Butterscotch pots de crème (directions)
> Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 300˚F and place a rack in the center. Put six 4-ounce ramekins in a 9×13-inch cake pan.
In a small saucepan, combine the cream and dark brown sugar. Gently heat until the mixture starts to bubble on the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the water and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stirring occasionally, continue to cook until the mixture becomes a medium amber color. This should take about 5-6 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture overcook. It can burn and become bitter.
Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream mixture. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks and vanilla. Add the egg yolks to the cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking continuously.
Pour the custard through a fine sieve and divide evenly among the six ramekins. Pour boiling water into the cake pan around the ramekins until it reaches halfway up the sides. Bake until the custards are set around the edges, but still tremble slightly in centers, about 35-40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, then transfer the custards to the refrigerator and chill until cold, at least 2 hours.
Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt and a dollop of whipped cream.
Bacon, white cheddar, and scallion quiche (ingredients)
> Category: Main, meat
Quiche is an impressive make-ahead dish that serves well at room temperature. The crust can be made a day or two in advance, and the finished quiche can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup white cheddar, shredded
1 cup bacon, cooked and diced
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
Bacon, white cheddar, and scallion quiche (directions)
> Total time: 2 hours active, 2 hours chill time
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture looks like wet sand with some pea-sized bits of butter. A few larger bits of butter is fine.
Slowly drizzle the ice water into the flour mixture while pulsing the food processor. Stop adding water when the dough comes together easily and begins to form large clumps. The dough will feel moist and a little sticky, but not overly wet.
Place pie dough on a lightly floured work surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball and flatten into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap the disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days before using in a pie recipe.
Roll out the chilled pie dough to 12 inches with a rolling pin. Line a pie plate with the dough, folding the edges around the top of the plate and crimping them to form a thick edge. Line the prepared crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and add dry beans or pie weights.
Pre-bake the crust (with the weights) at 400˚F for 15 minutes until the edges of the crust are starting to brown. Remove the crust from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (and the weights) out of the pie. Prick holes all around the bottom crust with a fork. Return the pie crust to the oven and bake until the bottom is just beginning to brown, about 7-8 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature before filling.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and whisk the eggs, milk, cream, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl until uniform. Whisk in the cheddar, bacon, and scallions. Pour into the cooled crust.
Bake the quiche until the center is nearly set, about 45-55 minutes. Don’t overbake. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving, or serve at room temperature.
Spicy shrimp and grits casserole (ingredients)
> Category: Main, seafood
This make-ahead version of a classic southern comfort food is a perfect main course for a brunch gathering. For a quick prep time, use pre-cooked shrimp.
2 tbsp. butter
1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts only, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup quick-cooking grits
Salt and pepper to taste
12 oz. large shrimp (16-20 count), peeled, deveined, and cooked
2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups shredded Gouda cheese, divided
Spicy shrimp and grits casserole (directions)
> Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Butter an 8×8-inch baking dish. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the scallions, red bell pepper, and jalapeño pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cook 4-5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Stir in garlic, diced tomatoes with chiles, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Slowly stir in grits.
Stir continuously until the mixture begins to bubble. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and season with salt and black pepper.
Stir in the shrimp, bacon, egg, and 1 cup of cheese. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and bubbling. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
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