Life has been full of adjustments. Like, for surrious. Henry and I finally moved into our own place last month. I’m really loving it. Especially the kitchen. It’s small, but I know how to work with it. I’ve made it my own. And I spend A LOT of time in there. I’m in there at my worst moments (like falling apart at 3:30 in the morning while the most amazing people in my life are catching me), and at my best moments (creating delicious treasure for family and friends. And singing along to Elton John.)
And watching as the cat figures out how to reach the counter.
It’s all over now. He officially controls my life via his addiction to wet food.
“You. Mine. Forever.”
Besides the kitty becoming my master, there’s been a lot of moving, lugging, hauling, and lifting. A lot of evenings spent organizing, reorganizing, throwing things away, moving things around, finding new things I need to salvage.
A lot of reflecting.
I found out that cooking is therapeutic for me. I’ve been spending my evenings slicing, dicing, boiling, baking, simmering, stirring, and caramelizing, all with a glass of wine in hand.
I’m making things I’ve been itching to try, like Tortas de Aceite.
A Spanish yeast-raised sweet “biscuit”, though I would call it a flatbread.
I’ve been making Henry tons of special meals.
Like veggie egg scramble with lime curd and raspberries on English muffins.
And I’ve been catching up with the necessities. Like my left foot. (Get it? The Daniel Day-Lewis movie? Whatever, I haven’t see it either.)
I had a cyst/alien growing on top of my foot. The podiatrist drained it while flirting with me. Very impressive. I have determined my feet are angelically gorgeous and will capture many hearts.
I also acquired some free brie. Free brie!
And why didn’t that happen with the more expensive of the cheeses I bought?
Like the blue cheese in this soon-to-be quiche with dino kale and sweet potato?
I have no decent end-result photos, but I, as well as others, can attest that this was one crazy-fantastic quiche. And I think Dad would’ve gone nuts over it, so that’s why I am posting the recipe for all yous.
The whole shebang is adapted from a book called Homestyle Vegetarian, given to me by my Tia Magdalena. This recipe is also dedicated to her because during the hardest of times, she’s fulfilled the roles of mommy and daddy. And she freakin’ LOVES blue cheese.
Blue, Green, and Sweet Potato Quiche
2 cups ( 9 oz, 250 g) all-purpose four
7 Tbsp (3.5 oz, 100 g) cold butter, cut into cute little cubes
half a large onion, thinly sliced (a sweet onion is preferred, like Vidalia)
a small bunch of dark leafy greens ( I used several stalks of Dino kale with stems removed. You can used other types of kale, Swiss chard, collards, spinach, etc.)
1 large (about 1 lb) sweet potato
for quiche “batter”-
1 tsp brown spicy mustard
1 cup (8 fl oz) half & half
a few pinches of salt and pepper
dashings of any othe herbs or spices you’d like– nutmeg, thyme, marjoram, coriander, sage, etc.
1) In a food processor, throw in the flour, a couple pinches of salt, and the butter. Process for 15-20 seconds. Then add 1-2 Tbsp of ice-cold water, and process in little bursts until the dough starts to come together. (You can also use an egg yolk instead of water for a richer crust.) Once the mixture just starts to become a dough, turn it out onto a counter, board, or into a large bowl. Use your man hand to bring together the elements into a ball, then plastic-wrap it and chill in the fridge for ten minutes.
2) If it’s morning when you’re doing this, have another cup of coffee or tea. If it’s afternoon or evening, have a glass of wine or beer.
3) Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Now you need a 9 inch pie or tart plate/pan. Butter that shit up, just to make sure. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out. If you have a large enough cutting board (i.e. larger than 9 or 10 inches), roll the dough out on there. Then you can just flip the board over onto the plate or tin. If not, once the dough is rolled out, roll it onto the rolling pin (let it curl around the pin), then release it onto the plate/tin. By the way, remember to roll your dough from the center and outward. This ensures a more even crust.
4) Press your crust into the assigned vessel and make it pretty. Place a piece of parchment paper or foil in the center, and top it with some kind of weight– dry beans, pie weights, an oven-proof plate, etc., and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weight (haha, get it, like the song?? Whatever, I hate you), and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly golden and dry. After 10 minutes I turned the oven off and left the crust in there for an extra 5-10, just to make sure there was no raw dough.
5) While your crust is cooling, prepare the fillings. Rub the sweet potato with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Even though we’ll be peeling the sweet potato later, I find the salt and pepper kinda seep through and add a little more flavor. Bake at 400°F until it’s soft (I think around an hour? Sorry). Saute your onions until they start to soften, then add the kale (or whatever), and cook until the greens are easy to eat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6) Now make the quiche batter. Whisk together the eggs, mustard, and half & half. You can add whatever other seasonings you want. I can’t remember for the life of me, but I’m sure I used paprika, thyme, and marjoram, in addition to salt and pepper. “Pedro, just listen to your heart. That’s what I do.” Then bring the oven back down to 350°F.
7) Fill the crust! First place the crust on a baking sheet. Peel and slice the sweet potato and arrange it on the bottom (Save the peel. Eat it.). Top with your greens and onions, then plenty of blue cheese (Stilton, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, whatevs). Then pour your quiche batter on over the whole thang. You will now find you are glad the pie/tart plate is on top of a baking sheet. I brushed some of the batter over the crust to ensure some golden-ing. Bake for around 40 minutes. If you stick a toothpick in it should come out clean.
See? Horrible camera phone picture.
I would’ve stolen Henry’s fancy camera but I couldn’t find it and he was at work and I hate his stupid face.
A few notes… One, yes, you can use a different crust recipe, or even a store-bought one. But you know how I am about doing things from scratch. Two, you can totally prep all the elements ahead of time– crust, fillings, batter. That’s what I did. Then you just fill the crust and bake it off. Three, I want to note the brands of eggs and dairy I use. Organic Valley for dairy products, and Vital Farms for eggs. Why? Because according to the Cornucopia Institute, these brands are true to their word in how they treat their cows and chickens. Although Organic Valley sells eggs as well, their scorecard for eggs is sub-par compared to their dairy scores. Ah dunno. And the cheese I used contains vegetable rennet. I know you probably don’t care, I’m just saying. For any vegetarians who think about all these little details the way I do.