So all of two minutes passed between seeing this quiche recipe on Albion Cooks (whose inspiration you'll see more of, I predict, given our similar sensibilities to food) and heading to the kitchen.
It was delicious! This is a keeper!
FOR THE RECORD ... I started making pastry when I was 16 and for a lot of years, made one tender crust after another. Then a couple of years ago, I lost the knack and turned out one TOUGH crust after another. (And no, those weren't the boxed crusts. The boxed crusts started to taste pretty good!) Whew! I'm finally creating good pastry again, thanks in part to re-incorporating Crisco or lard and adopting a few Alton Brown techniques. This pastry was tender and flavorful and hard to resist! It includes a bit of semolina which both adds gluten and a thin understory of crunch that's appealing in savory dishes and I suspect, some fruity pies like apple. What's semolina? It's a more coarsely ground wheat flour and is often used in pasta. I've successfully used farina (aka Cream of Wheat) as a substitute but it doesn't impart the same nuttiness.
BUT IF YOU'RE SHORT ON TIME OR AREN'T INTERESTED IN PASTRY ... I really do recommend the Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts. You can use them as is. But better yet, roll them out to be thinner, put the pastry into the pie tin and cut away the excess before crimping the edge. You'll save a few calories and the crust won't be quite so well, crusty. If you have semolina on hand, maybe try rolling it in semolina, to impart a bit of that special nutty flavor.
SPINACH & FETA QUICHE
See Albion Cooks' inspiration
Hands-on time: 30 minutes for pastry + 25 minutes for filling
Time to table: 2 hours
PASTRY (adapted from Once Upon a Tart)
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons semolina
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Crisco
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
A glass of ice water
(NOTE: This is the Alton Brown technique for pastry.) In a food processor, whiz the the flour, semolina and salt two or three times til mixed. Add the Crisco and HALF the butter; whiz two or three times til small crumbs form. Add the remaining butter and whiz two or three times until coarse chunks form. DON'T SKIP THIS STEP, it prevents overworking the dough: Transfer to a working bowl. A tablespoon at a time to start, add water and gently mix into the flour-butter mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough can just be gathered together. Gather it into a ball, press flat to create a thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Generously sprinkle a work surface with flour. Working quickly, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry, working from the center out and turning the pastry a bit after each roll. (I usually turn it over once or twice as well.) When it's the right thickness, fold in half and then again. Transfer to a lightly greased quiche pan, letting the edges hang over the sides. Fold the pastry over itself, then pinch the edge between to form a fluted edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or tuck into the freezer for about 15 minutes.
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced (the red pepper in tonight's version was actually leftover bits of roasted red pepper)
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley (don't skip this, it somehow really adds)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
9 ounces fresh baby spinach, washed, spun dry, stems removed and chopped
Salt & pepper to taste (generously is recommended)
In a large skillet, melt the butter til shimmery on MEDIUM HIGH. Reduce the heat to MEDIUM, add the onion and red pepper, sauté til beginning to soften but not brown. Add the parsley, garlic and marjoram and cook 1 minute or two. A handful at a time, add the spinach, letting it cook down a bit before adding more. Season to taste.
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup half 'n' half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Spread the feta on the bottom of the cold crust. Gently arrange the spinach mixture over top. Whisk together the eggs, half 'n' half and salt and pepper, then gently pour over spinach. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until center is set. Let rest for 5 - 10 minutes before cutting to serve.
Per Serving: 304 Cal (59% from Fat, 10% from Protein, 31% from Carb); 8 g Protein; 20 g Tot Fat; 11 g Sat Fat; 24 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NetCarb22; 141 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 622 mg Sodium; 109 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 7 1/2 points