January 2, 2011

Let's Get Started!

Happy New Year!
Day two 2011.
Day one Brazen Pastry!
Brazen Pastry is a new blog entertaining frank commentary about life.  Here you will find a smattering of fabulous recipes, some my own, some from others.  I tend to be very opinionated when it comes to discussions regarding the raising of good kids, happy husbands, and good bread.  
I believe the discussion of food and life belong together like a good steak paired with a fine wine.  They simply compliment one another. 
My background isn't that of a world class journalist nor a studied chef, however, I do the role of "Mom" pretty well considering I have 5 great kids, and I am paid to cook so I guess I have earned a little free license to advise others who are less experienced. 
My philosophy is this...give your family healthy, tasty, delicious food using ingredients that are as close to the way God intended them to be.  This translates into real butter...real cows, real dairy, real good.  Not everyone can find nor afford all organic, all natural, blabbety blah blah blah ingredients, so, therefore, any recipe you might find here will be made with basic ingredients bought at the average neighborhood grocer.  On occasion there may be a recipe calling for ingredients more difficult to find.  I will do my best to provide resources for such ingredients.
My first recipe entry is the ever perfect Pate Brisee.  There is nothing more perfect than a crust such as this to be used in a quiche, crostata, galette, or tart.  I use the recipe from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" Volume I.  Page 140
I really don't believe there is much variation to this basic recipe.  I am sure that most good cooks such as Ina Garten & Martha Stewart use this basic french recipe for pastry. 

Pâte Brisée
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
3/4 cup butter cut into 1/2 inch bits
4 Tbsp shortening
A scant 1/2 cup ice water, plus droplets more as needed
The recipe is Julia's, the directions are mine.
In a bowl:
Mix flour, salt, sugar.  Add butter and shortening.  Using a pastry blender, blend flour and fat until it forms a pea size meal.  Slowly add the cold water (leave out the ice!).  Mix gently by scraping the sides of the bowl until a ball forms. Add more drops of water if needed. 
Knead on a very lightly floured surface until a rough ball is formed.  Now flatten the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic or wax paper and chill for 1 hour. 
Food Processor:
Place dry ingredients into processor bowl.  Pulse a couple times.  Add the butter and shortening through the feed tube and pulse until pea size meal is formed.  Using the feed tube while pulsing, add the cold water.  Continue pulsing until dough forms into a ball.
Remove and knead until all fat is incorporated.
Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic or wax paper and chill for at least 1 hour.  Can be frozen or chilled overnight.

This recipe is the basis for a great quiche, a fruit galette, or a lovely tart.  Why is it so good? It's flaky, light, buttery, and delicious.  Why should you make it? It's so easy!  At my cafe, all of our quiches were made with this crust.  Lots of people use pie crust and that is just wrong! But I used to until I found this recipe.
My recipe for quiche is so easy, but there are some secrets to good quiche that are common reasons for bad quiche. 
1. Use gruyere cheese.  This cheese is similar to swiss or emmentauler cheese.  It is just pungent enough to get those twinges on the sides of your tongue that you know your mouth wants more. 
2. Fill 'er Up!  Good quiche is loaded with good stuff! It is not as one might think, a souffle.  Rachel Ray was my inspiration for this.  I watched her make quiche on Food Network and man did she load it up.  Piled high with veggies, meat, and lots and lots of cheese. 
3. Invest in pie weights.  Lots of them.  They are used to keep the crust in place as it is baked.  The crust is baked before adding the ingredients, so as it warms in the oven, it will shrink and fall.  I learned this the hard way. 


  1. Please let me know when you do the Boeef Borginonne

  2. Yay! More good food! Can we have quiche tomorrow?

  3. I read this while eating peanut butter & chocolate chips off a spoon for dinner. I need to up my game. Help!

    1. I'm quite sure that was a most wonderful PB & J!!