Spinach Quiche

Wow, it’s been so long since my last post! I told myself I wouldn’t even try to hold to a regular blog schedule – my life is too unpredictable and I don’t ever want the site to become a chore instead of fun – but I still feel guilty. Good thing I have a new stockpile of entries lined up for a bit! My work has been keeping me hopping the last few weeks and my days will only get busier as school begins. I haven’t stopped cooking, but I’m either too hungry to bother with documenting my dishes or I simply forget to snap photos. The upside to this is that I find I am more willing to just whip stuff up and experiment with my limited free time. The other night I came home from work at around 6 a.m. (my job has me on-call for area hospitals 24/7) and was starving! I couldn’t stand the thought of yet another bowl of cereal (my go-to food when I’m in a rush) so I grabbed a pack of parmesan chicken sausage and cooked it up with some caramelized onions, garlic, white wine, and mushrooms. Pseudo-gourmet food in the wee hours of the morning, haha!

This entry is not about chicken sausage, though. While you may be disappointed, I promise you: this spinach quiche from Smitten Kitchen is just as good. Now that I’m writing about it I’m remembering just how good it was and am now planning on making it again for dinner tonight. 😛 Recipe below…


Spinach Quiche (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

For the Dough*…

2  ½      C     AP flour, plus extra for rolling

1          t        salt

1          t        sugar

8        oz.      cold, unsalted butter (2 sticks) **

¼ – ½   C     ice water

* Note: The source recipe says to use Martha Stewart’s Pâte Brisée recipe, but the link has since gone bad. I searched Martha’s site and found many Pâte Brisée recipies, so I decided to use the one from her Leek and Swiss Chard Tart (which also sounds like something I’m going to have to make in the future, haha). Feel free to try another if you’d like, there are plenty to choose from!

** Note: If you only have salted butter, that’s fine. Just omit the 1  t  salt.

For the Filling…

1    3-oz.   package of cream cheese at room temp.

1/3    C     Half & Half

3    eggs

10    oz.    fresh spinach leaves, washed

2       T     EVOO

½     C      grated cheddar cheese

¼     C      grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to top

6 – 8         fresh chives, sliced

¼       t     salt

¼       t     pepper

1             plum tomato, sliced

1     ¼”    slice of white onion, rings separated

Note: The source recipe also called for frozen spinach, but I was deliberately making this recipe to use up a large bag of fresh spinach I had bought at the Farmer’s Market. If you are using frozen spinach, just thaw, drain, and chop – no need to cook.

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the dough: pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Chop the chilled butter into small pieces and add, pulsing until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter. Evenly drizzle a Cup of ice water over mixture. Pulse/mix until dough just begins to hold together (it should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water – 1 Tablespoon at a time – and pulse/mix.
  2. Divide dough in half and shape both into balls. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Since only one half is needed for the recipe, the other half can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  3. Once dough has firmed, remove one ball (½ of the original total) from the fridge and roll it out to a flat disc at least 10″ in diameter. Gently transfer the disc to a 9″ pie dish or tart pan. Press down gently to shape the base and trim the edges. Return the dish and crust to the fridge.
  4. Cook spinach in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat with the EVOO until wilted and tender – about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in the Half & Half and eggs. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  6. Poor the filling mixture into the prepared crust. Top with sliced onions and tomato. Finish with extra cheese if desired.
  7. Bake about 25 minutes or until and crust is golden brown and the filling has set. Allow quiche to cool 10 minutes or so before serving.

Beezer’s Notes:

Well, I’m sorry I don’t have a better “finished-product” photo of this delicious quiche for you. There were three of us waiting to dig into the thing as it sat on the counter cooling, and I just barely remembered to take a picture at all before we cut in. I didn’t change Deb’s recipe much, just added the tomato and onion along with using fresh spinach leaves and some extra cheese. As I said above, though: now that I’m writing about it and remember just how yummy this recipe is, I’m planning on making it again this weekend. I’ll try to snap a better photo then. The Farmer’s Market is tomorrow, so I’ll grab another fresh bag of spinach and bake it up after work. Can’t wait! 🙂


Overall Enjoyment: ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

Skillet Strata With Spinach and Feta

To be honest, I’m not really a big egg fan. For me, they have a time and a place: hard-boiled around a campfire, over-easy on toast with butter and dill, in a turkey-bacon and shallot quish…and that’s about it. If I eat them too frequently or without any kind of a glutenous cushion, I get a stomach ache. That said, when I first read this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated I really wanted to try it; it just seemed so easy! Also, the fact that they added sliced buttered toast to the mix suggested a texture that would either be divine or disgusting. I had to try it.

Skillet Strata With Spinach and Feta (from Cook’s Illustrated)

Ingredients:

6                large eggs

1 ½     C     whole milk

¾        C     crumbled feta cheese

4         T     unsalted butter

1                onion, chopped fine

1                6 oz. bag baby spinach, chopped

5                slices hearty white sandwich bread, cut into squares (leave crusts for integrity)

salt and pepper


Procedure:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 400°F.  Whisk eggs, milk, half of feta, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in large bowl.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in large oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Cook onion until just softened – about 3 minutes.  Add spinach and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until wilted – about 2 minutes.  Transfer to the bowl.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in the empty pan.  Add the bread and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown – about 5 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in egg mixture and spinach until combined.  Top with the remaining cheese and bake until surface is golden brown and edges pull away from the sides of the pan – about 15 minutes.  Serve.

Beezer’s Notes:

This strata is amazing! If you like your eggs on buttered toast, this strata is for you. You have your eggs and toast altogether in one warm, cheesy, gooey slice! As hearty as it is, I’m sure it could be served for any meal of the day. As a breakfast it’s perfect if you have a crowd of hungry mouths to feed …or, in our case, two very hungry adults, haha:

Overall Enjoyment: ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥


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