Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Green Eggs and Ham Quiche

When I offered to make The Monster green eggs and ham for breakfast St. Patrick's Day morning, he "politely" declined.

Hm..."Must fulfill need to make green eggs and ham!" says Inner Voice. Now, I am nothing if not driven by urges. What to do, what to do. I know!! Craft a lovely little quiche that is really just gussied up green eggs and ham?! Whew...Inner voice silenced...crisis averted.

There's no food coloring here (like I'd planned to use for his breakfast!). Just Italian parsley whizzed up in a blender with milk before adding in the rest of the ingredients for the filling.
I also tried a homemade crust, that albeit good, I'm not sure is worth the trouble/mess involved. I'm in hopes that making from scratch will get easier as I keep at it. This was my first attempt! :-) My usual modus is to buy a pre-made crust out of the freezer section at the grocery store. I'll post the recipe for the cornmeal crust I made, but you can always just save yourself some time and mess by using the store bought. If you do make the cornmeal crust, give yourself plenty of extra time. The recipe makes 2 crusts, so I'm popping the second in the freezer.

Sweet or Savory Cornmeal Pastry Crust:

I bought a really neat baking book by Bob's Red Mill at Half Price Books a few months back and decided to try out one of it's recipes for pastry crust. I've reproduced their exact recipe, with my changes in parenthesis.

1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour (I used white whole wheat...might have made it a little heavy)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (just added 1/4 cup more white wheat)
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
6 Tbs sugar (this is for the sweet crust, use less for savory. I used ~1/4 cup of Sucanat which is evaporated cane juice)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2 Tbs vegetable shortening, chilled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk

Place a medium sized bowl in your freezer.
Place the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend.
Sprinkle the butter over the mixture. Pulse until just incorporated, then add the shortening and pulse until the texture resembles crumbs.
Retrieve your chilled bowl from the freezer. Put flour mixture into chilled bowl.
Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and egg, and mix until the dough begins to clump together. Add more buttermilk as needed to just bind the dough together...you may not need all the buttermilk.
Divide the dough into 2 balls. Flatten each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To partially pre-bake or fully bake:

Place one disk of dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, roll out to a 12" circle. Place the dough over a 9" quiche pan, or pie plate and gently press the dough into the dish. Trim the edges with a knife, or just use your fingers like I did, then refrigerate for 30 minutes, or freeze for 15 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375.
Line the pie dough with foil and then fill with 2 lbs of beans, or pie weights. Bake 20 minutes, or until dough looks dry. Carefully, remove hot foil and beans/weights (save your beans to reuse as weights).
For a partially baked crust continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until a light brown. At this point you'll fill the hot crust if you're making a quiche and bake as per that recipes instructions.

If you have a recipe that calls for a fully baked crust, continue baking for 10 to 12 minutes more than that, or until deep brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Green Eggs and Ham Quiche:

This recipe is adapted from the sole cookbook in The Monster's possession when we got together. His mother saw fit to send him off to college with a very informative copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Full of all kinds of great basic info. Their Choose-a-flavor Quiche has morphed into my Green Eggs and Ham Quiche, because it's a good basic recipe that doesn't call for using cream. I'm sure a higher fat content would be delicious, but in the interest of my hips, I went with this one.

pastry for single-crust pie
3 eggs, beaten (I might add an extra egg white, or whole 4th egg next time, but I don't think it would fit if you use a store bought crust)
1 1/2 cups milk (if making "green" eggs, blend ~2 Tbs+ Italian parsley with milk in a blender until it's a nice pale green)
15-20 spears of asparagus, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water, trimmed to fit like spokes on a wheel in pie pan (save the rest of the asparagus to toss into a salad or something).
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 dash freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 cup cooked ham, chopped (Try DeBecca Black Forest ham from CM's deli counter!)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used 3/4 cup swiss, and 3/4 cup gruyere)
1 tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat)

If using store-bought pasty shell:
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Line pastry in pie plate as directed.
3. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil.
4. Bake in a 450°F oven for 5 minutes.
5. Remove foil.
6. Bake 5-7 minutes more or until pastry is nearly done.
7. Remove from oven.
8. Reduce oven heat to 325°.
9. Stir together eggs, milk, ham, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl.
10. Stir in meat.
11. In a separate bowl, toss the cheese and the flour together.
12. Add to egg mixture. Mix well.
13. Place pastry shell on a foil-lined baking sheet, then pour egg mixture into the shell, and arrange asparagus in a spoke pattern on top.
14. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of crust with foil (I usually do this about halfway into the baking process).
15. Bake in 325° oven for 35-40 minutes (I find this takes more like 1 hour- 1 1/4 hrs. total!), or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
16. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

If making cornmeal crust:
Partially bake crust as per instructions in recipe above, and then continue with quiche recipe beginning with step 8.


Jamomisa said...

I will not eat them here or there I will not eat them anywhere.

MrCruce said...

Sam, I Am ... impressed. Green eggs never looked so good. Snarf.

Mike said...

"but we don't have CM in Phoenix" he sobs quietly to himself...

Beth said...

Made your quiche recipe yesterday - at least the base. Had to use up a LOT of spinach! It was yummy! I like the step of adding flour to the cheese.