Mom flew in this weekend for some R & R. We went to a few special places I’d like to share, plus a Quiche that will have you going back for seconds and thirds.
Friday night started off with some snacks from a great cheese store here in Oak Park called Marion Cheese Market. I was able to get a few cheeses made in nearby states and a pear/vanilla preserve from Rare Bird, made right here in town as well. (Yeah, for women business owners!)
Saturday began with me baking like a crazy woman at 6 a.m. Not sure what that was all about, but a fabulous Quiche came out of it. Recipe is included at the end. This is a Mediterranean Quiche by Emeril Lagasse. There was a bit of prep work to get it made, but I think because I was making the pie crust and prebaking it ahead, added a bit more time to the whole she-bang. Mom and I both had a second helping, it was that good.
Later that afternoon we hit Pastoral Cheese & Bread store. This store was such a nice find. The guy behind the counter knew his stuff and recommended some great cheeses to take home. One was a little crock of the most creamy, stink-e-est cheese I have ever had, but oh so delicious. The other cheese was a brie/goat cheese with black truffles. For dinner we went to Kith & Kin. Onions rings with Aioli!
Sunday brought us to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights. This is a nicer upper scale version of a Japanese Walmart/foodcourt. There is the grocery store section, all fresh vegetables, pickled items, sushi, dry goods, then you have cosmetics counter, a bookstore, a travel agency and a food court. It was one of those seemingly controlled but yet crazy places and we loved every minute of it. Santouka is the infamous Ramen Noodle joint. Mom and I did our best to make sense of the menu and ordered up #14 and #93. We sat down and Mom’s head was in her bowl for about 15 minutes before she even said one word.
We each tried a different broth, one was miso and one was soy; both were equally delicious, but I would go for the miso next time. I plan on heading back here to try all the different versions of ramen noodles plus the Korean booth for some Bibimbap. And seriously, how many places make a pastry in the shape of “Hello Kitty?”
Here is the Quiche recipe. As far as the pie crust goes, feel free to use your own version or a pre-made one.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced onion
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 oz. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained & chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Gruyere Cheese
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375.
In large skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and zucchini and cook, stirring for 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the liquid is rendered and the vegetables are wilted, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, basil, and thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper. cook, stirring , for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and half-and-half together. Add the salt, pepper, grated Gruyere Cheese, and red pepper flakes.
Spoon the vegetables mixture into the prepared pie crust, pour in the egg mixture and crumble the goat cheese on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Up next, why Archimede’s Constant will put a smile on your face! Bon Appetit!