Spinach, Onion, and Cheese Quiche

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This past 4th of July, my boyfriend and I drove upstate to visit his mother’s side of the family. The countryside was beautiful, the people were lovely, I shot a gun for the first time in my life (!!!) but of course the real star of the weekend was the food!

Quiche probably isn’t the most patriotic meal, but my boyfriend’s Aunt W made us a great breakfast the morning of July 5th with quiche as a centerpiece and it was delicious.

I’ve made quiche several times before (and blogged about it here as well, once) but I’ve never been able to truly wow myself with my own efforts. Either I didn’t have the right recipe, the right crust, or the right baking time/temp–in any case, my quiches were underwhelming and occasionally watery??? I’m not sure if I didn’t cook the vegetables enough or what, but sometimes my quiche came out watery. It sounds gross and it was not the most appetizing. Boyfriend ate it without a complaint because he is contractually obligated to do so.

ANYWAY, it didn’t happen this time! I also deviated from the recipe which called for using a pie pan. I usually use a regular glass pie pan as well, but this time I used a cast-iron skillet which was a wonderful housewarming gift from a good college friend who recently visited us in NY. I don’t know what it is about cast-iron but it makes everything seem more authentic and I can pretend like I’m a real professional cook. It also looks better in pictures.

Aunt W says: “This recipe is very forgiving. I often substitute if I do not have exact ingredients. I really like to use this pastry shell for quiche. I like the flavor and the flakiness the the oil gives.”

My thoughts: The pastry shell is indeed super flaky, no doubt about it. A great oil crust. I’ll use this oil crust recipe again, maybe for other items as well. And the recipe was quite forgiving. Instead of 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream, I just used 1.5 cups milk (didn’t have any cream). I also quickly cooked up spinach and onions instead of broccoli, and used a mix of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I didn’t put in any meat.

Pastry Shell (can mix in the pan, but I mixed in a bowl then pressed into the pan with fingers)
1.5 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
2 Tablespoon milk

Measure all ingredients into 9” pie pan (I used a 10″ cast-iron skillet) and toss together with a fork. Press into shape and flute edges.

Quiche egg filling
3 eggs
1 cup light cream
1 cup milk (I omitted cream and used 1.5 cups milk)
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
about 1 cup of whatever cheese (Aunt W had used grated swiss, I used shredded mozz and grated parmesan)

Mix the eggs, cream, salt, pepper together. Hold cheese.

Veggies
1 clove garlic
1/4 of a large onion
2 cups of loosely packed spinach

Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into a pan; saute garlic and onion until slightly translucent. Add in spinach, cook until just wilted, do not overcook.

Put it together:
Scoop veggie mix into the bottom of the pastry shell. Sprinkle cheese. Pour in egg/cream quiche filling mix.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

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Radish Pizza with Feta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella

I had a bunch of leftover radish from a soup made earlier last week, and wasn’t too sure what to do with them. I’m not sure how I got the idea of putting them on pizza, but pizza is easy, quick, and a great leftover lunch the next day–googling “radish pizza” came up with this, this, and this, so I knew at least that it wouldn’t be absolutely disgusting.

Modifying/combining what I read online, I came up with this: a whole-wheat crust topped with olive oil & garlic, feta, parmesan, mozzarella, and thinly sliced (as thin as I could get them with my dull knife, at least) radishes. A lot of the recipes I linked had some kind of green or light salad tossed on the pizza, but I opted to put my green stuff on the side.

Whole wheat dough, shaped and ready to rise:

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The recipe I used for dough actually doesn’t require any rising, but I let it sit for about 20-30 minutes away, and it got nice and puffy and was very easy to roll out on my Silpat.

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If you have a mandolin (lucky you), you could use that to slice the radishes paper-thin, but unevenly-sliced radishes ended up okay too. I should have named this blog “poor recent graduate cooks with basic kitchen implements” instead. But the yellow spatula was mildly cuter, and I love spatulas.

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The radishes were slightly sweet and juicy out of the oven. I just topped the spinach with cranberries, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for a very, very simple salad.

Pizza Crust (adapted from here):
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2.5-ish cups of flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup of all-purpose, and more all-purpose until the dough felt “right” to me).

Toppings
tbsp olive oil mixed with 1-2 tsps minced garlic
6-7 thinly sliced radishes
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan
salt and pepper

Verdict: Ehhhhh. Not a very auspicious start to a cooking/food blog, but this pizza was “a bit bland,” stated Boyfriend, a little sheepishly, but he’s biased because radish + feta is a real leap away from his usual heavy-handed diet of meat, pasta, and tex-mex tacos. I should have sprung for better cheese (or at least used a cheese with more bite); mozzarella was a poor choice. It was still good heated up in the microwave the next day for lunch though.