Sunday, August 07, 2011

Go, go Gorgonzola!

I'm contemplating adding a new tagline to my soup blog, "Not just soup anymore!" And then it will become my main food blog, but then what would I post half the time here?

So, I'm posting more on food here for the moment.

I'm on a Gorgonzola kick right now. It happens nearly every summer. And, fortunately, Costco sells blocks of Gorgonzola as my head, and at a reasonable price! The reason I buy Gorgonzola in August is for the zucchini. Yes, the zucchini, which are just starting to come on in my parents' garden, which means that they're small and tender and a person could eat half or even a whole one for a meal. Here's how:

Cut your zucchini in half lengthwise (this works for bigger zuch's, too, for sure). Scoop out all of the seeds until you have a nice little zucchini boat. Fill the bottom of that zucchini boat with a nice layer of crumbled Gorgonzola (the amount is totally up to you .. maybe start with a little and add more the next time if it wasn't Gorgonzola-y enough for you). Next, add a layer of basil. Contemplate how delicious it would be to make lemonade with that basil and make a mental note to do that soon, but right now you only have enough basil to make the zucchini. Then, add a layer of sliced tomatoes. Top it off with a layer of another kind of cheese. This week, I used fresh mozarella (also best to buy this at Costco as it is ridiculously expensive at the grocery store); you could also use regular skim mozarella, or the shredded stuff you buy in bulk for pizza. I then topped this off with a little sprinkle of grated parmesan.

Now, bake those suckers. I don't like to heat up my kitchen, so I throw them on the grill at medium or medium-high for 10-15 minutes. You want the cheese on top to brown and the zucchini to be tender. If the bottom burns a little bit that's okay, you can just peel the burned skin off as you're eating it. After they're done cooking, I let them sit for a few minutes so the cheese sets up a little bit ... I dare you to resist them for that long. The Gorgonzola is an unexpected addition to the otherwise classic combo, but it's fantastic. Do this soon.

The next morning, you'll realize that you have a ton of Gorgonzola and while you'll be eating this zucchini a lot, you would have to eat it a LOTLOTLOT to use up that Costco block of Gorgonzola. So, crumble some onto a salad with chopped apples, strawberries, bacon and roasted almonds, and then top it with a citrusy salad dressing (I used Trader Joe's light champagne vinaigrette).

Finally, wow some guests or a spouse or even just yourself with this quiche (thanks to Addie for the recipe, one I used for the Mother's Day years ago, just before HH and I were married):

Gorgonzola, Apple and Bacon Quiche

2 T butter
2 T shortening
1 cup flour (I used a gluten free flour mix this time)
1/4 cup milk

6 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried mustard

1.5 cups chopped, uncooked bacon (make it a leeeetle healthier by using uncured turkey bacon)
1.5 cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/2 cup (or more) crumbled Gorgonzola

To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Combine butter, shortening and flour. Blend ingredients with a fork until butter and shortening are fully incorporated; the dough will be slightly lumpy. Add milk and mix ingredients until just wet. (note: if you are using gf flour, use more flour and chill the dough before rolling it out; otherwise it is impossibly sticky). Roll out dough and press into prepared pie pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes until beginning to set and be brown; set aside.

To prepare batter: Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

To prepare filling and assemble quiche: Reduce oven temp to 300. Brown bacon and drain. Line the bottom of the reserved crust with Gorgonzola cheese. Cover with bacon and apples, top with cheddar and pour egg batter for top layer. Place on baking sheet to catch overflow during baking. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until quiche is golden brown and firm (depending on how it's baking, you might turn it up to 350 for the last 20-30 minutes).

Consider serving the quiche with a fruity Gorgonzola salad ... or would that be too much? And definitely add a mimosa into the mix.

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