Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Real Men Don't Eat Quiche

Tonight, I made quiche & couscous. Two of my tried-and-true favorite recipes. I have bastardized the original quiche recipe almost beyond recognition, but credit should still be given where credit is due. The original recipe was called Leek and Tomato Quiche and was taken from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas. Samantha, a former coworker of mine brought some to work one night and I loved it (despite my usual squirmy distaste for sliced tomatoes). We worked at a copy shop at the time, and I ended up copying the entire cookbook although to this day, the only recipe I have tried from it is the quiche. If I remember correctly, that quiche was the first dinner I ever cooked for the man I was dating at the time. He later became my husband, so maybe that speaks well for the recipe. Over the years, though, I have altered the recipe so many times that it has now become this:

QUICHE (makes two):

  • 2 pie crusts
  • 4 cups fresh vegetables (I usually use whatever I have on hand - tonight I used scallions, red onions, green bell peppers, poblanos, and mushrooms)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb swiss cheese
  • 1 oz romano
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 and 3/4 cups half and half
  • hot sauce to taste
  1. Dice & slice the vegetables and saute them with the garlic in the butter & olive oil for a few minutes (vegetables should be just slightly tender, but still crisp). Season with salt & pepper.
  2. Grate the cheeses & toss them with the flour
  3. Beat together the eggs, cream, and a little salt.
  4. Divide the sauteed vegetables between the two crusts and spread along the bottom of the shells.
  5. Divide the cheese amongst the two pies and spread evenly over the vegetables.
  6. Divide the custard between the two pies and pour over the cheeses.
  7. I like to then crack more black pepper on top - because it looks pretty.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Then reduce to 325 degrees, and bake for another 30-45 minutes, until the top is just beginning to brown.

The couscous recipe is one I clipped from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution food section a few months ago. The recipe was attributed to The Food & Mood Cookbook by Elizabeth Somer & Jeanette Williams, a cookbook I do not own, but hope to someday. I have altered this recipe to make it vegetarian and to make it a little spicier.


  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 14 oz can vegetable broth
  • 2 oz white wine
  • 1 box whole-wheat couscous
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, seeded & diced
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained & rinsed
  • 6 tsps hot sauce
  • 3 to 4 oz crumbled feta
  1. Spread almonds on a cookie sheet & toast until golden (takes about 10 min at 325 degrees).
  2. In a saucepan, bring the broth & wine to a boil, pour in the couscous, stir to moisten, turn off heat, and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Heat 2 tsps of olive oil and saute the pepper & garlic for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add red pepper & garlic, almonds, chickpeas and hot sauce to couscous and toss gently.
  5. Toss with extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup or more - until the couscous is as moist as you like).
  6. Top with feta cheese.

These are both easy, yet tasty, recipes. I usually make the couscous while the quiches are in the oven. The carnivore husband tolerates the quiche, but loves the spicy couscous. The 16-month old baby devours all of it as if it will be his last meal.

On a final note, my first issue of Cooking Light came in today's mail, and I'm quivering with anticipation. I love reading about food, but this is my first food magazine subscription. All other reading materials are being shoved to the side for now, and I hope to not be interrupted this evening while I delve in for new recipes.

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