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Chef is Killin’ Us With The Smells Around Here Today!

January 20, 2015

Staff Lunch - QuicheIt’s usually not this hard to sit and work around here.  We have some awesome smells going on most of the time but today was over the top as we prepared for our weekly open-to-the-public Tuesday Staff Lunch today.  It started with the aroma of Oatmeal Ginger Pear Cookies at 9:00 a.m.   Holy cow, was it intoxicating.  (recipe here)

Following shortly on the heels of that mesmerizing cookie bakin’ love was the smell of Chef’s quiche – prepared with a whole wheat crust that was brushed with a dijon mustard mixture then loaded with spinach, red pepper, onion, 3 cheeses – mozzarella, cheddar and feta, and a creamed asparagus sauce on top. (“This is black tie quiche,” according to Chef Gary, “not sweatshirt quiche.”). Eggs used in the quiche were brown-shell organic eggs from our own Farmer Steven. Our carnivorous guests could choose bacon in the quiche, as well.  (recipe below)

The accompanying sides included a Romaine and Cauliflower Salad with a Garlic Mint Vinaigrette and a Carrot Apple Compote. To top it off, there were the Oatmeal Ginger Pear Cookies for dessert. Wow. We’re all wandering around in a happy food daze this afternoon!

Enjoy this recipe from our Staff Lunch, and remember – we love to see comments and pictures when you make them at home…

Spinach Quiche

PASTRY CRUST

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • About 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

FILLING

  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • ¼ cup onion, minced
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, frozen, chopped, thawed, well drained (about 1 cup) (or mustard greens)
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (or provolone)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • Pinch each nutmeg and cayenne
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

For the pastry crust, in a bowl, using fingertips, mix the flour, butter, and salt, adding just enough of the water to form a ball. Do not overwork the mixture. Cover and chill for ½ hour.

For the filling, in a small skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook over medium heat until juices are evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl and let cool. Stir in the feta, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk into the eggs. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, and cream and continue whisking until blended very well. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

To assemble, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Put into a 10-inch pie pan so that the dough extends up over the edge by ¼- inch. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork and gently line with a sheet of foil, pressing against the bottom and sides. Place in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. Remove the foil and brush with the Dijon mustard. Bake for another 5 minutes, pressing down any pockets with a fork. Spoon in the spinach mixture and pour the egg mixture over the spinach. Bake for 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

VARIATION: To add bacon be sure it is fully cooked and crisp. Remove ½ of the spinach then add 2/3 cup of crisp bacon.

Click here for the recipe to the Oatmeal Ginger Pear Cookies we served for dessert at the lunch!

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