Sunday, September 27, 2009

in the words of john c. mellencamp... it hurts so good

      Have you ever had one of those afternoons, days, where, for no particular reason, you're just not in the mood to take orders or follow directions? Where you get home from work and just want to watch cartoons in your Def Leppard concert tee and elephant butt boxers while eating something you made but don't the energy to do so because you rival Hexxus in his gelatinous form from Fern Gully?

courtesy of deviantART. Rawrrr.

      It was one of those late afternoons. I spent a chunk of this sunny, sunny Seattle day outside with one of the girls I nanny. I took her for a bike ride, made wishes while I blew out dandelions for her, and cooed at adorable dogs while she giggled. By the time I got home, I was ready to veg. Lay like broccoli. But I had to figure out dinner first, you see. In case you didn't already know that I had a one track mind. Food. Eat. How. When. I originally had decided on some grilled chicken on rosemary couscous situation. However, I remembered that I had eggs and goat cheese in the fridge. And that there was a BUNCH of spinach that I needed to get rid of. So, I decided to make a quiche. And yes, I know that I just made one a few days ago.

      Now, I'm a pretty stubborn person. When I'm set on something, I'm set on something, even if it's doomed to fail. Looking at Martha Stewart's pate brisee recipe, I knew that I didn't have the patience to chill the dough. Not even for twenty minutes. Prep time was probably fifteen minutes. I melted the butter on the stove. I threw all of the filling ingredients into the bowl and used the electric mixer for just enough time to smooth everything out. I was huuungry! And my hunger knows no standard culinary practices or common sense! I put the concoction in the oven and set the timer, mentally preparing myself for brown rice for dinner as punishment for not following a recipe and, therefore, damning the dish from the start.

      But something happened. Something... wonderful. When the timer went off, I peered in the oven and saw a golden crust and solid filling. So I had the first part down: it looked edible. Appetizing, even. I waited ten minutes for it to cool, then cut it into four giant pieces. I served myself a slice and took a bite. Holy shit. It worked. It. Actually. Worked. The crust was flaky, there was just enough spinach and onion, and the mix of parmesan and goat cheese was seamless, creamy, scrumptious. I ate half of the quiche. Yes, you read that right. Half. Of the quiche. On my own. I would like to think that, if my roommate hadn't had left for an overnight camping trip, she would have partook in this shameless display of gluttony. Alas, it is just me, lying quietly on our brocade print couch, trying to move as little as possible so as not to disturb the food baby.

      DISCLAIMER: I am including the recipe as I followed it. And I was a very lazy baker today. I'm almost positive that every other baker will tell you that the dough needs to be chilled, and that ingredients should be incorporated in a certain order. However, the quiche was pretty damn tasty. So either way, I think that you are safe.

Spinach Quiche
  • Martha Stewart's Pate Brisee:

    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 stick butter, melted
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons water

  • Filling Ingredients:

    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1/3 cup goat cheese
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 white onion, peeled and diced
    • 1 1/3 cups spinach, chopped semi-finely (Is that even a baking term? Details, Details.)
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Directions:

    1. You'll be making the dough first. Mix the dry ingredients first, then incorporate butter and water. Knead until smooth.
    2. Lightly oil a 9" pie tin. Mold dough into tin. I didn't roll it out, just... stuck pieces in and flattened as I went along. It won't reach the top edges; that's okay. You'll be making just enough filling to leave a little crust. Place in refrigerator while working on filling.
    3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop up spinach and onion if you haven't already done so.
    4. Cream eggs, milk and goat cheese until smooth. Add salt. Throw in spinach and onions; mix well. Incorporate parmesan. At this point, I blended it with an electric mixer for about 15 - 20 seconds to make sure everything was mixed evenly.
    5. Take crust out of refrigerator and pour filling in. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Eat.

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