Friday, February 5, 2010

If you give a moose a Quiche

He is probably going to ask for...More quiche!!!
Ohh, so there you have it, the years of Nannying are beginning to go to my head. More often than not I am thinking of some strange children's book when I should be milling over slightly more adult ideas. Oh well.

The good news is that this quiche that I made earlier in the week was so good that it just about brought me to tears.

I need to backtrack a bit I suppose. I had a few weeks post holiday's/pre school semester to enjoy a few precious moments of free time, which is a rarity in my life. During this period of time I finally made it to the Library, something I have been talking about doing since, well my last break from school. I love the library. I prefer old dusty books to new ones, a strange quirk that I can't exactly explain, it is just a fact of life. So I went, I found some books, and it was awesome. And on the way out I though that maybe, just maybe, the Library might have cookbooks. Oh and did they ever!! soooo many cookbooks it was slightly overwhelming. I checked out so many books that I could hardly get them back to my car, it was embarrassing. But worth it.

One of the books I got was the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. The Moosewood Restaurant is a bit of a mystery to me seeing as I have never actually been there, but I have at least thumbed through most of their cookbooks, all of which are rather large, with very few pictures of the food, and a whole mess of crunchy granola type recipes. I was a vegetarian for a long time, so I have a bit of a soft spot for all things Tofu and veggie laden which is what attracts me to these books I think. On the other hand I am a bit confused by recipes like kasha with red cabbage. What does that even MEAN!?!? These confusing dishes aside, they always have strange new twists on old meat heavy foods which appeals to me. So this cookbook I checked out is gorgeous, but it is scary. There are just so many recipes I don't know how to even approach deciding which ones I need to make before I have to return the damn thing.

There was one recipe however that I had to make ASAP the second I read the title. Seriously.

It was Ronald's Fennel Quiche. I love fennel and I love quiche so it was sort of a shoe in. This quiche is freakishly delicious. The fennel lends it's deep and rich flavor, but the eggs are still light and fluffy and balance the rich flavor of the crust and fennel, especially with the tangy feta blended in. The whole dish is so beautifully layered with flavor and texture and is completely addicting. I found myself day dreaming about it in class when I was supposed to be focusing on the effects of bacteria on their hosts. It takes an extremely good quiche to make you think about food when learning about giardia.

Ronald's Fennel Quiche

Loosely adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant new Classics

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup chilled butter

  • 2 tablespoons ice water

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil

  • 3/4 cups diced onions

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh fennel

  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes

  • 1 cup diced zucchini

  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

  • 2 tablespoons dried basil (recipe calls for fresh, use it if you got it, our Safeway was out)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 cup feta cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated dill Havarti cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated Swiss

You could of course use any cheesed you want, just stick to about 1 cup total, grated, plus the cup of feta.

To make the crust:

Mix together the flour and salt. Work in the butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture is similar to a coarse meal. Slowly incorporate the water into the mixture, using about a tablespoon at a time.

Push the dough away from the sides and into the middle of the bowl until you are left with a ball that sticks together. Turn the ball out onto a dry clean surface, cut it in half and than stack the two half's and press down to mix. Do this a few times until the moisture seems to be evenly distributed.

Add a bit of flour to your work surface and roll your dough out into a circle that is about 12 inches. Place the dough into a 9 inch pie place, fold the edges over and crimp the edges until they adhere to the plate. Make sure to put the crust into the refrigerator when finished.

Preheat oven to 375

In a skillet heat your oil and add the onions and salt. Cook on medium heat until the onions are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add your fresh fennel and cook for 3-5 more minutes.

While the onions and fennel cook, halve the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp and juice, reserving 1/2 cup of the tomato juice/pulp. Chop up the tomatoes and add it, along with the zucchini to the skillet and continue to cook on medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn the heat off the skillet and add both the basil and the pepper

In a blender mix the eggs, tomato pulp and juice along with the feta until it is a smooth custard.

Take your crust out of the refrigerator and place the veggies on the bottom. Top with the grated cheeses and then pour the egg mixture on top.

Bake for roughly 50 minutes until the top of the quiche is golden and puffed up and the crust is golden as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment