Quiche makes a great Saturday brunch!

With some degree of guidelines, I tried something new this week.  Well, two new things.  One I completely needed a recipe for, but now that I’ve made it, I can probably swing making variations without a definite recipe.  The other was a variation on something I kind of made up a few months ago.  Luckily my husband the lab rat is always up for new adventures in the kitchen, and he was my sidekick for a couple this week.

I was delighted to find out last week that The Joy of Cooking has a website.  I was looking for something interesting for Meatless Monday, and we all know that I love eggs, and I love pie.  I found this gem, and found out that quiche isn’t really scrambled egg pie like the impression I always had.  No matter, this still tastes amazing.  Goat cheese is our friend! Yes, I know goats are barnyard animals and people don’t always think of eating their products, but trust me on this one, this soft, creamy, tangy cheese goes well in well…most anything.

This one takes a little time to make, but is really wonderful for just about any meal.  We made it initially as a dinner, but we reheated it for a great breakfast, too.  They aren’t kidding when they tell you to seed the tomatoes; as much as I believe in using all of an ingredient like that, not seeing the tomatoes leaves a watery liquid in the bottom of your finished product, and that gives your leftovers a soggy crust.  No one likes a soggy crust.

Roasted Tomato, Herb, and Goat Cheese Quiche (From The Joy of Cooking)

Roasted Tomato Herb and Goat Cheese Quiche
Great any time of the day.

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/4 Cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. chilled shortening
  • 3 Tbsp. ice water.
  • 1 beaten egg yolk

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 pound tomatoes
  • 4 to 6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
  •  3⁄4 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  •  3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons chopped thyme or 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Combine  flour and salt.  Add butter and shortening. Work it in lightly with the tips of your fingers or a pastry blender until there are pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle the dough with ice water. Blend the water into the dough until it just holds together; you may lift the ingredients with a fork, allowing the moisture to spread. If necessary to hold the ingredients together, add a little more ice water, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough just comes together.  Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 days).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, lifting and turning the dough as you roll to ensure that it isn’t sticking. Roll from the center of the dough outwards until your dough circle is about 3 to 4 inches larger than your pie dish. Roll the dough gently around your rolling pin and transfer it to a 9-inch pie dish. Carefully unroll the dough and drape it over the dish. Press the dough into the dish so that it fits snugly. Trim the edges, leaving ¼-inch of overhang. If you like, crimp the crust or use the tines of a fork to create a decorative edge. Brush the dough with beaten egg yolk.

Set a rack in the lowest position in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel, seed, core, and quarter tomatoes.  Roast on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes.

Crumble and blend with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth in large bowl: goat cheese, half-and-half, and milk.  Add and whisk until smooth eggs, parsley, thyme (or basil), salt, and pepper to taste.
Arrange most of the tomato quarters in the prepared pastry shell like the spokes of a wheel. Fill in the center with the remaining tomato quarters. Pour the cheese mixture over the tomatoes. Bake until the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

My second offering this week is a variation on something I tried out some time ago, and then forgot to take a picture of it (you’d think by now I’d do that more often.)  I love making what my husband calls “MacGuyver Meals,” where I essentially clean out the refrigerator into my stove and/or oven.  This tends to happen when I don’t have a meal planned, or when I haven’t been to the store yet this week.

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken

Packed with flavor
Strong flavors combined into awesome.
  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 oz. frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed of excess water
  • 2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 C Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. Paprika

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Throw everything except the chicken into a mixing bowl and cream together until well combined.  Set aside.

Lay out the chicken breasts, then cover with plastic wrap.  Pound until about 3/4″ thick. Remove the plastic wrap, then scoop out half of the spinach mixture and spoon onto each piece of chicken.  Roll up, securing it shut with toothpicks, and place in a baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Tip of the week: Want to thicken a sauce without losing flavor? Add Parmesan cheese- it helps creamy sauces not taste like flour.