Writing Felt Like a Foodie sometimes is overwhelming. There is a pressure to make sure my recipes are correct, ingredients are accessible and it is a relevant post. (By relevant, I mean, it can hold your interest so you don’t only look at the picture….especially today’s picture! ZOIKS!!!)
As I start to approach my 5-year mark, I am feeling a little more pressure. Am I doing new things? Am I reinventing old favorites? Am I funny?
Am I funny looking?
The big thing for me is to keep making things that I want to eat and finding stories you want to read. (Or maybe after you read them you think….why did I read this?)
I also want to make recipes that have ingredients that most of us have access to or maybe laying around our house. (Not lying around like a food hoarder on a reality TV show. Lying around like in your cabinet that really needs to be cleaned because you don’t want things to expire and go to waste.)
This all came to mind because we had some leftover ham from the holidays that I dug out of the freezer. My freezer is like an archeological dig done of the set of Frozen six hundred years from now. (Yes, I know that was a cartoon and there was no “set” but use your imagination.) I open it up and I can hear the song “Let it go” humming in my refrigerator coils.
I pulled out the ham and also found a frozen pie shell and screamed QUICHE, QUICHE, QUICHE. I’ve often heard if you repeat things 3 times they will come into your life. (I’ve only had it work one other time when I stubbed my toe into a wall and yelled the “F” word three times. Next thing I knew, my husband was um, well, we are all adults here. I don’t really need to say anything else.)
After finding the ham and piecrust, I started poking in the fridge and saw that I had some Gruyere and Swiss cheese. Plus I had fresh spinach and sundried tomatoes. I was so excited about merging so many of my favorite types of quiche into one masterpiece.
I thawed my crust for about 15 minutes, poked some holes in it and baked it at 400 for another 12 minutes. Perfect. I whipped up my eggs with some cream and nutmeg. Great. I shredded up my cheese and spinach and mixed them together. Wonderful. I diced my ham into tasty bite size tidbits. Fabulous. I put it in the oven. Uh-oh.
What was that smell? It was like someone was drying a wet dog in the oven. Odd. It was like finding a half eaten bagel with cream cheese under your car seat a week later. Nasty. It was like smelling your hands after square dance class in junior high. Unsettling.
After about 10 minutes of inhaling the odd odor and questioning it’s whereabouts, I realized MY QUICHE!!!! Apparently, in my oven (which has a small top oven and a larger bottom oven), I should not put a quiche in the top oven. It was waaaaay too close to the cooking element and got kind of brown.
I was furious….at myself. All that work, all those delicious ingredients…gone…gone…gone. (Nope, I said it 3 times and the odd smelling quiche still remained in my kitchen and I had to face my failure.)
My husband came home from work, kind of sniffed with his nose and looked at me with a very scared look. He asked what we were having for dinner and I lost it.
The quiche landed on the stove with a thud and I said we are eating this pile of poop. (This is what a therapist would call displaced anger.) I continued to say have at it big boy or make yourself sandwich. I continued to rant uncontrollably for at least a minute and told my hubby to keep his shoes on because we were going out.
I had to see with my own eyes how badly this train wreck of a quiche came out so I cut a slice.
Hmmmm, it doesn’t look that bad on the inside and there is a delicious aroma wafting into the air. (The smell that wasn’t so pleasing was from the quiche hitting the cooking element and soon subsided.) My eggs were cooked, my crust was a nice brown and the top was toasty looking like a good grilled cheese.
So I guess this is the humbling part of writing about food. We all have bad days and make mistakes. The thing I took away from all this is that it doesn’t make me want to give up cooking or writing. It just makes me a little more aware. (And I know never to say the “F” word 3 times in a row!)
The Best Burnt Quiche
1 cup chopped cooked ham
1 ½ cups Gruyere and Swiss cheese (even parts of each)
1 ½ cups of FRESH spinach, chopped
A couple of grinds of nutmeg
6 eggs, beaten
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup skim milk (I usually use half and half but didn’t have any so I mixed the cream and milk)
½ cup sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 (9-inch) piecrust, I like the deep dish ones. Follow package direction for thawing and prebaking.
Preheat oven to 375 with a baking sheet inside in the lower third of the oven. (You will put the pie on the pan for any spillage.)
Mix your cheese, spinach and nutmeg.
Layer the bottom of the piecrust with the chopped ham.
Sprinkle the cheese and spinach on top. Give it a little pat down but don’t mush it or pack it in.
Slowly pour the egg mixture over the top. It will get in all the crevices around the cheese and ham.
Top with sundried tomatoes.
Place pie tin on the baking sheet in the oven.
Bake for 35-50 minutes. Yep, that is a big time span. Start checking it at 35 minutes. You want the eggs to be set and not liquid. It should have a tiny, tiny jiggle to it but not like a gelatin.
(If you like the really brown bits of cheese that sometimes sneak out of a grilled cheese, let it get brown…it’ll be worth it.)
Let it sit for about 10 minutes before you slice into it.
I will be the first to admit that I went back and forth about posting about this quiche. It wasn’t plated nicely and it really looks like something I would send back if I were served it in a restaurant. I guess it proved that you can’t judge a quiche by its color.