Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy as Egg Pie

I've learned that unless I am making eggs or pancakes, I need to use my large frying pan, which I did not do when I made spinach quiche. (The recipe came from The 10 Things You Need to Eat, but I modified it by cutting out a couple items that weren't strictly essential and I couldn't justify the expense, and made it crustless because I am neither fond of crust nor did I want to spend the extra time on it.) My little fry pan (there are only the two) was big enough for the onions, though I had some concern, then came the 10 oz frozen spinach mountain that eventually cooked down, but left behind green chunks all over the stove. If my stove ever stays clean for more than a day, it will be a miracle.

This is the second quiche I have cooked in my life, and I'd say I am learning quite a bit. The first quiche that I made was just a few months ago. I got the recipe off a forum for Weight Watchers Core Plan adherents. The main ingredient was zucchini, another food that I had never cooked with despite my parents having grown it in our garden when I was growing up. That quiche also called for fat free cheese, which I think I will avoid in favor of 2% cheese in the future. It baked up just fine in the quiche, but I don't see it working well in, say, a quesadilla. Both the zucchini and spinach quiches listed Parmesan cheese in the ingredient list, a new favorite of mine. For some reason. I've eaten grated Parmesan cheese my entire life on pasta (I am one quarter Sicilian, after all), but the introduction of shredded Parm this past year has opened up a whole new world to me.

So, you know the old adage “real men don't eat quiche”? Well, I'm pretty sure it was a man who first made quiche for me. Well, a boy technically, because I was in high school. Once a month my French class would have a party and those who wanted extra credit could make crêpes or a quiche. I'm not going to say that it was the boys who needed the extra credit more, but come party time, they were the ones pulling out casserole dishes from their backpacks. They would even argue with each other over which quiche was the best and who had the best technique. (Same with who cooked up the best crêpes, and they were more than happy to point out what the guy at the griddle was doing wrong.)

My friend Derek was the first to introduce me to the crustless quiche, and it was quite the revelation. The crust has always been a bit of a barrier to me for making quiche. I also don't make pies. My grandpa Coburn claims that my grandmother made the best pie in Allegan and that is why he married her. She has passed down her husband-winning pie crust recipe to my mother, and now that Grandma is gone, those are the only pies that my grandfather will happily eat. Much as I loved my grandmother, and love my mother, I do not like those pie crusts. They are completely tasteless to me. So any normally crusty dish with the word “crustless” in its title makes my antennae perk up!

If there is a secret to making a crustless quiche, I don't know what it is. The zucchini quiche was made to be crustless, but the spinach wasn't. I just didn't make one and followed the recipe (minus something called speck) as written, and it turned out quite tasty! (Though I think I'll add more salt next time, and possibly mushrooms.) One item that surprised me was nutmeg. I've only ever used nutmeg in baking desserts, so I was a bit skeptical at first. But let me tell you, it was fantastic in this recipe! I look forward to using nutmeg in more main course cooking.

While the quiche was baking and making my apartment smell amazing, I finally got around to unpacking some of my Christmas gifts. My brother bought me a set of three glass bowls with plastic lids that I can use to not only store my numerous leftovers, but reheat them later in the oven. Or in my brand new toaster oven that my mother gave me! I am very excited about the toaster oven (though it is probably only twice the size of my regular oven) and can't wait to make toast with it. And other things. I just really like toast and haven't had it for a long time.

My grandpa Pirrone (told you I was part Sicilian) found some more dishes of the old set that he and Grandma had given me years ago when I first moved out of my parents' house, so I unpacked those, too. And included in the mystery box of newspaper wrapped packages was... *trumpets sound* a mixing bowl! It's not a large mixing bowl, but it has much deeper sides than what I have been using, so I am hoping to maybe – just maybe – make less of a mess on my counter in the future. Hey, stranger things have happened.

And speaking of messes, I should probably get to scraping off the dried flakes of spinach on my stove. On my next trip to Meijer, I really need to remember to pick up some more abrasive sponges. My elbows will thank me.


  1. I can't say it LOOKS attractive, but I'm sure it's delicious! (Also keep in mind that I'm a slob, and most things I find later have a nice film on top that is NOT spinach. eeeeeeeeeew.)

  2. I think I may have used too many eggs. The recipe called for 8! The concoction sort of poofed up like a souffle, then collapsed. Tasted fine, though. Just needed a little more salt.