Random Spring Bites

I am so happy spring has shown up. It seemed like we were stuck inside for way too long this winter.

March brought 3 snow storms to the Northeast, and I was afraid I would be wearing my winter coat forever.

But no more complaining. Spring is finally here.

Ramps, rhubarb, flowers, gardening, peas and asparagus. I love it all.

I planted my potted herbs and look forward to using them in my daily cooking.

Here are a few simple recipes for your weeknight repertoire.

I hope you try them.

This was a happy accident. I went to make a frittata and was experimenting with cooking leeks....and then I decided to add some cream, and a quiche was born.

Where's the crust? you are asking.
I didn't make one, but go ahead, please do.

I had some leeks that unraveled in the cooking process, so instead of tossing them, I outlined the pie dish with them to make a pseudo collar/crust.

This was delicious. Leeks cooked in butter are so luxurious.
I added in green peas, cause it's spring and because I love them.

Here's the recipe. Next time, I will fill into a pie shell.

Leek & Pea Quiche:

3 large leeks, sliced into 1 1/4 stacks
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of frozen peas, defrosted
salt & pepper
fresh dill or dried dillweed

In a skillet, heat the butter and olive oil. Lay each stack of leeks and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes.
It's a little tricky flipping them, but I have faith in you.

Carefully, using tongs or a thin spatula, flip the leek stacks over and cook another 2 minutes until golden.

Lay the leeks in a buttered pie dish, or in your pie shell. If some of the leeks unravel, just use them as the border of the pie.

Make the filling, by whisking eggs, dill, cream, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper.

Gently pour the custard around the leeks, but not over them.

Scatter some green peas around the custard.

Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.

Have leftover salmon? Have no fear.

Diana Henry's perfectly delicious Japanese Rice Bowl to the rescue.

225g (about a cup) Japanese sushi rice (I used basmati rice)
1/2 lb. salmon fillet, skinned
2 tsp flavourless oil
2 tbsp very finely chopped onion
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp sake or dry sherry
2 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp chopped avocado tossed with a little lemon juice
sesame seeds, black or white
1 sheet of toasted nori (optional) (I use Eden Shake, and it has nori in it)

If you are using sushi rice wash it thoroughly in a sieve. Drain and place in a pan with 1 cup water. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.

Turn the heat off and let it stand with the lid on for a further 15 minutes without opening the lid. You should have grains that are sticky but not watery.

To cook the salmon, put about 2" of water in a small pan and, when it’s at gentle simmer, add the fish.

Cover and poach over a very low heat for about 3 minutes. You want it raw in the middle but cooked round the outside (cook it right through if you prefer).

Remove from the heat but keep it warm by covering with a lid.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan and gently sauté the onion until soft but not coloured.

Mix the eggs with the sake or sherry, add to the pan and cook very gently, stirring, until you have a creamy mixture like very soft scrambled eggs.

Flake the warm fish and mix it with the soy sauce.

Divide the rice between two bowls. Top each with half the egg, the fish, avocado and sesame seeds, then crumble on the nori, if using.

Serve immediately with pickled ginger, wasabi and more soy sauce.

I baked a Basbousa cake...which is a dense, syrup soaked Middle Eastern cake with almonds and it is oh so good.

I used this basic recipe, but added in a tsp of baking powder and baked it in a loaf pan.

It was moist and rich and delicious. It didn't last long.

Happy spring!


Stephanie said…
Wow, three fabulous recipes in one post! I look forward to trying all three.
Unknown said…
Wow, what an awesome dish, thanks for the recipe.