Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lazy-girl spinach quiche: an Adventure in Cooking!

Let the fanfare begin; it's time for the annual occasion on which Valerie makes food from scratch that isn't a dessert, and lives to tell about it! What is it? It's one of my famous Adventures in Cooking!

    • About a pint of cooked baby spinach that's been in your freezer since October 
    • About a cup of pie crust dough that's been in your freezer since last March 
    • 1 egg 
    • A few handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese that's been in your freezer since summer 
    • Don't forget the salt!
      Prep time: 3 days
      Oven temperature: 350° F
      Cook time: 22 minutes - 6 minutes + 5 minutes + 5 minutes + 5 minutes
      Serves: 1—no, 2, and possibly 1 more if that person subsists on cooked spinach

      Begin by looking in your freezer and getting really tired of seeing that half-empty quart container of spinach taking up space in there. After the last time you used it to make the worst spinach cheese squares you ever ate, you've kind of lost interest in spinach, but you really have to get that container out of there and make room for some Ben & Jerry's!

      Wonder what you can make with about a pint of frozen spinach...obviously not spinach cheese squares!

      Notice that you also have about a half-pint of pie crust dough that's been sitting around for ages, and realize you have most of the makings of a fabulous quiche! Find a bag of mozzarella cheese that was left by one of your Airbnb guests back when you had Airbnb guests, look in the fridge for eggs, and realize you have all the makings of a fabulous quiche!

      Prepare by putting the spinach and pie dough in the refrigerator to thaw, and wait two days. On the designated baking day, be so hungry at 4:00 from skipping lunch that you cannot possibly wait around for a spinach quiche to cook, so wait one more day.

      On the second designated baking day, preheat the oven to 350°F.
      Remember how stringy and gross the spinach was when you used it in a spinach-and-garbanzo dish, so decide to chop it into smaller pieces. Spoon the majority of the spinach into your blender's chopping cup. Don't use all of it, because that looks like it will be too much to fit into the mini pie plate that you'll be using.

      Blend away! When the spinach looks evenly chopped, remove it from the chopping cup to find you have accidentally pureed it completely. Wow! What a blender!

      Dump the pureed spinach into a small mixing bowl. Instantly regret it, realizing you could have just mixed your quiche filling inside the chopping cup and saved yourself one dish to wash. Oh, well. Can't hold onto the past!

      Most quiches are egg-based, which would indicate the use of several eggs. Since you don't much like the texture of baked eggs and you prefer to get your cholesterol from cheese anyway, you will only be using one egg. Mix the egg into the spinach with a fork.

      Next, add the cheese. Feel free to add as much as you want. Mix it in until there's a good bit of shredded cheese interspersed with the spinach. It probably would be a good idea to use all of the cheese remaining in the bag, but you're trying to eat somewhat healthy here, so I won't be surprised if you leave an insignificant amount to clutter up your freezer and cause you infinite distress for the next 6 months.

      The filling done, it's time to turn your attentions to the crust.

      A traditional pie crust would be rolled out on a floured board and placed neatly into the pie tin. But this is lazy-girl quiche, so you should just grab small hunks of the dough and press it into the pan at about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, until the whole surface of the pan is covered.

      Pour the filling into the crust. 

      You definitely have more filling than will fit in this crust, but fortunately, you have extra crust! So prepare a second pan just like the first.
      Realize you don't have quite enough filling to make a second full-size mini quiche, so line the bottom of the second crust with some of your leftover un-pureed spinach. Pour the remaining filling into the second crust, then top it off with some filling that you've skimmed off your first crust.

      When the two pies look approximately equal in size, pop them in the preheated oven.

      It is crucial to be very indecisive about the baking time. Start with 22 minutes, but then decide that most brownies cook in that amount of time, and they are cooked in much bigger pans, so surely you won't need quite as much time. Change the timer to 16 minutes. After the cook time is almost up, realize your quiches aren't even close to finished. Add 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, find your quiches to be still as watery as a swamp, and add another 5 minutes. Do this as many times as necessary until the edges look brown and the top looks dry.

      Remove quiches from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then eat.

      Guess what! You forgot the salt! Sprinkle salt onto the top of your quiche, making sure to overestimate the amount you need. When you have successfully converted your healthy dinner into hypertension on a plate, you are ready to consume it! You will find that the crust is still undercooked and there is not nearly enough cheese, but you won't mind, because you happen to be watching the pilot episode of Fringe, and that will surely help you work up a hearty appetite!

      Enjoy your meal!