I never thought I’d move out of San Francisco.
In fact, at one point I joked you would have to pry the keys to my rent-controlled Pacific Heights apartment out of my cold, dead hands. But after we got married last year, my husband and I realized that in order to eventually have a family (and in the meantime, maintain our sanity) we needed a bigger space, so we packed our place up and moved to Larkspur in Marin County, just 20 minutes north of San Francisco. It was probably one of the best decisions we’d ever made – we now live in more than twice the space of our previous dwelling, we have parking/washer & dryer in unit/a patio/a beautiful new kitchen (all things that are luxuries in the city)…and the best part, room to have friends over.
My friend Luis happened to be coming up from San Diego last weekend, so I invited him, along with several other friends of ours, over for brunch at our new place. It was such a wonderful thing to finally be able to host our friends – we ended up having a luxuriously long meal of quiche, foie gras on brioche toasts, radishes with butter & fleur de sel, and of course, an array of cheeses. My surprise for my guests was the petits pots de creme that I’d made the night before, with my Nomiku sous vide circulator – much easier than using a bain marie.
It was so great to be able to catch up with these friends – when we’d all first met, we were in our 20’s or early 30’s, single, and many of our gatherings were at restaurants or happy hours. Now, some of us are married, have children, have changed careers, changed cities, and don’t have as much time to see each other. I look forward to many more opportunities like this – food is always better when it’s shared. Thanks to Karen over at Makeupandbeautyblog.com for the photos!
Quiche sans pâte with Mushrooms & Leeks
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 medium leeks, washed and sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup flour
4 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
Saute the mushrooms in a touch of butter or vegetable oil, until they are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, and put to the side. In the same pan, add another dab of butter and saute the leeks, adding a 1/2 cup of dry white wine during cooking, season with salt and pepper, and put to the side.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add flour and heavy cream and continue mixing until smooth, fold in the shredded cheese. Butter a baking dish (I used a deep pie tin) and add some of the leeks and mushrooms in a thin layer on the bottom of the dish. Pour half of the egg mixture in, then add most of the leeks & mushrooms, then the rest of the egg mixture. Sprinkle the remaining leeks & mushrooms on top. Bake in a 350F oven for 55 minutes.
Sous Vide Pot de Creme (from Nomiku’s blog)
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
Set up Nomiku sous vide circulator to 80°C.
Bring cream and milk just to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat and add sugar. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk yolks in one at a time. Strain mixture into a plastic bag suitable for sous vide cooking (I used a gallon sized freezer bag). Put bag in water, and make sure water comes as high as the chocolate mixture. Allow to sit for 2.5 hours.
Remove from water (note: very hot!) and cool. Pipe into serving containers and put into fridge to set for at least 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream if desired.