Monday, June 2, 2008

Cafe Dining at Home

Since I live in the suburban environs of Silicon Valley I often long for the city. Thoughts of the city bring about dreams of easy-going cafe visits and alcoholic drinks in the early afternoon. There's something very European about it. I wish to visit Paris again with it's low-key outdoor dining experience. That brief 3 days that I was in France was memorable because it was a time of leisure; coffee, tea, or warm soda; and light meals.

Today I tried to replicate that feeling of cafe-dining but inside my apartment because the cafes around here are small and filled with immature high-schoolers who have nothing better to do than judge every aspect of a person who comes in their midst.

I made a cafe-inspired meal of Quiche and Spiced, Roasted Potatoes.

Quiche and Tell (recipe from "The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook" by Robin Robertson):

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil, chilled in the refrigerator
2 Tbs. cold water

1 Tbs. grapeseed OR olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced (about 1/2 small onion)
One 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, cooked according to pkg. directions, drained
1 lb. firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 cup plain soymilk
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese, grated

For the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour and salt, pulsing to blend. Add the oil and process until the mix is crumbly. Slowly add the water with the machine running, and process until the mix forms a ball. Turn the dough out and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until softened, stirring a few times, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the drained spinach, stirring to combine. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Fit it into a 9-inch quiche pan or pie plate. Set aside.
In the food processor, blend the tofu, soymilk, mustard, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg until well-mixed. Spoon the onion-spinach mixture onto the crust and sprinkle the vegan cheese over it. Pour the tofu mixture over the spinach-cheese mix, making sure it's evenly distributed.
Bake until the filling is firm and lightly browned on top, 50 minutes to one hour. Let the quiche cool before slicing and serving.

Oven Roasted Potatoes:

1 large russet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
garlic powder
onion powder
fresh-ground pepper
cayenne pepper
dried rosemary
grapeseed or olive oil

Place cut potatoes into a bowl and drizzle oil over top. Add spices and stir until potatoes are evenly coated with oil and spices. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Place potatoes on aluminum foil and fold the foil over the potatoes to make a closed pocket. Place foiled potatoes on baking sheet and place in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and serve.

Last weekend, my friends and I went camping. I ate simple foods like: peanut butter-banana sandwiches, chips and crackers, apples, Shelle's green bean salad, corn, beer and vodka. hehe.

Just thought I'd add a couple pics from the trip:

Me and Mini:

There was a perfectly lovely picture here but Shelle demanded I take it down. 0_o

Jay and Mini:



Shelle said...

I demand you take that ugly picture down, now!

I mean, really. Did you have to put the one up where I look crossed eyed, have a triple chin, have my mouth gaping open and with half-closed eyes like I were high? *Sigh.*
Why do you hate me so?

Your quiche looks splendid, by the way. It's more attractive that I am in the picture.

Erin said...

Just found your blog today, good stuff! Quiches are so cafe cliche, but so delicious.