Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eggs for Everyone

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child




I recently found my fridge to  be overstocked with farm-fresh eggs. So, I decided to make my version of a quiche: The Kind-of Quiche. I call it that, because after completing my French Culinary Institute textbook course, I've learned that this is not a true quiche--but, for my purposes, it is close enough. I dug out some olives, roasted red peppers, Irish cheddar, and deli ham for the filling.  I also had a batch of pie dough hanging out on the third shelf, so I decided to use that as the crust for the quiche.


While the "quiche" was baking, I turned my attention to a large bunch of Swiss Chard from my organic box. Growing up, I always loved when my mom made a warm spinach salad with bacon and vinegar, and since nothing goes better with eggs than bacon, I decided to try my version, but with the chard.


Both dishes came out famously and they went well together.  Chris and I ate the entire pan of chard and were left wanting more -- it shrinks down, so for 4 servings, you'd  need at least one bunch per person, doubling the recipe.

A quick dinner that tasted great and helped make room in the fridge! Nice.

Kind-of Quiche
1 9-inch pie crust
6 eggs
1 TBS melted butter, room temperature
2 TBS heavy cream
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup Olives (pitted/sliced)
1/2 cup deli ham (sliced or cubed)
1/4 cup Roasted Red peppers (drained and diced)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheese

Lightly grease a pie pan and then place the pie crust in the pan, crimping the edges.  Whisk the eggs, butter and cream together in a large bowl. Season with salt/pepper, and set aside.   Prepare the filling ingredients and place them on the pie crust.  Pour the egg mixture over that, and then place in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until the crust has browned and the filling is set.


Swiss Chard w/Bacon, Leeks and Vinegar
2 large bunches Swiss Chard
1 TBS butter
3 strips of blanched bacon, diced
1/2 Leek, thinly sliced, white part only
2 TBS vinegar
2 TBS chicken stock
Fresh Parsley

To prepare the chard:  Wash thoroughly to remove any dirt/grit and dry with paper towels.  Fold the chard in half lengthwise, along the stem (like you would close a book; stem is the spine). Then, simply run your knife in line down the inside of the stem. You should be left with the leaf part. Repeat for the rest of the chard, discard the stem or use for future.

For the leeks: cut the root end off and also the green leaves.  Slice the white section you have left in half and rinse in water a few times, being sure to get rid of all the sand and dirt that is in each layer. Dry and thinly slice one of the halves into small pieces. Reserve the other half for future use.

For the bacon, add to boiling water and simmer for about 5 minutes, remove and drain. Continue with recipe.  (This gets rid of extra fat/salt that would overpower the dish.)

Heat the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat until melted.  Add in the leeks and sauté until soft. Add in the bacon and stir together for about 2 minutes more.  Reduce the heat and add the vinegar and chicken stock.  Toss in the chard, cover the pan with a lid and let this cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove the lid -- the chard should have cooked down.  Stir, and adjust seasonings -- may need a bit more salt, or a pinch of sugar, etc.  Cook another minute or two, until the liquid has reduced, toss in the fresh parsley, and serve.

...and watch it disappear.

xoxoxo

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