Paula Deen (in any iteration) has never been in my kitchen, but I do have help this week from Oprah. That’s right–Oprah. And Coco Chanel, too. These two ladies are helping me make one stylin’, yummy vegetable quiche this week (see recipe below). In fact, they’re helping me get dinner on the table without hardly a feather ruffled. For reals.
You see, Oprah and Coco Chanel are hens who have the pleasure of residing with Eric and Lisa Forehand of Water Oaks Farm in Durham (www.wateroaksfarm.org). In addition to heritage breed chickens, Lisa and Eric also love their miniature donkeys and Eric makes a wicked variety of homebrew. I don’t think I have ever seen chickens get so much love and care (I’m pretty sure Eric puts that much love into his beer, as well).
When the big ol’ reincarnation happens for me, I want to come back as a chicken or donkey at Water Oaks Farm. Except I want my name to be Angelina Jolie.
Happy chickens laying happy eggs. If you’re not all about “happy,” but you are all about health, consider buying locally produced cage free eggs because:
- They taste better. WAAAAAAY better.
- They have more protein than mass-produced eggs because the hen’s diet is richer.
- You will support your local economy, not an agribusiness.
- You may help perpetuate heritage breed fowl, which keeps our genetic population of chickens healthier and more diverse.
Here is my “go-to” recipe for quiche. It is by far and away the best quiche recipe I have ever made and is much more like a traditional French quiche (light and custardy) than most dense restaurant quiches. The trick is to use vegetables that are dry, so cook veggies ahead and squeeze the dickens out of them before adding to the quiche. Bon Appetite!
- Pastry dough or 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
- 6 large eggs
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 8 oz. swiss and Gruyère cheese mix (check Trader Joes on this)
- 1 bag spinach or other greens cooked and squeezed of all excess water
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Prepare pastry and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and cook onions over medium heat until soft and slightly browned (about 5 min.). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
- Add spinach to pan and cook until very wilted. Toss spinach frequently to keep from scorching. When greens have collapsed and are fully cooked, remove from pan and put onto a towel or paper towel. Roll the towel up and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the greens (if you use frozen greens, you will need to do this as well once the greens are defrosted). Do NOT skip this step.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, cream and milk until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cheese and stir until combined.
- Take the pastry crust from the refrigerator and arrange the onions and spinach on the pastry.
- Pour the egg mixture into the pastry.
- Sprinkle nutmeg across the top of the quiche.
- Bake at 350 degrees about 30-40 minutes–until top is golden and puffy and the quiche does not “wobble” in the center when gently moved.
- Serve immediately. Bow and accept the culinary accolades from your family. Make sure to thank Oprah and Coco Chanel.