Southwestern Squash and Black Bean Quiche with Cornbread Crust

The amount of time that it takes to make this Southwestern Squash and Black Bean Quiche with Cornbread Crust is about equivalent to how long the name of this dish is.  Between making the cornbread, roasting the squash and garlic, assembling the quiche, baking it, and the one hour recommended cooling time, it’s a beast to make (we’re talking several hours).  You have to be persistent, optimistic, and patient and have no where to be with several hours to spare; otherwise this recipe will kick your butt.  But the payoff from all that time and effort is pretty spectacular.  The quiche is incredibly flavorful and hearty and tastes a bit like the perfect marriage between chili and cornbread with a little extra je ne sais quois magic thrown in.  I really can’t rave enough about how totally delicious it is.  That said, I will most likely never make this again.

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Southwestern Squash and Black Bean Quiche with Cornbread Crust

Makes about 8 servings
(from Fine Cooking)
My notes are in [  ] below.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil; more for the pie plate
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
Kosher salt
8 ounce butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
4 medium cloves garlic
1/2 recipe Sour Cream Cornbread, crumbled (about 3 cups; save the remaining cornbread for another use)
1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 cup canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
4 large eggs
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)

Directions

[Before you even start with the directions below, it’s assumed that you’ve already baked and cooled your cornbread.]

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease a deep 9- or 10-inch pie plate (with a capacity of at least 6 cups) with olive oil. [Make sure you pie plate is deep enough.  Otherwise your quiche will spill out and all your hard work will be wasted.]
  3. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, chipotle powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, coat the squash with the olive oil. Add the spice mixture and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer in a small roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil. Roast until just tender, about 20 minutes for the squash and 40 minutes for the garlic. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins into a small bowl and mash with a fork.
  5. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
  6. Put the crumbled cornbread in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, and stir to combine. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Pierce the bottom several times with a fork. Bake until the crust is deep golden, about 15 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, mash the beans and 1 tablespoon of water with a fork. Season to taste with salt, and spread in the bottom of the crust, using wet fingers to press down evenly. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet.
  8. Whisk the remaining 1-1/2 cups milk and the eggs in a large bowl. Fold in the roasted garlic, squash, cheese, scallions, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour into the crust.
  9. Bake until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cover the crust with aluminum foil or a pie shield if it starts getting dark.
  10. Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crawfish Etouffee

I’ve had a recipe for crawfish etouffee on my “must make” list for 9 years (!!).   The recipe was on my cooking bucket list for so many years because I never knew where to find crawfish tails, but recently I found frozen ones at an Asian market (H mart).   The recipe for crawfish etouffee was from a friend of a friend, and it looked so simple that I thought that there must be more to this dish.  A quick google search yielded Emeril’s recipe which was very similar to the recipe I had.  So I combined the two recipes, and the results were delicious.IMG_6453[1]

Crawfish Etouffee

Makes 4-6 servings
(adapted from Emeril Lagasse and a friend’s recipe)

Ingredients

6 tablespoons of butter (3/4 stick) (do not substitute with oil)
2 large onions chopped (about 2 cups)
4-5 stalks celery chopped (about 1 cup)
1 large green pepper chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound crawfish tails (I used frozen), thawed
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup water (I used chicken stock to make it more flavorful; seafood stock would have been even better, but I didn’t have that)
4 teaspoons cornstarch, flour, or other thickening agent (I like King Arthur Flour’s Signature Secrets)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons chopped green onions

Directions

  1. Thaw and lightly rinse the frozen crawfish.  Drain and lightly dry the crawfish, and set aside.
  2. Dissolve the cornstarch or flour in 1 cup of water or stock, and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
  4. Add the onions, green pepper, and celery to the melted butter, and sauté until the vegetables are softened (about 10-12 minutes).  Add salt to taste.
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the cayenne pepper, black pepper, and white pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Add the tomato sauce and bay leaves, and stir gently to combine.
  8. Add the cornstarch and water mixture.  Stir until the mixture thickens, and simmer for about  5 minutes.
  9. Add the crawfish to the vegetable mixture, and sauté until heated through.
  10. Stir in the green onions, and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  11. Serve over steamed long grain rice.

Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary Salt, Shallots, Potatoes, Carrots, and Parsnips

One of my favorite conversation topics is finding out what my friends’ “super powers” are.  One of my friend’s has an impeccable sense of direction (regardless of what city, state, or country he’s in), one always manages to find free/convenient parking (in LA too!), and another can take a good selfie in any situation.  I’m working on honing my super power of being able to make a kick @ss entree for a dinner party.  My quest for turning out a delicious dish resulted in this Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary Salt, Shallots, Potatoes, Carrots, and Parsnips.  I had never roasted pork before, and up until the other day before I bought the pork loin, I wasn’t exactly sure what it looked like.  But this recipe is straight forward and simple (although it involves a bit of prep time), and this dish would definitely qualify as an impressive dinner party entree.  I think my dinner party entree super powers are gaining strength…

Roasted Pork Loin- C Stone6

Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary Salt, Shallots, Potatoes, Carrots, and Parsnips

(from Curtis Stone’s What’s For Dinner?)
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 pound shallots, cut in half
3 carrots, cut crosswise on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
3 parsnips (the same size as the carrots), peeled and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
One 2 ½-pound boneless pork loin roast, preferably with top layer of fat still intact
⅔ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Put potatoes, shallots, carrots, parsnips, and garlic in large heavy roasting pan, sprinkle with smoked paprika, and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread vegetables evenly over bottom of pan. Place 2 rosemary sprigs on top.
  3. Finely chop enough of remaining 2 rosemary sprigs to equal 2 teaspoons. In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon salt and chopped rosemary. Rub mixture together with your fingertips for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  4. Using sharp knife, score fat that covers top of pork by cutting shallow slashes (about ¼ inch deep) at 1-inch intervals, cutting into fat but not flesh. Rub pork all over with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Rub rosemary salt all over pork, working it into score marks, if desired, tie pork crosswise with kitchen twine in three or four places to help maintain its shape while roasting.
  5. Place pork fat side up on top of bed of vegetables. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until pork is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center reads 125°F. Transfer pork to serving platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing (pork will continue to cook as it rests).
  6. Meanwhile, stir vegetables in pan and continue roasting them for about 10 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. Transfer vegetables to the platter with pork.
  7. Add broth to hot roasting pan and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring with wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits in bottom of pan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour pan juices into sauceboat.
  8. Untie pork if necessary. Slice pork and serve it with roasted vegetables and pan juices.