Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Quiche Diet

Slipping into a sweater, I start giving thought to what I might look like when it gets warmer. Very soon I won't be able to hide behind my sweater. The more I think about the prospect of waist management, the more I think about food. Quiche in particular.

Quiche, not any calorie conscience version, but the real cheesy custard pie. Creamy, savory delicious, variations are limitless! Once a month or so I like to make a pie using up bits in the fridge and warm up slices for a quick breakfast or lunch. Then pull my sweater a little tighter.

The ingredients often change but the formula is the same for a 9" deep dish quiche. Four to five eggs, one cup to one and a quarter cups of cream, 8 ounces or so of shredded cheese, and an equal amount of vegetables or finely diced meat. Nutmeg, salt and pepper are my standbys, but I have used any number of combination of herbs and spices to compliment the mix.

For the pastry I'll be honest, in a lazy moment I will use ready to bake pie crust. When I am too lazy to travel one block to the store, I call on Julia. Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" my guidebook to good stuff. Page 143, pate brisee, is the base for a great quiche.

Any events this spring, you unwittingly volunteered for, are just around the corner. You need a plan say, if thirty or more people are coming to your house and your freaked out of your mind. Before you move and change your name try this ridiculously easy "quiche for a crowd" recipe.

If your enjoying quiche greedily alone or with your "crowd". I can promise, no pounds and no tears will be shed. I hear there is a sale somewhere on sweaters.

Spinach Quiche for a Crowd

Adapted for my catering business when making quiche ( for hundreds) was on the menu. It's a little simplistic yet fool proof and tasty.

Ingredients:
30 egg
9 cups heavy cream
2 lbs. frozen box of spinach
8 cups swiss cheese shredded
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon nutmeg
6 9" deep pie shells.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Thaw frozen spinach, squeeze out the water, best to do by wringing it in a clean kitchen towel.
In large mixing bowl, beat eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg, slowly add cream until well combined
Divide spinach and shredded swiss cheese into 9" deep pie crusts.
Pour quiche mixture evenly over spinach and cheese in the pie crusts, filling all pies to the rim.
Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes. Let stand about 20 minutes before slicing.
Cut into 6 slices for entree/8 slices if for buffet.

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