrona chocolate frosting)  I’ll take to them tonight for dinner.  A big, fat bottle of Cotes du Rhone goes with it, along with some sparkling apple cider for the kiddoes.

For dinner, I’m trying a halibut with pico de gallo in the oven in foil.  Yes, I actually do have to stop eating things like Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust.  Let you know how it comes out.

Two-Dog Kitchen–

Was this a self-indulgent blog?  Surely was, but it’s been a while since I did one.  Thanks for putting up with and reading as you
Sing a new song,

Cooking with Music-French-Session II

Cooking with Music-French-Session II

If you haven’t been here before, I occasionally teach cooking classes at home.  Each class teaches a whole menu and each menu is focused upon a culture, country or culinary form.  This is the second session of Cooking with Music-French and there were two students–mom and four-year-old daughter. 

While August isn’t, perhaps, the very best time to learn how to bake quiche, it IS the very best time to learn how to make a great salad.  And is anytime a bad time to learn how to make a pie crust?  And, hey,  the quiche tastes wonderfully for lunch.  Chocolate mousse?  Whenever.  Here’s today’s bunch:

Chocolate Mousse = First, of course
Life is short
This is a no-egg chocolate mousse as eggs are bad boys right now:
Just melt 3/4 c chocolate chips with 3T butter and let that cool.
Whip up 1 cup of whipping cream and add 1T sugar at the end.
Fold a tiny bit of whipping cream into the chocolate to lighten it up a bit and
then fold into the chocolate the rest of the cream in three or four batches.  Spoon into pretty glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.
Garnish with a dollop of whipping cream, some berries or grated chocolate
Et voila!  Mousse au chocolat!
Moving on from mousse to pate brisee, the super easy crust for the quiche.
“Hey, I can make a pie crust; who knew?”

Getting dirty…but eating fresh!  Like two minutes old.
Talk about organic food.  Making Jamie Olivers’s chopped salad. (click here to see the video)
Pixie dusting the salad with kosher salt and the pepper she ground.
FINALLY getting to eat dessert.  Took long enough.
We did it.
We not only cooked, we cooked together.
What a day.
We can now make–for ANYONE!!–the following menu:
Salade Printemps (spring salad w/ fresh herbs)
Quiche avec jambon et fromage (Ham and Cheese quiche)
Mousse au chocolat  (Chocolate mousse)
Fromages (cheese)
Baguette (long, thin loaf of bread) avec buerre (with butter)
Vin: (wine)
Bourgogne (blanc) (2007)-Laboure-Roi, Meursault, Cote d’Or, France
Beaujolais (2008)- Pierre Chermette, Saint Verand, France
Next Cooking with Music is
Pizza as an appetizer
Two main course soups (one vegetarian)
Apple crostada (free form pie)
Offered Saturday, September 18, 2010
We’ll cook and eat together.
Students may invite one guest for dinner each- approximately 5:30pm
Includes wine
Cost:  $50 per student
I have one opening for this class at present, but am happy to repeat it if I have requests.
This is a meal wonderful to learn for a dinner party because everything but the pizza (and it’s nearly ready) can be done in advance so that you can be…
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood or Kitchen:
Grilling Colorado peaches for a peach salsa or dessert…a blog to come!
There’s the grilled peach salsa–perfect for bbq grilled pork chops, shrimp tacos or salmon.
Skippy Jon Jones–visiting Aunt Alyce and Uncle Dave again
And they called it “puppy love.”
A few things you might do around the kitchen this week:
Buy a bunch of green beans, trim them and blanch them (2-3 min in boiling water) and throw them in freezer bags into the freezer for the winter.  I got mine for 88cents a pound.
Ditto zucchini or summer squash.
Ditto corn on the cob.  Cook it, let it cool, cut it off the cob and put it in freezer bags.
Buy a dozen red, green, yellow peppers and cut them up and freeze them in small quantities.
Go to the nursery or wherever and buy some herbs to pot and take indoors for the fall.
Stake out your apple-picking spot.  Plan a picking date.
Clean out your freezer and defrost it while it’s still warm so you’ll be ready to cook, bake and freeze this fall.
There’s still time to make peach freezer jam while the peaches are very inexpensive.  I saw some Colorado peaches for 99 cents a pound at King Soopers’.
Eat lots of salad with lots of fresh herbs and great tomatoes.
Try a home-made Cobb or a Greek Salad with grilled chicken.
Make gazpacho.
Make caprese salad.
Consider making and freezing tomato sauce.
Blueberries from Canada are still available if you want to freeze some.  Just throw them in the bag unwashed.  (Rinse them when you use them.)
Sing a new song,
Cooking with Music

Cooking with Music

(Chocolate Mousse the easy way!)

Today was the first summer session of Cooking with Music at my house, which is a group of lessons or classes that combine food, culture, and music from specific countries or cultures.  French was first up–


Hors-d’oeuvres (appetizers):   Fromage avec pain  — Cheese with Bread
Entree  (First Course)  Salad Printemps avec vinaigrette dijonnaise-  Spring Salad with mustard vinaigrette or….Everyday Chopped Salad (from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food–we used the on-line video)
Plat principal  (Main Course)  Quiche  -Cooking with Music Quiche (Lesson on Pate Brisee; quiche w/ bacon and pruscuitto)
Dessert (Dessert)  Mousse au Chocolat -Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

Beginning French Lesson was a great online video from Alain Le Lait

We began with

Comment ca va?
Bien!  Tres Bien!  Et vous?
Pas mal.

And so on.

(Alain:  They loved Josette!)

I passed out notebooks and each student had a different color and their photo on the front.  Inside were maps of the world, Europe, info on the country of France, links to all of the sites we used in the lessons, all of the recipes and notes, and some coloring pages for the younger ones.

We went over the geography of France first.  Where was it?   While we did that, we listened to French folk songs…  But soon, if we wanted to eat before supper time, we needed to begin.  We made the mousse first and got it in the frig.   Next, we learned to make pastry dough ( Pate Brisee) and quiche filling.  That went in the oven while we watched a video on how to make chopped salad and made the salad.  Table set.  A little cheese.  Lunch was served.   It began to look like a piano lesson was going to have to be another day.

Merci! Merci!  to Jacque, Joel and Ellen.  Good cooks all!!!!
What are you cooking for Father’s Day?

Here are a few highlights.

Working on liquid measuring technique

Using Le Creuset cookware on a gas stove…

Hot stuff in a Krups blender….
I get the taste test!
I want to see.
We all work together.
How to fill a quiche without spilling the filling.
Ok, How did Jamie chop cress?
Should we watch the video again?   Watch those fingers!
Oh, yeah.  That’s a chopped salad.
Hey, I made that quiche!
At the table…finally!
Oh, by the way, you need to put a grace to music.  Here are the words:
Come, Lord.  Teach us to care, share and be grateful.  And most of all, teach us to love you and all you love.
We got a tune we’re workin’ on.
We did it!
Et voila! Mousse au chocolat:)  Another French food convert.
We’ll have the piano lesson with French music another day!  Phew.
A bientot!
Spring Brunch for a Crowd Made Easy–Sheet Pan Quiche with Variations

Spring Brunch for a Crowd Made Easy–Sheet Pan Quiche with Variations

   In Alyce’s Kitchen: SHEET PAN CLASS UPCOMING MAY 22: 10 AM-1PM. $40. Message me or leave a comment if you’d like a spot. Includes lunch! Will repeat in June as needed since a few of you already can’t make that date, but want to make sheet pan meals with me. Can’t wait to cook with you!

Dorie Greenspan and I are in total agreement over one thing:  quiche must return to the everyday American table on a regular basis! Not that I know Dorie personally– though we’ve exchanged a few comments here and there on social media–but when I read her recent column about quiche in the Washington Post, I felt my heart strings pull just a little tighter.  I know an ally when I read one.  YES!

Continue reading “Spring Brunch for a Crowd Made Easy–Sheet Pan Quiche with Variations”

Spring Brunch Cooking Class–Master Quiche Recipe, Homemade Sausage, and Sam Sifton’s Glorious Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Spring Brunch Cooking Class–Master Quiche Recipe, Homemade Sausage, and Sam Sifton’s Glorious Bananas Foster Bread Pudding


Upcoming cooking classes:  see above, top right corner-CURRENT CLASSES. Come cook and eat.  No shopping and no cleanup.  I promise.

NOTE:  After this post, More Time will be on vacation for a wee while. I’ll see you when I get back!  

About once a year I invite folks for a slow-down-your-life, stay and chat Sunday brunch for which the menu is short and sweet: a few quiches–each different, all made ahead and warming as folks have a first drink, a big bowl of fresh fruit cut up and maybe mixed with some fresh mint, a basket of muffins and/or rolls or a skillet of crispy potatoes (recipes below), and a choice of “osas” (OH-sahs)—MIMosas, POMosas, Bellinis, CRANmosas, and so on (choose your own juice or fruit and top with sparkling wine.) A big pot of coffee is turned on just before guests’ arrival, brunch music is tuned in, and everything is laid out on the table or counter all happily self-serve. Plates are at the start, food in the middle, and flatware is wrapped and tied in napkins, placed in a basket at the end of the buffet so no one must juggle plate, flatware, and dishing up food all at the same time. Drinks are set-up in their own stations and guests sit wherever they like, moving around at will, as conversations wax and wane, or when they’re hunting seconds.


Recipe for Whole Wheat Cranberry Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (above)

Recipe for Blueberry Muffins from my book  (below)                IMG_5693

This class, taught at Mountain High Appliance (formerly Shouse) in the Jenn-Air Kitchen (or at home if I have just four students!) focuses on the main portion of a basic make-ahead brunch that you can embellish (i.e.muffins, coffee cake, green salad, bloody marys), but also gives you the happy opportunity to create your very own breakfast sausage and a warm, boozy bread pudding for dessert–which, according to Ina Garten, is what people will remember anyway.  (I think people will remember the comfort of being together.) The Menu, then, which can be divided between guests for potluck, looks like this: Continue reading “Spring Brunch Cooking Class–Master Quiche Recipe, Homemade Sausage, and Sam Sifton’s Glorious Bananas Foster Bread Pudding”