Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cooking: A new pie

I need to update my monthly list, but that will come tomorrow, when I have a chance to sit down and think.

Today, I am cleaning bathrooms, working, washing the last three loads of laundry including my couch slip covers and blogging about the delicious dinner I made last night.

I love quiche. I love that it is easy, full of vegetables and that I can make one for the carni folk and one for me at the same time. I have pretty much mastered  cooking for them/me at the same meal, but I always feel a little left out when they are eating pork tenderloin, baked chicken, or grilled anything that is not a veggie, while I am eating a salad and a baked sweet potato. So, quiche is the great equalizer in my mind. 
The other great thing about quiche is my youngest, picky eater has loved it since she was a toddler. She would never eat green foods, but quiche was somehow exempt from her color prejudice.  I could put anything in it and she gobbled it right down. So, for years it had tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, chicken, turkey...pretty much anything I could pack in it and get her to eat. She rarely ate dinner as a little kid, except when we had quiche. - Moms. The people who teach us honesty while sneaking vegetables into your food.

The other great thing about quiche is that I get an entire pie to myself, which means I get dinner and three breakfasts out of it. Lovely, as I hate to eat until about 9 am, which usually coincides with me trying to get eight other things done as well. Microwaved quiche gobbled as I walk by is quite satisfying. Another perk to being the only vegetarian in the house is that I get to make my quiche like I want it. No "I hate spicy" or " I hate onions" palettes to which I must cater. So, last night I put almost an entire onion in mine. 

Last night's quiche was a different affair than what I normally make. Less eggy and more veggie with a homemade crust, it was more like a pie than a quiche. Mine had just enough cheese to add a whiff of flavor, but not enough to make me sick. There's had bacon to make them feel loved. I am doing a stint on the Weight Watchers to get my portion control back under my control after a holiday season winter season of binging and little exercise.  Veggies are key to weight loss and you would think I would be a rail with all the ones I eat. However, I make up for my pious eating by having a lethal sweet tooth and a nightly habit of two glasses of white wine. I have to rediscover the healthy balance, hence the WW. 

I  you like these sorts of things, I highly recommend my newest recipe. My family raved, all except the onion hater, who somehow got ALL of the three slices I put in theirs.
 Princess and the Pea? You bet.

Spinach and Onion (Almost) Quiche

2 1/2  cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
6 tbl. cold water
Oven to 375

Combine flour and salt in bowl. Stir with fork to combine. Grate butter into bowl, stir to create a gravel like consistency. Add water and stir only to combine. It will still be like gravel. Divide into two pie pans and pat into place, pressing to form a cohesive surface. Bake at 375 until slightly browned.

1 med onion thinly sliced (if you don' t like a lot of onion, use less)
2 boxes frozen spinach
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
6 slices of bacon cooked (double if making both quiches with bacon), or you can use F'acon bits,         which I did
10 eggs
2 tbl. dill
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt (more if not using bacon)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp paprika 
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional if you like spicy)
2 cups milk
1-2cups cheddar cheese

Defrost spinach and squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible.  Saute onions slightly.  Divide onions between the two prepared crusts.  If using bacon, crumble on top of onions, add mushrooms then drained spinach, spreading evenly across the pie. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese on top.  In a bowl, combine eggs, milk and spices for EACH pie separately, halving ingredients.  Pour egg mixture over top, pressing veggies down to mix. Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes or until almost set. Remove foil and bake additional 5-10  minutes to brown slightly. Cool slightly before serving.

* A few words about my recipe. I made it up. You can adjust it as you like as well, cooking is great like that. I read a few blogs about pie crusts and combined the tips to make a pretty darn good one. I grated the butter, which made combining with with the dry ingredients easy as, well pie (I used a spoon to combine it was so easy). Also, I added the water and then used a pastry tool then to combine. We don't like a lot of crust, so this one is a thin crust.   As I said, I used a lot of veggies. It was not very egg heavy, just enough to hold it all together.  Trial and error led me to preparing the egg mixture for each pie. If you are adept at halving, go for it, but I found it hard to divvy the spices.

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