I always drop the ball when it comes to posting recipes for those special occasions. Seldom do I manage Valentines posts or Thanksgiving recipes. Somehow when bloggers worldwide are putting up their tried-and-true Christmas recipes, I can’t get my act together. But I couldn’t let the fourth anniversary of my blog pass by without posting about it. When I started Gratinée, I was unemployed with no idea what to do with my life. I’d always wanted to be a fiction writer, but was finding myself disillusioned with the book publishing world and feeling hopeless about attaining any success within it. While looking for a job, I began to write articles for local foodie publications and for a travel guide company in San Francisco, writing about Vancouver restaurants and shopping. I wrote on the blog and picked up the camera to find myself utterly obsessed with food and still life photography.
Fast forward four years later. I’m now a career counsellor, assisting people through their own career crises. I still write but am not as focused on it as I am the photography, which I’ve been studying in college since the summer of 2011.
And I can cook.
Although I had always enjoyed cooking, my repertoire was pretty limited four years ago. Posting, picking up new recipe books, experimenting in the kitchen while taking careful notes, has helped me develop my skills.
I am forever grateful for this technology that has allowed me to share my thoughts and passions with the world. As a writer who studied her craft when the Internet did not exist, I consider myself lucky to have this platform and to live on Earth at this time and place. I hope to share many more years of recipes and pictures.
Thanks you for joining me on my journey.
This recipe is now being featured on Yahoo’s Shine Supper Club. I’ll put up the link where you can vote for me if I become a finalist. They will announce it on March 25. Wish me luck!
Mushroom Gruyère Quiche
for the crust:
1 2/3 cups/200g flour
1 egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons/45 ml water; more if needed
6 tablespoons/90g butter; more for pan
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound/170g organic mixed baby mushrooms, sliced
1 cup/250 ml crème fraîche, thinned with heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
salt and pepper
pinch of grated nutmeg
for the crust
1) Sift the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the centre. Put egg yolk, salt, and water in the well. Pound the butter with a rolling pin to soften it; add it to the well and work in the ingredients with one hand until thoroughly mixed.
2) Using a pastry scraper, gradually draw in the flour from the sides of the well and continue working with both hands until coarse crumbs form. If the crumb seems dry, sprinkle with another spoon of water; the crumbs should be soft but not sticky. Gently press the crumbs into a ball; the dough will be uneven and unblended at this point.
3) To blend the dough, sprinkle the work surface with flour, and put the dough on it. With the heel of your hand, push the dough away from you, flattening it against the work surface. Gather it up, press it into a rough ball, and flatten it again. This flattening motion evenly blends the butter witht he other ingredients without overworking the dough. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm. Continue until the dough is as pliable as putty and pulls away from the surface in one piece, 1 to 2 minutes.
4) Shape the dough into a ball, wrap and chill until firm, 15 to 30 minutes. It may be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
for the filling:
1) Preheat oven to 375F/190C and set a baking sheet on a low shelf to heat. Roll out the dough and line the tart pan with it, then bake it blind (line the dough with aluminum foil and fill the tart pan with dried beans or pie weights to hold the dough in place) for about 15 minutes, when the edges of the dough are set and starting to brown.
2) Saute the mushrooms in butter mixed with a bit of olive oil until golden brown; spread them evenly on the bottom of the tart shell. In a bowl, mix the crème fraîche, cream, egg together; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix in the cheese.
3) Set the tart shell on the baking sheet and pour the custard into the shell. Bake until filling is set and golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Do not overbake or the filling will curdle. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Lemon Ricotta Crêpes with Blood Orange
for the crêpes:
1 cup flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for pan
for the topping:
5 blood oranges
1 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sugar
for the filling:
1) Place the ingredients for the crêpes in a blender and blend for one minute. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
2) Combine ingredients for filling in a small bowl and set aside.
3) Cut away peel from oranges with a sharp knife and peel away as much of the skin and membrane and possible while reserving juices. On medium high heat, bring the oranges and juice combined with honey to a boil. Boil for a minute and then strain. Set aside oranges and cook juices with sugar until a reduced syrup forms.
4) Brush crepe pan with a bit of melted butter. Pour some of the batter into the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom. Cook over medium heat until edges are golden and dry. Flip over crêpe and cook for another minute or tow, until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
5) Fill crêpes with ricotta mixture and top with the blood oranges and sauce. Garnish with a few rosemary leaves, if desired.