It was a suggestion, but one of those suggestions that is really not a suggestion and more of a demand, but a nice one, because you love each other.
I was asking my husband for food ideas to serve some friends who were coming over for the day.
"Maybe we can come up with something based on what we have in the fridge," he said slowly. "That way we don't have to buy anything else." He met my eyes. "Because we don't have room for anything else."
Anyone else tend to get bored of what's in the fridge, or forget it's there, and stock up on new ingredients before using the ones you have? Yeah. It happens.
And even I had to admit it was getting out of hand this time. So I accepted the challenge.
I thought a spread of miniatures would be nice, that way I could work through a lot of what I had on hand, but the ingredients didn't necessarily need to go together. The kind of food assemblage that we often turn to during long, celebratory weekends like the one that is coming up.
My bold stroke of genius is the recipe below.
We (mostly my husband) have been tending to a backyard raised-bed garden for a couple of months, and the two things that have flourished are peppers and green onions.
We're not exactly sure what kind of peppers they are. None are larger than a potato. Some are long and thin; others short and squat. Some turn bright red, others various yellow hues. But they are all delicious, and very peppery.
I decided to work them into a quiche. It has been a while since I made actual quiche; often I opt for a healthier crustless version that is never quite as good as I think it's going to be.
Not this time.
I was going to make the quiche in muffin tins but decided cooking it in a pie pan as is standard would yield a better finished product that I could then cut into small servings.
There are a couple of quiche essentials: eggs, milk, cream if you're really feeling it, and cheese. You could make a fantastic quiche with those items alone. In this case, my mind went to something sweet yet tangy to balance the bite of the peppers: goat cheese. Just a little earthy, and smooth and rich.
This quiche is just as good served warm as it is served at room temperature, so don't worry about feeding everyone at exactly the same time if you're hosting a Labor Day gathering. I tried to keep things really simple, to allow the peppers to shine. You could sub almost any vegetable in the same quantity for the peppers, and ditto with the cheese.
After all, you really should make sure you're tending to what you have on hand before stocking up on anything new.
Garden Pepper and Goat Cheese Quiche
- For the crust: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- For the quiche: 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Dash of heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup chopped peppers of your choice
- 3 ounces goat cheese
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Cut butter into pieces using a knife. Add butter to bowl, using a pastry blender or a fork to work it into the flour until the mixture is a coarse crumble.
Add 4 tablespoons very cold water. Use your hands to gently mix everything together. Add more water if the dough is not coming together, a little bit at a time. Stop mixing as soon as dough comes together.
Roll dough onto a floured surface until it is about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap dough around a rolling pin then unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Smoosh it gently into the pan, making sure it fits nicely. Crimp any dough overhang around the edges with your fingertips.
Make the quiche: Mix eggs, milk and cream in a large bowl, then add salt and pepper to taste and nutmeg and stir to combine. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and peppers over pie shell. Top with crumbled goat cheese, then pour egg mixture on top of that.
Bake for 20 minutes; remove from oven and cover edges of crust with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Put back into oven and continue to cook 20 to 25 minutes or until center looks firm and doesn't jiggle any longer. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving; can be served hot or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.
Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times