Fabulous Crab, Asparagus & Feta Quiche
Pura Vida! Femme Fatalii Gourmet Chile Pepper Sauce
What's not to like about a really good quiche, right? Flaky crust, rich ingredients, a perfect mix of flavors. Here's a great one incorporating our Femme Fatalii Gourmet Chile Pepper Sauce - the flavor that is most spectacular on seafood of all varieties.
Note: If you're not into making your own crust ~ or if you just don't have time ~ this recipe works just fine with a store-bought one.
Yields 1 9-inch quiche; serves 6 to 8
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the flour is no longer bright white, the dough holds together when you press a clump with your fingers, and there are still flakes of butter the size of pecan halves throughout, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until there are pea-size pieces of butter throughout.)
In a small bowl, whisk the yolk and milk, then add it all at once to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed (or with a fork) until the dough barely comes together, 15 to 30 seconds in the mixer, longer by hand. The dough will look shaggy at this point.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and gather it into a mound. Starting at the top of the mound and using the heel of your hand, smear a section of the dough away from you, sliding it down the side and along the work surface until most of the butter pieces are smeared into the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough in sections.
With a bench knife, gather the dough together, flatten it into a disk about 1 inch thick, and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
On a well-floured work surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 12-inch-wide, 1/8-inch-thick circle. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over a 9- to 10-inch quiche dish, or a 9- to 9-1/2-inch pie plate. Without stretching it, press the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the dish. Use scissors or a paring knife to trim the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang.
If using a quiche dish, fold the overhang into the dish and press the sides up to create an edge that's about 1/4 inch above the rim of the dish. If using a pie plate, fold the overhang under itself and flatten it slightly to completely cover the rim of the pie plate. Crimp decoratively.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the dough to relax before baking.
Position a rack in the center of the oven, put a large rimmed baking sheet on it, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Crumple a 12-inch square of parchment, flatten it, then line the crust with it. Fill the crust to the top with dried beans, gently pressing them against the sides. Bake on the hot baking sheet until the edge is a deep golden-brown and the bottom no longer looks raw (carefully pull back the parchment to check; if using a glass pie plate, you can see if the underside is golden), 40 to 45 minutes; protect the edge with a pie shield or ring of foil if it's getting too dark. Remove the parchment and beans (and pie shield if necessary) and cool on a rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl or large liquid measure, whisk together the yolks, cream, milk, chives, thyme, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Put the blind-baked crust on the rimmed baking sheet and scatter the feta, asparagus, crabmeat, and red onion over the bottom, being sure they are evenly distributed. Sprinkle the Pura Vida! Femme Fatalii Gourmet Chile Pepper Sauce on top of the ingredients. Whisk the custard and slowly pour it into the crust, taking care not to shuffle the add-ins around too much.
Cover the edge of the crust with a pie shield or a ring of foil to keep it from browning too much. Carefully transfer the quiche on the baking sheet to the oven and bake at 325 degrees F until the custard feels set to the touch in the center, 45 to 55 minutes. It should be golden-brown and slightly puffed and should not slosh when you jiggle it.
Let cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes, then slice and serve warm or at room temperature. Or, for the best-looking slices, cool the quiche completely, then refrigerate, slice when cold, and reheat.
Make-Ahead Tips: The dough may be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. If storing for more than 1 day, wrap it in another layer of plastic. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
The unbaked crust can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks. If frozen, let the crust stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
The quiche can be made and baked up to 2 days ahead. Once cooled, tightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. To serve, cut the quiche into slices, then reheat in a 350-degree F oven, edge covered with a pie shield, until warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes.
No, really! Studies have been done!
It's actually true that regular consumption of hot sauce (which contains capsaicin, a substance found in chile peppers in abundance) can affect your propensity for weight gain. Here's the medical gobbledy-gook explaining why:
The effects of capsaicin are said to cause "a shift in substrate oxidation from carbohydrate to fat oxidation". (1) This leads to a decrease in appetite as well as a decrease in food intake. Both oral and gastrointestinal exposure to capsaicin increases satiety and reduces energy as well as fat intake. Oral exposure proves to yield stronger reduction suggesting that capsaicin has sensory effects. Short-term studies suggest that capsaicin aids in the decrease of weight regain. (2)
Capsaicin does a LOT of other good things, of course. It actually kills prostate cancer and lung cancer cells (3) (I KNOW!) and guards against other cancers like leukemia, reduces inflammation and pain from arthritis, treats skin diseases including psoriasis and reduces post-herpetic pain from shingles.
So if you're trying to lose weight ~ or keep it off ~ have as much as you want! Chile pepper sauce is your hot friend!
Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 30, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
1. ^ a b Lejeune, Manuela P. G. M., Eva M. R. Kovacs, and Margriet S. Westerterp- Plantenga. "Effect of Capsaicin on Substrate Oxidation and Weight Maintenance after Modest Body-weight Loss in Human Subjects." British Journal of Nutrition 90.03 (2003): 651.
2.^ Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S., A. Smeets, and M P G. Lejeune. "Sensory and Gastrointestinal Satiety Effects of Capsaicin on Food Intake." International Journal of Obesity 29.6 (2004): 682-88.
3. ^ Mori, A; Lehmann S, O'Kelly J et al. (March 2006). "Capsaicin, a component of red peppers, inhibits the growth of androgen-independent, p53 mutant prostate cancer cells". Cancer Research (American Association for Cancer Research) 66 (6): 3222–3229. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-0087.PMID 16540674. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
Pretty much everybody who's ever made, ordered or enjoyed a Bloody Mary has an opinion.
There are the Purists: those who follow Fernand Petiot's original recipe (he was the bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris who, as legend has it, was the cocktail's creator) of salt, black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, lemon juice, ice, vodka and tomato juice.
There are the Modernists: those who enthuse about horseradish, lime juice, celery salt, peppered vodka and garnishes ranging from olives to celery to Brussels sprouts.
And the Improvisers: those who pour whatever they have in the fridge into an iced glass, add vodka and call it a Bloody.
It's all good! The wonderful thing about the Bloody Mary is that it's more like food in liquid form than an actual cocktail, so you can relax ~ almost anything goes. And for a hangover? Nothing beats it. Garnish with a chilled cooked jumbo shrimp on a skewer and you have the PERFECT anti-hangover combo: protein, spice (i.e. capsaicin from the pepper, a natural anti-inflammatory), lycopene (a free-radical fighter from the tomato/vegetable juice), tons of vitamins, plus hair of the dog. All that and the Sunday Times crossword will cure almost anything.
Here's a great Bloody Mary recipe using our Hotte Chocolatte, the Pura Vida! Gourmet Chile Pepper Sauce that happens to be my favorite for this purpose. There's something about the Chocolate Habanero pepper and the fifteen other choice ingredients that REALLY marry well with the tomato juice ~ except I use Trader Joe's marvelous "Garden Patch," which contains a veritable festival of veggie juices, starting with tomato, then carrot, beet, celery, spinach, parsley, watercress, lettuce and green pepper. It also has lemon juice, which is very handy. (It's delicious all by itself, really.)
So here's the recipe: start with a shaker. Add ice, the desired amount of vodka (don't use your Belvedere or Grey Goose; its flavor will be wasted here ~ I recommend something like the potato vodka Monopolowa, available at Trader Joe's for under $10). Then shake in five or six good, healthy pops of Hotte Chocolatte ~ more if you like more heat. Add a couple of pinches of celery salt and a half teaspoon of horseradish. Now pour in Garden Patch to fill 2/3 of the shaker, and shake vigorously. Garnish with the aforementioned jumbo shrimp, and enjoy.