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Calling all home cooks for our new #Cookclub

I love to cook and I know lots of other people do, too. Still, transforming raw ingredients into breakfast, lunch or dinner can be a solitary event, just you, a hot stove and your pots and pans. Oh, and a lack of time and fear of failure.

What if you were in #Cookclub — sort of like a book club — where you could share your culinary triumphs and travails with people just like you? (Or people whose culinary know-how will improve yours?) Consider this your formal invitation to join #Cookclub.

You don't have to RSVP or pay dues, just get into the kitchen and cook the recipe I provide every other week. And take photos of what you've made (don't you already?) and post them on Instagram (don't you do this, too?) with your comments about the recipe. We'll get them to Pinterest and share them on Twitter. For #Cookclub, we want experts and novices; adventurers and picky eaters. The more variety, the better.

I can't wait to see the results from a community of cooks preparing the same dish.

The key is to remember #Cookclub because that's how you'll want to tag everything so we can round it up and print some of your comments and photos in the Tampa Bay Times. On Thursdays, beginning Sept. 26, I will host a 7 to 8 p.m. Twitter chat where we will discuss the week's recipe and other topics of culinary importance. Stuff like: "Q1: What's a good melting cheese for queso dip?" and "Q2: Would you spend $8 on a vanilla bean?"

Here is how it will work:

1. Every other Monday, you'll get a recipe on Today we are starting with classic Quiche Lorraine. The recipes will encompass all sorts of cuisines and seasonal ingredients, plus everything from brunch dishes to dinner entrees and appetizers to desserts. On Sept. 23, look for a perfectly totable appetizer recipe for neighborhood potlucks, football tailgates or holiday gatherings.

2. You will have until noon the following Sunday to make the recipe and post a photo on Instagram with your comments. Tag it #Cookclub. (Our first members have a little longer for today's recipe. Post your results by noon Sept. 15.)

3. Join the #Cookclub Twitter chat from 7 to 8 p.m. every Thursday, starting Sept. 26. On that date, we'll have a few recipes under our belts and lots to talk about. The Twitter chat is where we can discuss the recipes, ask ingredient and technique questions and submit ideas for future recipes. We'll restrict our discussion to cooking inside the home; not dining out.

So today, we open the first club meeting with Quiche Lorraine from Elise Bauer's Simply Recipes website. The recipe is here, as is a video that provides some tips. Oh, and a photo of how mine turned out.

If I had it to do over again, I'd edge the crust with aluminum foil so it didn't brown so much. Instead, I covered the entire quiche loosely with parchment paper which prevented the filling from browning. I think a few brown spots would have been more appetizing.

But what does the #Cookclub think? Tackle the recipe and let me know with words and photos.

Questions? Direct them to @roadeats on Twitter and tag them #Cookclub.


Classic Quiche Lorraine

1 recipe favorite pie dough or a prepared frozen pie crust

1/2 pound of bacon (you can use more or less to your taste)

1 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

Black pepper to taste (we used about 1/2 teaspoon)

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup grated Gruyere or other Swiss cheese

1 heaping tablespoon chopped chives

If you are making your own pie crust, roll out the pie dough into a 12-inch round. Place it in a 10-inch wide, 1 1/2-inch high tart pan or pie plate. Crimp edges how you like. Freeze for at least half an hour before blind-baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the frozen crust with heavy duty aluminum foil or parchment paper. Allow for a couple inches to extend beyond the sides of the tart or pie pan. Fill two-thirds with dry beans or other pie weights (I've heard copper pennies work well for this too). If you are using a pan with a removable bottom, place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to catch any spillage. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven, remove the pie weights (the easiest way to do this is to lift up the foil by the edges) and the foil. Using the tines of a fork, poke little holes all around the base of the crust. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, until lightly browned all over. Remove from oven and set aside.

While crust is baking, cook bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Chop crosswise into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Keep oven at 350 degrees. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the nutmeg, salt, black pepper and chives and whisk a little more. Add the milk and cream and whisk vigorously to incorporate and introduce a little air into the mix — this keeps the texture of the quiche light and fluffy.

Arrange the bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust.

Whisk the egg-milk mixture hard again for a few seconds, then pour it gently into the pie crust. You want the bacon and cheese to be suspended in the mix, so you might need to gently stir it around just a little. You also want the chives, which will float, to be evenly arranged on top, so move them around with a spoon until you like where they are.

Put the quiche into the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. (If using pan with removable bottom, be sure to place a rimmed baking sheet underneath.) To prevent crust from burning, cover edges with foil. Check for doneness after 30 minutes by gently jiggling the quiche. It should still have just a little wiggle. (It will finish setting while it cools.) Cool on a wire rack.

Eat at room temperature, cold or reheated gently in a 200-degree oven.

Serves 6.

Simply Recipes

Calling all home cooks for our new #Cookclub 09/03/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 6, 2013 8:36am]
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