Monday, April 21, 2014

Samantha's Bridal Shower

 Our dear friends here in The Netherlands, Samantha and Bart, got married last year and I threw Sam a bridal shower. It was a daytime event, on a Sunday, giving me ample cooking/decorating time on Saturday. Sam, herself, created the wedding banner of gold, silver, cream, and white tassels.

The menu plan included several varieties of quiche, tea sandwiches, a cheese board with olives, peppers and crackers, salad, berry cobbler, cannolies, mini-cupcakes, and Prosecco with peach juice and sliced frozen peach garnishes.

I developed this quiche recipe because I had tried many recipes that resulted in soggy centers. It is enough for one 9" normal pie plate, or with extra filling it can be stretched to a deep dish 9" pie. For the shower I made 1.5 times the recipe to fill 8 mini quiches.

Broccoli, Feta, and Leek Quiche
(makes enough for a 9" pie-  3 cups of liquid)
(Other combinations of veggies follow below:)

1 pre-baked crust (recipe follows)
5 large eggs, beaten
300 ml  heavy cream (1 1/4 cups)
125 g cooked chopped leeks (about 1 cup, I use 2 leeks, white part only, saute in oil)
200 g feta cheese, crumbled (7.5 oz)
188 g chopped broccoli, parboiled (6.5 oz)
salt to taste (1/4 tsp?)

Pre-heat oven to 400F/200C. Beat eggs with cream. Place cheese on the bottom of the pre-baked crust, then leeks and broccoli. Cover with beaten egg/cream mixture. Salt to taste.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until barely jiggles in the middle. After 10 minutes of baking, use a crust shield to prevent burning of the crust.
Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve next day, warm each piece on a plate in oven for 5 to 8 min.

Crust Recipe (modified from Joy of Cooking) Makes one 9" pie crust.

150 g all purpose flour (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
250 g butter, cut into small pieces, cold (best to be in freezer but refrigerator is fine if you are fast)
75-120 ml cold water (1/3 to 1/2 cup)

I keep my flour in the freezer and it works great for this recipe, because the ingredients should be as cold as possible. In a food processor, process flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, minimum amount and process in five 1 second intervals. Pinch mixture in fingers and see if it sticks together. If not, add more water, a little at a time, until crust sticks together. Place cling-film on counter and place crust crumbs onto cling film. Using edges of film, shape into a disc and wrap tightly with the film. Place in fridge for 1 hour or overnight and then bring out of fridge for about 5 minutes to bring temperature up. Roll into a disc, place into pie plate and trim overhang. Line with foil and place pie weights or dried beans into foil. Bake at 425F/218C for 22 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10' before removing pie weights/foil. Pre-baked crust is now ready for quiche recipe above.

For the quiche fillings at the shower I opted for the following combinations:
Tomato, Basil, & Feta
Shallots(cooked), Bell Peppers, & Dutch cheese
Bacon, Cheddar, & Chives
Bacon, Cheddar, & Thyme
Sam also provided the gorgeous Anthropologie plates for the setting.
The sandwiches served were classic crusts-cut-off and included:
Turkey, Cheddar, & Tomato Pesto
Dutch cheese - I use Jong Belegen, which is ripened 8-10 weeks. While this is typically not available in the USA, the Oud, or Old version, Old Amsterdam (or something similar) can be found at my favorite grocery store, Wegmans. The difference is the older cheese is more flavorful, saltier and harder- better for eating with crackers, for example. The younger version of this cheese is perfect for a sandwich. We can't find Muenster or Colby Jack or Provolone cheese here but the Jong Belegen is fabulous for our typical lunch.
 I made berry cobblers and cannolies for dessert along with mini cupcakes in both gold and white wrappers.

The cannoli-filling recipe was from my Godmother and included a brilliant tip to remove the excess water in the creamy-mixture. Poke holes in a plastic lid and place it in the bottom of the bowl. Add your mixture and then let it sit overnight in the fridge. The excess water drains out under the lid!
The filling for these was amazing. Due to time constraints I decided to buy pre-made cannoli shells (imported from Italy!) but I was disappointed with the quality. Next time, I make my own and once I've got a good one, I'll share the recipe.

Once Sam had opened her gifts we made a 'bow-quet' from the bows on the gifts, using a paper plate as the base. She used this on her rehearsal day to walk down the aisle. I had never heard of this tradition until I got married and my friends did this for me.

 Mini-orchids in white candle-holders were the favors for the attendees. And we made a 'quiz-night' style set of pictures of Sam and Bart (and things related to them) for people to guess where or when the photos were taken as one of the games.

Congratulations to Samantha and Bart! Up next: their wedding cake!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing to know about your bridal shower party. Couple of months ago, I arranged my niece’s wedding at one of finest Los Angeles wedding venues. Invited all our family and close friends for celebrating this event. Truly it was an amazing evening with yummy food.