Monday, April 16, 2012

Secret Recipe Club - 3 Recipes for April Reveal Day

It's time for the Secret Recipe Club again. This month, I was assigned the blog Good Thymes & Good Food. I found a lot of great recipes that fit into my plans, so that I ended up making three dishes instead of just one. I chose Spinach Blue Cheese Bacon Mini Quiches to take to a reception buffet, Rigatoni alla Carbonara with Pancetta, Peas, and Parmesan for a week night family dinner, and Buttermilk Sandwich Bread because I had some buttermilk in my fridge that needed to be used up. I enjoyed all of my choices, with my favorite being the mini quiches.

Buttermilk Sandwich Bread

I doubled the original recipe to make two loafs. Also, I didn't have enough white flour, so I substituted the remainder with whole wheat flour.

480 ml buttermilk, lukewarm
160 ml water, lukewarm
20 g salt

1 tsp sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and divided

815 g all purpose flour
185 g whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast

Place both flours in a large bowl. Make a ditch in the middle and add buttermilk, water, salt, sugar, 4 tbsp butter, and yeast. Stir to dissolve yeast. Keep stirring, incorporating the flour while you do so. Once most of the flour is incorporated, knead with your hand to obtain a smooth dough. The dough should detach itself from the bowl easily. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. Shape the dough into a ball, remove from bowl, and spray bowl with oil. Place dough back in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 3 hours. Divide the dough, form two loafs, and place them in loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Brush with remaining 2 tbsp melted butter, let rest 15-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Place the loaf pans in the oven, along with a tray or bowl filled with 2 cups boiling water. Bake loafs for 40-50 minutes until lightly golden. Remove bread from oven, let cool a few minutes, then remove from loaf pans, and let cool completely on a rack.

Spinach, Bacon & Blue Cheese Mini Quiches

I love mini quiches. So naturally, when I read the title of this recipe, I knew I just had to try them. I have prepared countless different kinds in the past and this recipe set me of to do it again. I usually prepare 6-8 different kinds and freeze them. On busy days, you can just take out a variety of quiches, heat them in the oven and you have a great quick dinner. There are two ways of preserving the quiches: you can either freeze the unbaked quiches in the muffin tray, and once they are frozen you remove them from the tray and store them in containers or bags. When ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 400F, place your chosen quiches in the wells of a muffin form, and bake for 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Or you fully bake them and then freeze them. In that case, I preheat the oven to 350F, place the quiches on a parchment paper lined tray, and bake them for 12-15 minutes until heated through.

Ingredients (makes 24):
1 pack refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
6 slices bacon
4-5 oz fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
about 12 tbsp crumbled blue cheese
2 eggs
125 ml milk

In a skillet over medium heat (or on a rack in the oven), cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Place the spinach in a microwave save bowl and heat for about 2 minutes until wilted and softened. Let cool and squeeze out liquid. Preheat oven to 400F. Unroll the pie crusts on wax or parchment paper and roll over them a few times with a rolling pin to smoothem them out. Using a 2 3/4 inch diameter circular cookie cutter, cut out 24 circles. Line 24 mini muffin wells with the crust. Place about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp cheese in each quiche, sprinkle with a little pepper, and crumble 1/4 slice bacon over. Divide spinach among quiches. Whisk together eggs and milk. Season lightly with salt. Divide among quiches. (If you need more egg-milk, simply whisk together another egg and 4 tbsp milk.) Bake for 18-20 minutes until quiches are lightly golden and crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature. The quiches are great appetizers, snacks, buffet items, or - with a side salad - a nice dinner.

Carbonara-Style Spaghetti with Peas, Bacon, and Parmesan

This recipe sounded too good to be overlooked. Don't we all love simple pasta dishes at the end of a busy day? The only thing I changed was the amount of cheese. I must confess that I was never a fan of intensely flavored cheeses, so I am always on the more conservative side when using them.

200 g frozen peas
7 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 eggs
1 cup parmesan
2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
450 g spaghetti

Cook the peas in lightly salted water for 5-6 minutes, drain. Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve about 1 tbsp bacon fat and discard the rest. Cook the onion in the bacon fat until translucent. Remove from heat and stir in peas an bacon. Whisk together eggs, parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic. Cook the pasta as per instructions. Drain pasta, place back in pot. Add pea mix and cook for 1 minute. Pour egg mixture over and toss well until egg is set a little. Serve with more parmesan if desired.


  1. I love how you've made all three recipes rather than narrowing it down to one. I also like the sound of the mini quiches.

  2. Wow! What a compliment to your assigned blog. The pasta looks ueber creamy and delicious. (Found you via the Secret Recipe Club.)

  3. Sometimes it is so hard to chose just one!

  4. Holy moly!! You were busy. :) I'm so glad that you found so many recipes that you enjoyed. You picked some of my favorites!

  5. Wow you did a great job! That bread look delicious and the pasta looks amazing!

  6. I know, it's hard to choose sometimes! Great choices though! Love those quiches!

  7. You know you've hit the jackpot when you HAVE to make three recipe for reveal day. These all sound great and that sandwich bread seems far easier than I would have imagined!

  8. Wow . You were really adventurous. Everything looks really good.

  9. All these recipes look awesome, I will just try them all! It is fun cooking with you in the SRC!
    Miz Helen

  10. Three amazing choices! They all look great!

  11. It's always so hard for me to choose my monthly recipe too! I love hearing how other people decide. I'm stopping by from SRC but be sure to stop by Seasonal Potluck this month. We have peas AND rhubarb link parties open! We'd love if you'd share any recipes you may have

  12. Wow, the quiches look so easy to make. And very tasty. It's great that you enjoyed the blog so much that you chose three recipes to try immediately!

  13. holy moly chicken patoley! i love when people do a little bit extra and make more than one necessary dish for SRC. Well done!

    Happy SRC reveal from a group D member!

  14. Yum! I am always up for a good mini quiche!

    Just stopping by to tell you that I blogged your Apple Walnut Waffles. Thanks for starting our day on the right foot.

  15. So impressed you made three recipes. They all look delicious!

  16. all of the recipes sound amazing! I can't believe you managed to make them all