Caramelised Onion & Rosemary Quiche

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheMe and the Mr love a good quiche. It’s proper comfort food but not like the Winter kind… more a spring/summer kind. Nothing beats it when you’re out on a picnic or enjoying an evening meal in the garden. It’s perfect for lunch, dinner, packed lunches or even the dish you take to your friend’s Summer BBQ! Always guaranteed to be a hit, it’s also a fantastic fridge clearer. You can pretty much chuck any leftovers into a quiche & it will still taste great! This particular combination was one I came across over at The Chefscapades blog and I couldn’t resist trying it out.

So here is what you will need to make 1 x 8″ quiche:

For the Pastry *

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, cold & cubed
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Cold Water
  • 1 Egg white, beaten for glaze

For the Filling

  • 2 Large Onions
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 90ml Milk
  • 90ml Double Cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 50g Gruyere Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper

Essential Equipment

  • 8″ Round, Fluted, Loose Bottomed Tin
  • Food Processor

* You can, of course, buy your pastry & prepare/bake in the same way as below.

To make the pastry, dump the flour, butter & salt into a food processor & blitz until it becomes like fine breadcrumbs.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheBeat the egg with the water & gradually pour it into the food processor whilst it’s still on. Stop when the pastry starts to clump together. If necessary, add a little more water.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheTip out onto your work surface & bring together to form a ball. Cover in cling film, flatten into a disc and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

I like to roll my pastry out in-between 2 sheets of cling film because if you roll it out on lots of flour, you can upset the balance of ingredients & potentially ruin your pastry.

So, roll out your pastry into a rough circle approx 2 – 3 mm thick and big enough to cover the base & sides of your tin.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePeel off one layer of cling film, and using the other cling film layer to help, lift the pastry over your tin & press into the edges. (Cling film on top of course!)

Peel off the cling film, cut away the excess & prick the base all over with a fork.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePlace the base into the freezer to chill again for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C and place a baking tray large enough to fit your tin on into the centre.

Meanwhile, you can crack on with the onions.

Peel and slice the onions as finely as you can and melt the butter in a large, non stick frying pan over a low heat.

Add in the onions & cook, stirring often so they don’t catch on the bottom.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheAfter about 30 minutes, they should be beautifully golden and soft.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLeave to one side to cool whilst we bake the pastry case.

Now your prepared case is sufficiently cold, scrunch up a large piece of baking paper, (not greaseproof as that will stick!) place over the pastry and cover with baking beans or rice.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePlace into the preheated oven on the hot baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheTake out the oven and remove the baking paper & beans. Brush all over with beaten egg white & place straight back into the oven for another 12 minutes until a light golden brown.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLeave to cool for a few minutes whilst we make the filling.

In a jug, add in the milk, double cream, eggs, chopped rosemary & a very generous amount of salt and pepper to season.

Lay the caramelised onions over the base and spread out evenly.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePour over the egg mixture until it reaches the top of the pastry case. You may wish to do this after placing the tin in the oven to avoid any spillages.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLastly, sprinkle all over with the gruyere cheese.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheWith the oven still at 190°C/Fan 170°C, bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese on top is bubbling and golden.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary Quiche

Essentially, this is a glorified cheese & onion quiche. I tell you what though, it’s totally worth the extra effort! Me and the Mr enjoyed this with some sweet potato chips and it barely touched the sides! A definite winner in the KitchenMason household and one that I will definitely be making again/playing about with over the Summer months to come.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

Quick Onion Pasta

Caramelised Onion PastaBeing a new Mum I am in desperate need of quick, easy & filling meal ideas. As you can imagine, I have very little time on my hands anymore – juggling my new responsibilities as a parent!

This gorgeous pasta dish only takes about 30 minutes to make & is incredibly tasty. Just what I’ve been looking for! (Recipe adapted from The Silver Spoon: Pasta cookbook.)

Here is what you will need to feed 2 hungry parents. (Easily doubled)

  • 40g Butter
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 200g Fusilli Pasta *
  • 15 – 20g Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper

* or any dried shaped pasta of your choice

First job – peel & slice the onions as thinly as you can.

In a large, non stick frying pan – melt the butter over a low heat.

Add the onion into the pan and cook over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes until the onions have gone soft & golden brown. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat as this could make them crispy.

Quick Onion Pasta

Quick Onion PastaMeanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. When it is cooked, before draining, Reserve a little of the water for later. (About 100-200ml)

Add the thyme to the onions and season well with salt and pepper. Give it a stir.

Quick Onion PastaTip the cooked pasta into the frying pan with the onions & add the reserved water. Stir it all up and warm through for a minute. Season with more salt & pepper if you think it needs it.

Quick Onion PastaDivide between two bowls, top with a generous sprinkling of the grated parmesan cheese and devour!

Quick Onion PastaI don’t know about you but I am a huge onion fan. To me, any food that stinks is all good in my books! This really is delicious though and perfect for those of us with busy lives. Only taking about 30 minutes from start to finish to make, no excessive pot washing to do afterwards & those hearty carbohydrates keeping you fuller for longer – it answers all my prayers! A meal I am more than happy to add to my repertoire & one I think you should too 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies – until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

French Onion Soup

French Onion SoupBeing heavily pregnant & almost ready to pop – I have been advised by many people to stock up my freezer. So this is me making a start! But this intensely delicious French Onion Soup has a unique KitchenMason twist…

Traditionally made with beef stock, I opt for chicken stock as I personally think it gives a more rounded & delicate flavour. Why don’t you be the judge and give it a go yourself?

Here is what you will need to make 6 Servings. (Approx 2 litres.)

For the Soup

  • 50g Butter
  • 750g Onions (approx 850-900g before peeling & slicing)
  • 2 x Garlic Cloves
  • 45g Plain Flour
  • 187ml Bottle of White Wine
  • 2 litres Chicken Stock (Good Quality)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper

To Serve (Optional)

  • Slices of Stale Baguette
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated

Essential Equipment

  • Large lidded pot

Firstly, prep your veg. I honestly couldn’t be bothered to stand and slice all those onions – the solution? Get out your food processor with the slicing disc attachment & use that. It saves masses of time and effort.

So peel & finely slice all those onions and finely chop the garlic.

Take your large pot & place over a medium heat.

Add in the butter. When melted, tip in all the onions and give it a stir.

French Onion SoupContinue to cook for approx 25-35 minutes whilst stirring occasionally. You want to get a nice golden brown colour – try not to be impatient and give in early. Also, don’t worry too much if it catches on the bottom of the pan, it’s all adding caramelisation & flavour!

French Onion SoupOnce the onions are done, add in the garlic & flour and stir continuously for about 2 minutes.

French Onion SoupAdd in the white wine and stir for about a minute until most of it has been absorbed.

French Onion Soup-4Gradually add in the stock then bring it all to the boil.

Add in the bay leaves, thyme sprigs & a generous helping of salt & pepper. Stir it all up, pop the lid on and simmer for about 25 minutes.

French Onion SoupWhen the timer has beeped – remove the lid and fish out the bay leaves & thyme sprigs.

French Onion SoupIf saving for later, allow to cool completely before dividing into bags/tubs and freezing.

If you want to serve straight away – preheat your grill.

Slice up an old, stale baguette and grate some cheese. Divide the soup between oven proof bowls, place 1-2 slices of baguette in each bowl and cover with grated cheese.

Place under the grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.

French Onion SoupI absolutely adore this soup! There’s just something so much more special about the flavour when you use chicken stock instead of beef. I often find with the traditional recipe, there’s a rich ‘twang’ that I don’t enjoy but with this version? It’s just heavenly! And let’s be honest – everything is better with melted cheese 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Even at 28 years old I still have to trick myself into eating healthy foods. I’ve dramatically improved over the years but I think a part of me will always be a fussy eater. With me, half the battle was texture & ‘eating with my eyes.’ This unbelievably delicious recipe solves both those problems in one fell swoop!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Seriously, what if I told you that you could get all the above veg into a fussy eater and they wouldn’t even realise? I kid you not! The trick? A food processor. Take out the texture & you are left with a visibly appealing sauce that is jam packed full of the good stuff AND tastes fantastic!

Here is what you will need to make approx 6 generous portions/1.5kg. (Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.)

Top Tip! With it just being me and the Mr, I used 2 portions straight away and froze the rest in freezer bags for a later date.

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Sticks of Celery
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 Carrots, peeled
  • 2 Peppers, I used 1x Red 1x Yellow
  • 2 x 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes with Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Mushroom Ketchup, optional
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Essential Equipment

  • Food Processor or Stick Blender
  • Large pot/saucepan with a lid

Firstly, prep your veg.

Slice the onion, celery, leek & carrot into pieces roughly the same size. Core and slice the peppers and set to one side.

Over a medium heat, add the oil into a large lidded pot/saucepan.

Add in the onion, celery, leek & carrots and cook for about 20mins until softened. Stir occasionally so nothing catches on the bottom.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Add in the peppers and cook for a further 10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Tip in the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, mushroom ketchup (if using) and garlic powder. Generously season with salt & pepper and give it a good stir.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Pop on the lid and allow to simmer for about 20mins until everything is nice and soft.

Then remove the lid and allow to reduce for 5-10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Lastly, give it all a good stir and leave to cool a little before either blitzing in a food processor or with a stick blender.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!See the difference pureeing can make? If I was still as bad as I was when I was younger – there is no way in hell I would have touched this before it had been through the processor! Now it looks completely unassuming and harmless. See?! A perfectly deceitful way of sneaking veg into those fussy eaters.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!As I recommended before, unless you are cooking for a lot of people anyway – this is a great  recipe to split & store in the freezer for those days when you just can’t be bothered. Making you much less likely to reach for the takeaway menu & far more likely to inject some goodness into you!

Top Tip! If serving with pasta, when warming through the sauce, add a little of the pasta water and stir it through. This will make it lovely and smooth.

In other news, If you weren’t already aware, me and the Mr are expecting our first child in around 4-6 weeks. Yesterday, our wonderful family & friends surprised us with an amazing Baby Shower!

Baby ShowerClearly this (and the large amount of cake!) made us extremely happy! I sincerely feel very lucky & privileged to have such a wonderful bunch of people in my life. Huge thank yous all round to everyone that was involved/attended. My mini KitchenMasonite is already so spoilt and she’s not even arrived yet!

Speaking of cake – I would like to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to my Dad. Why you ask? Well, my Dad has never decorated a cake in his entire life but he’s always relished a challenge…

Baby ShowerSeriously, he’s never made a celebration cake before. EVER. How unbelievably awesome is this?! Not only did it look incredible, it tasted incredible too. The vanilla genoise sponge was beautifully soft & light and the buttercream was so smooth – absolutely divine. Move over Mr Kipling, there’s a new cake maker in town!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Spaghetti Bolognese & SORTEDfood Giveaway!

Spaghetti BologneseSpaghetti bolognese. We all love it but lets be honest, 9 times out of 10 – it comes out of a jar. And I must confess, I’m guilty too. So I went on a mission to find an easy solution, and there was only one place to look, SORTED food!

Over the years they have built up a HUGE recipe archive, a fantastically funny yet informative, step-by-step YouTube channel and even have their own kitchenware! So there was no question they would have an easy peasy & super delicious recipe for spag bol.

Without further ado, here is what you will need to serve 4.

  • 500g Minced Beef
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Stick Celery
  • 1 Carrot
  • Handful of Mushrooms
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Squeeze of Tomato Puree
  • 1 Glass of Red Wine
  • 1 x 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 400ml Beef Stock
  • Splash of Milk
  • Splash of Worcester Sauce
  • 400g Spaghetti
  • 80g Parmesan Cheese to serve, Grated

Firstly, prepare your vegetables. Finely dice the onion, celery & carrot. Chop the mushrooms and crush the garlic.

Next, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and  season the beef with salt and pepper. (Before it goes in the pan.)

Add a little olive oil to the pan then fry the mince until browned. Transfer to a bowl and set to one side.

Spaghetti BologneseAdd the onion, celery, carrot & mushrooms to the same pan and fry for a few minutes.

Spaghetti BologneseThen add in the garlic, oregano, tomato puree and red wine. Stir to mix well and simmer for a few minutes to reduce.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti BologneseNext, add in the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, milk and worcester sauce. Return the mince to the pan, season generously with salt & pepper and simmer over a low heat for a minimum of 1 hour – a few is better.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti BologneseWhen you are ready, cook the pasta in generously salted water according to the packet instructions.

Spaghetti BologneseDrain, toss with a little olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Spaghetti BologneseServe with a big dollop of bolognese and some grated parmesan.

Spaghetti BologneseAnd there you have it! Time, it would seem, does most of the hard work for you in this recipe. It’s not demanding in any way, in fact other than 10 minutes to get it going and cooking pasta at the end, it’s really not that taxing at all! And as for the taste? It’s gorgeous. The red wine adds a deep rich flavour to it and all that (now hidden) veg is great for you and your family! It’s a really good way to get some of the good stuff into those fussy eaters. (Trust me, I was one for years.)

Now, how do you fancy winning yourself some Sorted Food goodies?

I’ve teamed up with Premier Housewares who, alongside the great guys at Sorted Food, have developed a stylish, good quality range of cookware for the aspiring chef!

With everything from aprons to chopping boards, these guys have got all the basics you need for your kitchen.

Among them is a fabulous set of weighing scales…

Sorted FoodAfter using them, the first thing I noticed were that they react much quicker than other digital scales I have used, allowing you to be speedy AND accurate in your kitchen. Also, I like that it doesn’t come with the stereotypical bowl on top. I never use mine as I always just place the bowl or pan I’m using within a recipe on them, creating less pots for me to wash. This way, it also takes up less of your precious cupboard space too, bonus!

Also, a large lidded pan…

Sorted Food

These pans are great. Ceramic coated, aluminium pans that aren’t too heavy or too light – they’re just right. They can be used on all types of hob and have silicone coated handles giving you a good grip!

And lastly, a ‘pop up’ colander & steamer…

Sorted Food

This really is good! It goes completely flat for easy storage & simply pops up when you need to use it. It is great for draining pasta, potatoes or rice & works perfectly as an easy vegetable steamer by simply placing it into a pan, filling with water up to the base of the steamer and hey presto! Pop the lid on the pan – vegetable steamer.

Want to get your greedy mits on all 3 items? Well here’s your chance! The fabulous folks over at Premier Housewares have given me a set worth over £75 for one of you lucky blighters to win!

So, what do you have to do to be in with a chance? It’s simple – just one of the following 3 things:

 

1. Like the KitchenMason & Premier Housewares pages on Facebook then share the photo pinned to the top of my timeline

2. Follow @KitchenMason & @PremierHousewrs on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet on KitchenMason’s Twitter feed with the hashtag #WinSortedKM

Not on social media? No problem!

3. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or WordPress  (on the right hand side of the page) and leave a comment on this post to say you’ve done so.

 

It really is that easy!

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Saturday 8th November at 1pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter afterwards.

Good luck lovelies!

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with Couscous!

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousSo now we are in Spring, I think it’s about time to dust off those lighter meal ideas and start look forward to Summer! I’m kicking it all off with this gorgeous chicken and couscous dish covered in a sultry balsamic, garlic, and honey glaze. Here is what you will need to serve two hungry people.

For the Couscous

  • 90g Couscous
  • Knob of Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 260ml Chicken Stock (Reserve 60ml for the Chicken)
  • 1 heaped tsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 4 Spring Onions, chopped
  • 15g Flaked Almonds, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

For the Chicken

  • 2 x Skinless & Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 60ml Chicken Stock (Reserved from the Couscous)
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 large Garlic Clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Honey

Tip the couscous into a large glass bowl, add in the butter and season well with salt & pepper.

Pour in 200ml of the chicken stock (reserve the remaining 60ml for the chicken later) stir briefly with a fork then cover with cling film & leave to one side whilst we get on with the chicken.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousPlace a heavy, non stick pan over a medium heat.

Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts inbetween some clingfilm & flatten to about 2cm thick with a rolling pin. Season well with salt & pepper.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with Couscous

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousAdd the butter & olive oil into the heated pan then lay in the chicken.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with Couscous

Cook for about 5-6 mins on each side until golden and cooked through.Cook for about 5-6 mins on each side until golden and cooked through.

Cook for about 5-6 mins on each side until golden and cooked through.Place on a plate and cover with foil to rest and keep warm.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousWith the pan still on the heat, add in the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, reserved chicken stock, garlic & honey and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until it reduces to a sticky glaze.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with Couscous

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousBack to the couscous. Remove the cling film and fluff  the cooked couscous up with a fork.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousTip in the parsley, spring onions, almonds and lemon zest and give it all a good mix.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousFinally, slice the chicken and serve on warmed plates with the couscous. Finish off by pouring over the hot, balsamic glaze.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousAnd there you have it! This is definitely one I will be making again. It’s packed full of fresh, spring flavours and only clocking in at around 430 calories per portion. Not bad if you’re after that bikini bod or 6 pack for the summer! Oh, did I mention that it’s absolutely delicious by the way? No? Well it is!

Hope you enjoyed the post and I’ll see you all next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Chicken Stock

It’s a rarity that I have a whole chicken in the house and after devouring Heston’s perfect roast chicken on Saturday night I figured, waste not want not, I’m making me some stock!

Here is what you will need to make your very own home made chicken stock ice cubes. Recipe is courtesy of BBC Food.

  • Bones from a cooked chicken
  • 1 Carrot, peeled & chopped
  • 1 Onion, peeled & quartered
  • 1 Stick of Celery, chopped
  • 6 Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Dried Bay Leaf
  • 1 Sprig Thyme
  • 3 Sprigs Parsley

Note:

The shop around the corner from me didn’t have celery or parsley so I made do without but if you can, obviously get them. (Don’t judge me, It was a Sunday & I was being lazy!) I also added the basting juices leftover from cooking the Ultimate Roast Chicken.

First up, throw all the ingredients into a large heavy based pan.

Cover the ingredients with cold water, place on the stove & bring to the boil. Skim off any scum that surfaces.

Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 3 hours.

Strain the stock through a sieve or some muslin into a large bowl. If you will be using it within three days, allow to cool completely, skim off the fat that surfaces to the top & refrigerate until needed.

If you aren’t, return the stock to a clean pan. Crank up the heat and boil vigorously for about an hour or until reduced by half.

Cool the stock completely then skim off the fat that surfaces. Pour the stock into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen, put cubes (or sea shell shapes in my case!) into a bag and store in the freezer.

When you want to use one, simply put in a jug and add boiling water to melt the cube. Or just throw into a pan with your ingredients for a more concentrated flavour.

Hope I’ve inspired you to not waste those carcasses!

Go forth and make stock my friends.

Miss KitchenMason