Sunday, July 14, 2013

in the kitchen

Today was a Big Day in the Kitchen.

Only by my standards, but still.

It started with a pot of farro, but since that is not a big deal (even by my standards) the day still seemed average. Farro doesn't even really count as cooking.

Then I realized that although the humidity was 98 percent during chores this morning, the temperature was only 86F, so, heck, almost cool! Maybe a good day to use the oven? It's been a while.

I pulled a couple of storebought pie shells out of the recently reactivated camouflage freezer (that's a story for another day) and set about preparing to bake.

Do you blind-bake pie crusts? And if so, do you have any idea why it is called that? Sort of an odd name. It's just poking a lot of holes in a raw pie crust then baking it for a short time to seal the inner surface of the crust a bit. The holes reduce the puffing up that can happen between the crust and the pie tin, and the sealing helps prevent a soggy crust later on.

I blind-baked both pie crusts, to make better use of the hot oven. One came out at 8 minutes, when it was just slightly lightly barely tinted brown - that's the quiche crust. The other stayed in for a few more minutes to really bake through. It may become a frozen dessert pie.

Not sure.
Never made one before.
Stay turned!

The quiche was my standard "recipe": toss in some of whatever is on hand. Today it was: 7 eggs, a big splash of cream from the top of a jug of raw milk, a couple of handfuls of chopped broccoli, a few spoonfuls of Rotel (canned chopped tomatoes and green chili peppers), and loads of shredded sharp cheddar.
Sound good?
Here's how it looked just out of the oven:

And unlike that rogue quiche of a few weeks ago, this one had more quiche-like topography:

(Oh look!  There's a big container of farro cooling in the background!  It did make it into a picture!)

while the quiche was in the oven,
along came a crazy thought:

Wouldn't this be a fine time to try Tipper's cornbread recipe?

After all, the oven was already on, right?
So what's another 100 degrees?

The recipe was so very simple. Thank goodness. Because this was the third thing I cooked today (you'll notice I am now counting the farro). For me, that pushed this day right into a sort of Wild Cooking Marathon.

(I know. I'm not much of a cook. Fortunately, Piper does not care. Sometimes the goats seem to be muttering, though.)

Twenty minutes later:

I wish I had a better right-out-of-the-oven picture, but to be honest, I was in too much of a hurry to take a picture like this:

I meant to flip the cornbread out of the pan in one piece, but suddenly realized something: I don't own a plate as big as my skillet. No problem, though. Those first two wedges popped right out of the pan. With no trouble. At all.

This is not the first time I've tried to make cornbread, but it is without a doubt the first time I've made cornbread that tastes the way I think cornbread ought to taste.

And the texture!
I mean, do you see the size of that missing section? You would be amazed at the amount of butter that much properly-textured cornbread can hold on to!  My, my.

Thank you, Tipper, for sharing your recipe - and please thank The Deer Hunter for his more freewheeling method, too. Maybe next time!

There will certainly be a next time, and pretty soon, too.  Because this time, there won't be enough leftovers to try making cornbread salad!


  1. Hi Quinn, Your baking makes me hungry. I love the cornbread made in the iron skillet. For some reason I think it helps the flavor, but I don't really know. I have enjoyed reading your previous post. I am trying to catch up with my friends. Have a wonderful day. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri Friend.

    1. Nice to hear from you, Shirley! I know you've been awfully busy. If you were closer, I'd cut you a big slice of cornbread right now :)

  2. Quinn, the quiche looks wonderful and reminds me I've not made quiche in a very long time, must remedy that asap. I adore cornbread and have a recipe that melts in my mouth. I used to prebake my crusts using beans because it keeps them from getting air bubbles; now I just use a fork and do a bunch of pricks and that keeps them from getting air bubbles.

    1. Quiche - it's what's for dinner!
      Just in case you ever think of adding Rotel, I'll tell you it was not my best idea for a new ingredient. The flavor is quite nice, but even though I drained the Rotel in a slotted spoon before adding, the tomatoes ended up making little pockets of moisture throughout the quiche. Not bad, but not something I'll repeat. ;)

  3. I'm impressed! I try not to turn on the oven but your quiche looks so good I may have to try it. I've been using my crockpot and the barbecue to prepare most of our meals.

    1. Same here. This was the first time I've used the oven in a couple of weeks. When I cooked a roast, I even moved the crockpot out to the porch to keep that little bit of heat outside, where all the rest of it lives!

  4. No matter the weather or the heat, the oven or stove is usually on here for something. I make soups all year round -- even when it is 125 degrees outside. Cornbread -- yum! I can eat it with blackeyed peas or roasted sweet potato and be perfectly happy. What do you do with the farro? Best wishes, Tammy

    1. 125 degrees. Whew!
      I eat farro hot or cold with milk for breakfast, or as a savory salad, or mixed with vegetables or meat for a main course...really, I do everything I can think of, and it has all been good so far! Do you like it? I'd love to hear how you use it!
      I wrote a little about farro here:
      Stay cool, Tammy!

  5. What a great post! You go girl! Everything looks so good and I went and checked out your cornbread salad also. Will be making some of that for sure.

    1. Have you made your quiche yet, Miss LindaLee? I thought of you when I put this one in the oven! :)
      Let me know if you try Tipper's cornbread salad before I do...I really won't have any leftovers this time to try it with!

  6. I love quiche but hadn't considered rotel tomatoes. Sounds really good!

    I'll be in touch about the kefir. :)

    1. It added a nice flavor but the tomatoes were a bit too juicy for a quiche, I think. Maybe just green chilies next time?
      Thanks so much, Leigh! A new adventure in food coming up :)

  7. Quinn-so glad you liked the recipe! Wouldn't it be grand if we could share a cake of cornbread in your kitchen or mine someday : )

    1. Tipper, gosh, I just saw your nice comment - sorry for the very late reply!! Yes indeed, it would lovely to share a visit in person - but meanwhile, I always think of your blog and your usual group of commenters as kind of like sitting around on a friend's porch and passing the time chatting about interesting things, large and small :)


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