Cooking with Kate: Destination Argentina
One of my favorite things about my job is researching different cuisines from around the world for themed events. Lately, I’ve been learning about Argentinian dishes, and one food keeps coming up over and over—quince. Argentina is one of the world’s top producers of quince, and many describe the fruit as similar in texture and appearance to an apple or pear, but usually bright yellow when fully ripe. Unlike, pears and apples, quinces are rarely eaten raw because they are too hard and sour. Because this produce is high in pectin, it is often used to make jams and jellies. Commercially, quince is produced into a sweet/tart, sticky, hard paste known as dulce de membrillo. This paste is then used in sandwiches and tarts, like the pastafrola recipe below.
 

Pastafrola

Traditional Argentine Tarts with Quince Jam
Yield: 1 (9-10”) tart or 8-10 individual tarts
 
Ingredients
For the crust:
1 cup sugar
1 stick + 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
 
For the filling:
2 cups (15-16 ounces) quince jam / paste (dulce de membrillo or membrillo casero)*
2-3 tablespoons water
 
*If you can’t find quince jam, you can make a product request with your local Brookshire Brothers!
 
Directions
For the crust:
Mix the sugar and butter together with a hand mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Continue to mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Using a spoon, incorporate the flour and salt, a little at a time, being careful not to handle or overwork the dough too much. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
For the filling:
Place the quince paste into a medium bowl. Add the water and mash with a fork until you have a smooth paste.
 
To assemble: 
Separate the dough into 2 pieces: ¾ for the crust and ¼ to make the strips for the lattice topping. Roll out the larger portion of dough to about ¼” thickness. Lightly coat a pie dish or tart pan with cooking spray or butter, and press the dough into the dish. Spoon the quince paste into the crust. Roll out the second piece of dough and cut into long strips with a knife or pizza cutter. Add the dough strips to the top of the tart in the classic lattice pattern or have fun making your own design.
 
In a small bowl, mix the egg with the water. Brush the crust with a little of the egg wash, and bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
 
 
Cooking with Kate: An Easy Summer Meal

With things heating up outside and the summer season upon us, I’m often looking for quick and easy meals that do not take much thought or cooking. Avocado toast is all the rage and with good reason – nutrient-dense avocados, from our farm-fresh produce selection, are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats (the good kind), Vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, folate, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Adding protein-rich eggs makes this a great meal for a quick breakfast or a busy weeknight. Enjoy!

Avocado Toast with Poached or Shirred Eggs
Makes 2 breakfast servings or 1 dinner serving

Ingredients

2 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
1 ripe avocado
1 lime, juiced
2 eggs, room temperature
pinch smoked paprika
a sprig fresh thyme or pinch of dried thyme leaves
salt and pepper

For shirred eggs                                                                                          

2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan or gruyere cheese

For poached eggs                                                      

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread softened butter on sliced bread; lay on cookie sheet. Set aside. As soon as you begin cooking the eggs, place the buttered bread in the oven to toast for 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Scoop avocado flesh into a small bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Mash and mix well. Set aside.

For shirred eggs

In a small greased ramekin, mug, or baking dish, add eggs (not beaten). Drizzle with heavy cream, sprinkle with cheese, and season with salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes (7 minutes for runny yolks; 10 minutes for a firm yolk).

For poached eggs

Crack the eggs into 2 separate small bowls or cups. Bring a small, deep saucepan of water to a low simmer (small bubbles barely breaking on the surface). Salt the water and add 1 tablespoon vinegar. Use a spoon to create a swirling whirlpool in the water. Slowly lower the egg into the center of the whirlpool. This will help the egg white to wrap around the yolk. Add the second egg. Cover the saucepan and let the eggs cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the water. Carefully drain the eggs on paper towels.

Serving

Spread mashed avocado on buttered toast. Add shirred or poached eggs. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, and paprika. Serve immediately.


Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

Cooking with Kate: March into Spring

Texas might have skipped winter this year, but I could not be more excited for the sunshine and flowers! This is the season for fantastic fresh produce, so take a look at all of the new fruits and vegetables at your local Brookshire Brothers and enjoy these two produce-packed recipes!

Strawberry Pineapple Green Goddess Smoothie
Makes 2 servings

1 cup whole or 2% milk
2 cups fresh spinach
1 banana, peeled and frozen
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks, frozen
1 cup fresh strawberries, stemmed and frozen
½ avocado, peeled and seed removed

In an electric blender, add milk and spinach and pulse until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately!

Broccoli Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Makes 8-10 servings

2 cups broccoli florets, blanched and chopped into small pieces
1 lb. sliced bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 (8 ounce) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
8 ounces mini pasta shells, cooked according to package directions, drained and cooled
1 cup of your favorite ranch dressing*

*OR
¾ cup mayonnaise

½ cup milk
2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix, or more to taste

In a large bowl, combined chopped blanched broccoli, chopped cooked bacon, whole cherry tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, cooked sweet peas, and cooked pasta shells. If making the dressing from the mix – In a small bowl, combine mayo and milk and add dry ranch dressing mix. Blend well and taste to see if more mix is needed. Add half the salad dressing to the pasta salad and toss. Add additional dressing if pasta salad is too dry. Chill until ready to serve.


Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.