Friday, January 11, 2008
Real Men Do Love Quiche...
At least the one in my house does. I've never seen anyone get as excited about quiche as The Man does. He specifically asked me if we were having quiche on Wednesday, after I had mentioned making it this week while scratching out the grocery list on Sunday in my plague-induced fog. (Yes, what is there to love about a sinus infection? Especially one that affects your equilibrium so much that you are pretty much a spot-on Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator.)
It was weird not going to the grocery store for myself. I felt very incomplete and uncomfortable at the thought of not doing my own shopping...but I wasn't moving off the couch for love nor produce at that point. Besides, who likes to follow someone through the market who is sneezing and snorting and generally making all sort of icky liquidy sounds? Anyway, I got over it, even though it seems I need to give The Man a lesson herb identification. I asked for some fresh thyme and got sage, but it didn't really matter, because the dish turned out kind of icky anyway. (And, I know, I 'm weird because I adore grocery shopping...it's my favorite kind of shopping, even surpassing shoes, and I will cheerfully go multiple times in the week if necessary. Besides, if you haven't figured out by now that I'm weird, you might need to read some older posts!)
We have sort of resolved to eat better (i.e. healthier) this year, so I dragged out my "healthy" cookbooks to get some ideas. There was a recipe for some broiled pork chops with cooked apples that sounded good, so I put those ingredients on the list. Forgot part of the ingredients for the "with cooked apples" part (no, not the apples!), so I decided to punt the apples portion. I was sick, I didn't really care too much about what I was eating, just knew I needed to eat something besides hot Tang. (Don't laugh...it's actually kind of tasty when you are sick. And, if it's good enough for astronauts...)
The spice rub for the pork chops called for paprika, salt, pepper, dried thyme, and a little allspice. The allspice sooooo did not work with this at all, or at least to my Tanged-out tastebuds. The Man said it was fine, but to me, there was some sort of unholy wang to my beloved pig, and I just wasn't happy with the entire meal as a result. (I know, why was I cooking when I was sick? I had to do something to get off the couch that day, so cooking was it. I was starting to feel like Kirk and the tribbles, because I was comatose on the couch with poodles all on top of me for hours.)
Rambling on now to the actual topic of this post--the quiche in question. I put eggs and a pie crust on the list, because I sure as heck wasn't making my own pie crust, and The Man wanted to know if I was baking a pie. When I said "quiche," he really did get excited and wanted to know when we were having it. And, on Wednesday, he called me and asked if we were having quiche for dinner that night.
Quiche really is simple to make, and I think it's a great meal for any time--breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A few eggs, some cream, a few other ingredients, cheese, and viola! Tasty good stuff. We made Quiche Lorraine in Pantry class, which classically, is bacon, cream, and eggs--no cheese. Why the hell they left out cheese, when the French never seemed to shy away from anything with fat in it, is a mystery to me.
Our neighbors, B&G, keep a small flock of hens in their backyard. (We live in the county; they can do that. The Man is eternally afraid that I will insist on installing a goat or llama in our backyard because "we live in the county.") In the spring, they are inundated with eggs, when "the girls" get back on schedule, and G is most gracious about sharing them with us. They were so prolific last year, that I was making quiche on a weekly basis, and cobbled together this recipe from conglomeration of several different ones
Serves 4 (or 1 Man with a small slice for you, if you are lucky!) : )
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups cream (heavy or light--your preference, or you can use half-and-half)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded cheese Cheddar or Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 deep-dish pie crust
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place pie crust in pie pan.
Combine eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper (I usually just eyeball the amount of pepper) in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Add in the crumbled bacon, chopped spinach, 3/4 cup Swiss cheese, 3/4 cup other cheese (I usually use Parm), and the sliced mushrooms.
Pour egg mixture in to the pie crust and sprinkle with the reserve 1/4 cups of cheese. Bake for 34-45 minutes, or until set. Check after 30 minutes or so to make sure the edges of the crust aren't too brown. (I have a handy dandy pie crust shield to alleviate this problem...works much better than me trying to construct one out of tin foil and being increasingly frustrated because I cannot make a circle!!! Plus, my poor pie crust edges need all the help they can get. I cannot flute to save my life...I'm always making "rustic" quiches.)
Let the quiche set for 5-10 minutes and cut into wedges and serve.
This quiche doesn't exactly fall into the "eat healthier" realm, but it could very easily. You could chunk the bacon, use the half-and-half instead of cream, and more veggies. You might be able to use lower fat milk as well, but I'd probably reduce that to 1 cup and you might have to cook the quiche a little longer at a lower temp.
Anyway, I'm almost recovered from the snot monster of love, and am planning next week's meals. No more pork chops with allspice, for sure!