Monday, February 15, 2010

Step-it-up Quiche

This past week I hosted my book club which always involves food and wine (we read The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell). I made a variety of dishes that are good for a dinner party - all of the fussy prep is finished about an hour before serving with the only 'complicated' dish being this quiche. This is a deep-dish quiche which was baked in a springform pan (if you opt to use a pie plate or quiche/tart pan the filling will make 2-3 quiches). And the filling is comprised of spinach, carrot greens (always looking for another place to use them), sauteed onions, and cheddar and feta cheeses. If you want to substitute skim milk or low-fat cheese, do so and substitute any veggies that you think will taste good! When using frozen veggies it's best to cook and remove as much water as possible so quiche will set. Fresh veggies only need to be cleaned, chopped, and sauteed if desired.

Step-it-up Quiche
1 whole wheat - olive oil pastry crust (I used this recipe from C&Z with a sprinkle of cumin)
2 1/2 T. butter
3 1/2 T. flour
1 1/2 c. whipping cream, warmed
9 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
6 1/4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
6 eggs
135 g frozen spinach (steamed and drained)
60 g carrot top greens (or other fresh greens or additional spinach)
2 med. onions, sliced and sautéed

1. Prepare the greens, onions, and cream.

2. Make cheese sauce: Melt butter, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute, don't allow it to color. Remove from the heat. Gradually stir warmed cream into flour mixture to make a smooth sauce. Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. When thickened (about 3 minutes) remove from heat. Add half of shredded and crumbled cheese and stir until it is fully melted. Stir in the greens, onions, and a sprinkle of cumin. Remove cheese sauce from heat. (In effect you made a roux, a béchamel and finally a cheese sauce by following these steps).

3. Crack eggs into a bowl and break with a fork. Add a spoonful of cheese sauce to the eggs and whisk (be careful that eggs don't cook!). Continue adding a spoonful at a time until about half cheese sauce is added to eggs then add remaining cheese sauce. Add rest of shredded and crumbled cheese.

4. Pour egg mixture into pastry shell. Bake at 350 deg F until internal temp reaches 365-385 degrees (use instant read thermometer). Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before serving. Remove from springform pan and serve on a cake plate.

Yield: 12 servings (@ about 370 cal. each)

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