Country CousinIssue Date: August 20, 2014
Summer is all but over. Marinette County Fair starts Thursday, Aug. 21 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 24. The Oconto County Fair is over. Labor Day weekend is coming up. All over TIMESland, youngsters are preparing to go back to school. Some of them are eager, some are not, but theyll go. Their Moms (or Dads) will see to that.
ON THE SOAP BOX
Am appalled by the rioting in Missouri, and the sympathetic coverage the professional rabble rousers there are getting from the mainstream press.
A few voices of reason are calling on the rioters to calm down, behave. Outrage over one tragic incident does not give license to loot, rob, kill and injure others who had nothing to do with it.
Unfortunately, other nationally known speakers - I could name them but wont - keep egging the mobs on to uncivilized behavior.
These speakers earn their livings from racial discord. Its not in their personal best interests to let this nation find racial harmony. If the races live in peace, theyre out of business.
Did the national press help create the riots and destruction and inflame the hatred? Absolutely!
Creating news and disseminating information before checking the facts in such a volatile situation is not responsible journalism. Shame on them!
Garden goodies keep coming in, not as amply for some of us might wish, but others have plenty to share, so no one needs to go hungry. Time to make good use of the fruits (and vegetables) of our labors.
BACON, TOMATO AND MUSHROOM QUICHE
Whether youre expecting a house full of guests for Labor Day weekend, or seeking ways to get a good breakfast into your family before everyone heads off to work or school on hectic mornings, or packing a healthy lunch, this quiche fills the bill. Freezes well and reheats in the microwave, or its even good cold. Quick to make if you use a purchased pie crust rather than making your own, but either way will work.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
4 tablespoons butter, cubed and well chilled
4 tablespoons shortening, cubed and chilled
1/4 cup ice water
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces thick sliced bacon, chopped
4 large eggs
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup Half & Half
8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
To make the pie crust:
In a large bowl, combine flour, butter and shortening. Mix together until the mixture resembles pea-sized pieces. Add the water slowly and mix until you have a firm dough. Form into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill dough for 30 minutes (or longer). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface, then use it to line a 9 pie plate. (From here the directions apply whether you made your own crust or bought a deep dish one already in the pie pan.) Prick the base all over with a fork and press a strip of aluminum foil around the pastry edge. Chill for 10 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes.
To make the filling:
While the crust bakes, heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Add bacon and fry until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels and drain. (I always save the bacon grease and drippings for other purposes, like seasoning green beans or making the best fried potatoes, but thats up to you.) In a medium bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the Half and Half and beat again. Stir in the cheese, bacon and mushrooms. Stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (A dash or two of cayenne pepper here is good too.) Pour egg mixture into the baked pastry shell. Arrange the cherry tomatoes artfully on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is set. (A butter knife inserted 1 inch from the center should come out clean.)
SALMON WITH RED POTATOES
This recipe calls for salmon, but other skinless, boneless fillets will also work, depending on what your angler brought home. Do be sure all the bones are gone, and adjust the final cooking time to the thickness of the fish fillets. Thin ones take only three or four minutes.
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small red onions, quartered, leaving root ends intact
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound small new potatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
8 sprigs thyme
4 skinless salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are golden brown, 4 minutes, turning once. Add potatoes, broth, and 4 sprigs thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until potatoes are just tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Season each fillet with salt and pepper and top with a sprig of thyme. Place salmon on top of potatoes. Cover and cook until salmon is opaque throughout, 7 to 9 minutes. Serve salmon with potatoes, onions, and cooking liquid.
RUSTIC FRUIT TART
You have to like ginger to appreciate this treat as is, but try substituting lemon zest or cinnamon, or simply cut down on the amount of ginger. Most folks like it as it is, and its a lot easier than it looks. Switch fruits, too, depending on whats available at a reasonable price. Apples, peaches, apricots, mangoes, would work, as long as theyre juicy.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup (1/2 of an 8- ounce tub) cream cheese spread
4 plums, thinly sliced
2 nectarines or peaches, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup apricot jam
Using pulsing action on your food processor, process flour, butter and cream cheese until mixture is well blended and starts to form a ball. Shape dough into ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour or until chilled. Keeping it longer doesnt hurt. About 10 minutes before baking time, heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll pastry on lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Toss the fruit with sugar, spice and cornstarch. Spread over crust to within 2 inches of edge of crust. Fold remaining edge of crust over the fruit. It doesnt need to look fancy. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven; spread fruit with jam. Serve warm or at room temperature. If plums and nectarines arent in season, try substituting other fruits, maybe peaches and pears, plums and apple, etc. or apricots and whatever.
Thought for the week: We need enough humility to see that Gods creation is a work in progress - and that we are a part of that work.
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