Food, Life, Mistakes

Humble Quiche

This is the quiche that stole my happiness.

Actually, I’m sorry, I’m not being totally honest.  THIS is the quiche that stole my happiness.

Do you see all that water?!??!  I can’t even…grrrrrrrrrr.  I just got mad all over again.  Look again.  Just so you can totally be on my wavelength.  The quiche-fail wavelength.  It’s a sad, lonely, tasteless part of the spectrum of emotion.

Offensive, right?  I know.

Quiche, as far as I know, is not supposed to be a high-stress food to prepare.  Quiche is one of those things you see at brunches all the time, presented hastily by hard-working mothers of three who couldn’t possibly have the time or energy to make something like that if it weren’t quick’n’simple.  (Am I right?)  Additionally, mini quiches are one of the more delicious items on the appetizer menu at every bar mitzvah/wedding/mass get-together in town, and if you can make them MINI, how can they be difficult?!  (Come on, again, am I right?  I’m totally right.  It’s JUST illogical.)

Well, I’ll tell you.  Don’t try to make a spinach-artichoke quiche without TOTALLY drying out the artichokes first.  The recipe I used, which came from some two-bit website called VirtualCities (which should have been my first clue – the tried-and-true cookbooks and websites are so touted for a reason), had like three sentences of directions.  I thought, “perfect!”

After a long day of job-applyin’, yoga-doin’, and Boulder-Creek-tubin’ (a fun-sounding activity that actually resulted in many bruises, blistered feet and a ruined pedicure, thank you very much), my man decided to go out for a run.  Says I: “Hey, while you’re gone, I’ll make you a quiche!”  Says he: “GREAT!”  I should have known right there.  I love to cook, but Susie Homemaker/Beaver Cleaver I am not.

By the time he returned, sweaty and hungry, I had succeeded in a) taking a shower, b) checking my email, and c) chopping the spinach for the quiche.  Luckily, the quiche didn’t have too many steps (being an “easy” recipe – HA!), so I was able to accomplish the few preparation steps fairly quickly in order to not look like I had been perusing eBay for most of his run.  Just for a few minutes.  I swear.  I really want a stand mixer, okay?

So, the quiche goes into the not-quite-pre-heated oven (but ours doesn’t beep when it’s ready, so really, who knows?), and I settle in on our new chenille-covered couch (it’s amazing) to read my book, and happily proclaim, “I made you a quiche!”  Says my man: “Well…not yet.”

That’s the wrong answer.  For all you men out there.  WRONG ANSWER.

Says I: “What?  I made a quiche.  Right now, it’s making itself, in the oven, but in terms of my responsibilities, it’s done.  I made it.”  Says he: “Okay.  You’re right.”  I sigh happily.  Return to my book.

Fifty-ish minutes later, I proclaim my masterpieces (I made two – we’re all about the leftovers around here) done.  I remove them, steaming and browned, from the oven, loving that we’re about to get to enjoy/devour the delicious crusty smell that has permeated every square inch of our condo.  Feeling self-satisfied with my accomplishment, I cut it open.  And see this.

(I know, I know, you’ve seen it, but I’m crushed here, so please just bear with me.)

To cut a VERY long story short, the quiches went back in the oven, one minus about a quarter of the whole due to the failed test piece (which went in alone on a plate – I ate that one.  Oh, the shame).

Once we were finally eating – and to be honest, it wasn’t bad, but at that point, who really cared?  Who cared about goddamn peace in the Middle East when I had SCREWED UP THE QUICHE?!?! – my man “jokingly” suggested that perhaps my initial cockiness was really what led to the failed quiche.  He said humility must have been the missing ingredient.

(Gentlemen – and I cannot stress this enough – do not ever look to my boyfriend for tips on how to secure a significant other.  He is now sleeping on the couch.  Just kidding.  Or am I?)

Anyway, I replied that I had really been served a piece of “humble pie,” and then went back and edited my initial statement with an enthusiastic, “no – humble QUICHE!”

My man didn’t like that very much.  He doesn’t like puns.

ANYWAY, here’s the recipe, but honestly, I’m feeling so down right now that I’m not going to pass it on with any big words of encouragement.  Make it if you want, but you might be better off with those mini-quiches.  Those come in variety packs.  And who doesn’t like some variety now and again?

Spinach and Artichoke Quiche – Makes Two Quiches

Custard mix:
6 eggs
3 cups milk
nutmeg, white pepper (totally aesthetic – if you don’t have it or have never heard of it, not to worry), and salt to taste
One 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts chopped in small pieces, and DRAINED.  DRAIN THEM.  I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.
1 cup spinach, finely chopped – honestly, sauteeing the spinach beforehand wouldn’t be a bad move, but once again, DRAIN LIKE YOU MEAN IT
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 pre-baked 8-inch pie shells (frozen ones are fine)

To make the custard, mix the eggs and milk together and add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. (The salt and pepper can also easily be added once it’s cooked.  I added too much.  Don’t do that.)  Place spinach, artichoke hearts, and cheese into pie shells. After you have drained the artichoke hearts.  Do NOT forget that part.  Add the custard mixture. Place in a 375-degree oven and bake 45 minutes to one hour until the custard is set, a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and you have steeled yourself for possible failure.  I’m just saying.  It happens to the best of us.

Note: If if you use processed Parmesan cheese (and please don’t), use less salt in the custard mix. If using frozen spinach, squeeze out water after defrosting.  Squeeze it out A LOT.

3 thoughts on “Humble Quiche”

  1. in my experience with quiche, you don’t want that much milk in it. that can increase runniness just like not draining your artichoke hearts. use like a cup of milk or half and half, tops.

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