How To Follow A Recipe

We ladies love to talk about food. What we eat, what we cook, who we feed, how many people we were able to feed out of that one dish, Verdad que si? My bestie is in town and when she’s around I eat healthier and we talk about “creative cooking.” I’m not sure if that’s the best description of our food discussions. We’ve been working on easing me away from my Mexican food comfort zone. I tremble at the thought of using a recipe, es demasiado quehacer! Ya se, que exagerada, just how difficult is it to follow a recipe? Pues! Let me tell you that for me, it’s really hard to stay within the lines. Mira, here’s an account of another attempt to follow a “simple” recipe.

I have been talking a lot about stepping out of my comfort zone, cooking something that is not Mexican. The other day, I went all out and told Ben that I was gonna make breakfast for dinner. I told him I was going to make an egg bake, no recipe needed and it wasn’t Mexican. He said “ok” What else was he supposed to say right?. Caso Cerrado!  Until the afternoon when I was talking to my son Thomas about having an egg bake for dinner. He said, “oh…” imaginate the sad emoji with that “oh” I felt it. Especialmente when he said “Ma, I’m gonna be out so don’t worry about me for dinner” Wow! And I said “Maybe I should make a quiche with all the vegetables since…” My husband heard that and said “ooh quiche” and I had to quickly explain that I wasn’t really prepared to make a quiche. Ves, it required a recipe. Besides, I didn’t have the special cheeses and time and I couldn’t make a flaky crust and…I remembered my desire to go outside of the box. I told Ben I would find a recipe for a nice flaky crust. My flaco smiled.

The Recipe In My Kitchen

I jumped on youtube and found an easy recipe. I’m trying to keep my eyes from rolling, because again I confirmed the precipice of recipe climbing. All those details make me lose my way. 

Flour. Sugar. Salt.  Ice cold water. Diced up butter. Combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt, use your knuckles and fingers to work out all the clumps, until it’s all blended. Sprinkle in the ice cold water and use your knuckles to knead it and palms to fold it over, do not over knead it. Form into a ball and “chill” for 30 minutes. Then, use a pastry mat to roll out and transfer to fit your pie pan, remember to pinch off the excess. Luego, cut out parchment paper to fit and line the pie crust with it and freeze it for 30 minutes. Remove the frozen crust from the freezer, it was almost ready for a blind bake (huh?) Make a foil liner to fit into the frozen pie crust that is already lined with a parchment liner. Push it gently around the crust to shape it, weigh it down with pie weights (Que?). This will support the crust as it pre-baked at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

 That was the instructions for the pie crust. What of all that did I actually follow? I used ice water and fingers and knuckles. I baked it for 15 minutes. Let’s put it this way, I’m glad I wasn’t taking a test. Although I did learn two baking terms I didn’t know: “pie weights” and blind bake, I always called it pre-bake. I did not have all the ingredients for the filling, so I worked with what I had, como siempre. 

En Conclusíon

In my opinion, my quiche version looked really nice, pero, did my flaco like it? Yes he did, he asked for seconds. Did he love it? No se. I’m gonna try again, with the right cheeses and heavy cream, I used half n half. In the end I did make Thomas try it, veggies and all. He admitted that he was not a fan of quiche with all it’s veggies and pie crusts. Hijole! Why did I ask? He must have seen my disappointment because he then said “ It’s better mom, it’s almost flaky” maybe I was getting closer to flaky. Heavy sigh, Maybe the layers of tin foil with pie weights would have created the much desired flaky crust. I kind of want to run back to my easy green chile enchiladas.

My bestie says that she finds a recipe and always tweaks it, is that the case for most people? Does everybody do that? I want to know, quizas it’s ok to pick and choose parts of a recipe and let the “sazon” take over, I mean at the end of the day there’s got to be some magic in your fingers.