Thursday, July 19, 2007

Real Men are Missing Out

In a fit of half clean-out-the-fridge, half do-things-the-hardest-way-possible, I constructed a quiche for dinner. The spinach that I kept forgetting to use was just on the brink of going bad, and I had some cheddar cheese I wanted to use up. This combined with the fact that I'd just bought a dozen eggs, and I just happened to have a pie plate...well, I bet you can guess the result.

I was originally going to just buy a piecrust from the store, due to the fact that I'd never made piecrust unsupervised and without power tools before, but my coworkers guilted me into making it myself. And I'm glad I did, even though it stretched the whole operation over 2 days, making the dough yesterday and assembling the thing tonight after work. (You need to chill the dough before rolling it out, and there was no way I was waiting until 8:00 to eat)

I used this piecrust recipe, mostly because it called for butter, which I did have, and not shortening or lard, which I did not have. I was careful to keep the butter really cold as I worked, even going to far as to put it into the freezer for a while before using it. I made do with the equiment I had: a fork and arm power (frozen butter is hard!) to cut the butter into the flour, and I rolled it out with a glass. And despite all that, it turned out pretty good: decently flaky and with a delicious buttery taste.

I poked holes in the bottom of the pie shell with a fork and baked it at 350 for 10 minutes while I prepped the rest of the stuff: spinach needed to be picked through for brown bits and blanched quickly and chopped up, cheese was grated finely, and I wavered on the tomatoes for a bit before just deciding to chop them up and toss them in with the rest. That, plus 4 eggs, approximately 1/2 cup of milk, and some salt, pepper and thyme, was mixed together and then poured into the hot pie shell, which was just beginning to harden at the edges. Back into the oven for 35 minutes of me nervously checking on the thing and wondering if there was too much filling in it or if it was too liquidy and hoping the pie crust would cook properly. It puffed up quite a bit, but settled as it cooled. The picture was taken right after I took it out of the oven, so it still looks a little odd.

I swear, I'm probably the most paranoid cook ever. And it's mostly unfounded, since the quiche turned out mighty tasty in the end. I had 2 pieces. Next time, I'll ditch the tomatoes: they were too watery and I think were primarily responsible for the slightly soggy bottom that resulted. I really like the combination of eggs and tomato though, so I think the next time I make quiche I will have to investigate sundried tomatoes as an ingredient. I think it will be a while before that happens, though: Delicious as it is, I'm not sure the work involved justifies what is essentially an egg pie. Next week though, I want to try out that pie crust on something a little more traditional. Just need to pick a fruit...

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