An Ode to Joy!

April 17th, 2008

Growing up, our kitchen held two main reference cookbooks: the Betty Crocker Cookbook and the Joy of Cooking. My mother’s Betty Crocker is falling apart. The cover is completely ripped off but it still precariously rests on top of the tattered and food stained pages struggling to keep the book together. My mother has inserted many other recipes through the years among the pages. I love this book because it represents the history of my mother’s cooking. One year for Christmas, my mother gave me a copy in order to begin my own cookbook collection. It is an excellent cookbook for a budding chef. It has good recipes, great tips and beautiful pictures!!!

On the other hand, I never liked the Joy of Cooking when I was younger. It was long, boring and had no pictures! Often, I would ask my mother a cooking question and she would point me in the direction of the Joy of Cooking. I would scowl looking at the distasteful book. I just never understood the point of having a cookbook without pictures. But the Joy of Cooking almost always had the answer to my cooking questions. Slowly, this book grew on me until it has become my favorite cookbook. If you have never picked it up, I highly recommend it. It is written in a way that really helps you learn how to cook. The recipes show you how the ingredients fit together to create the dish and thus, at least for me, help me go off the recipe fairly easily. My quiches are often like this. I make up a new one every time depending on what we have in the fridge. With the Joy of Cooking by my side, I often pull off a very inventive and delicious dish. Tonight, I created a Goat Cheese-Balsamic Caramelized Onions- Artichoke Hearts Quiche. It turned out really well and both of my roommates gave their stamp of approval.

Goat Cheese-Balsamic Caramelized Onions-Artichoke Hearts Quiche
(adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

1 prepared crust (I often cheat on weekdays and buy a store bought crust…saves me time!)
1 6 oz. log of goat cheese
1 7 oz. (or close to it) marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
Balsamic Caramelized Onions (see my previous post)
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup whipped cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Crumble the goat cheese on the bottom of the crust.
3. Whisk the eggs, milk and whipped cream together until well mixed.
4. Stir in onions and artichoke hearts.
5. Mix in salt and pepper.
6. Pour in prepared crust.
7. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

P.S. Do not forget to enter my Dollar Dish Duel!!!! More details here.