Monday, June 16, 2014

Herb Your Enthusiasm

We inherited the most beautiful garden that anyone could ever ask for when we moved from Brooklyn to Troy, New York. But with such a garden comes immense responsibility. This past weekend, I found the herbs in the garden to be tremendously overgrown, with some in danger of going to seed. So I had to take swift action. I pruned all of the herbs and made lots of herbed butter, added dill to pickled beets, and I made a quiche that's a real keeper.

I remember friends in London making a pie-like dinner once with what seemed like an ethereal ease. I've always struggled with crusts, so whenever I watch someone make a crust and transfer it to a pie pan, I am in awe. So I messaged my UK friends and got the recipe: flour, butter, salt, cold water. Then I looked around for a recipe for the rest. I didn't want to have to go to the grocery store, so I just looked around for what I had in the house: smoked chicken sausage in the freezer, a lone yam, some garlic cloves, red onion, and a ton of broccoli leaves from my overripe broccoli plants.
 I followed this terrifically handy recipe: a mix & match quiche formula that turned out great.

And, D loved it. Because real men eat quiche, and love it.

Sausage, Greens & Yam Quiche in Herbed Crust

1 cup flour
5 tbsp butter
3 tbsp finely chopped herbs
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp ice water
1 egg
3 sausages
1/2 small-to-medium sized yam
2 cups of chopped greens (I used fresh broccoli leaves)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
salt & pepper to taste

At some point during this process, roast your yam. You can also use roasted garlic instead of sauteeing it as below.

Combine the flour with the butter and salt, either in a food processor or by hand until the flour and butter have combined into little lumps. Add in chopped herbs and ice water a little bit at a time until the dough begins to form into a ball. Refrigerate in a ball for 1/2 hour. When it's chilled, roll out the dough to fit a 9" pie shell. Fit into a pie pan and pinch the edges. Brush with beaten egg wash. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Set aside.

Saute garlic and red onion in a cast iron pan. Add diced sausage until cooked through (you can dice before you cook the sausage, or after) and then add the chopped greens. When fully cooked, add diced roasted yam. Allow the mixture to thoroughly cool, and then add 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.

Place about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of the sausage/veggie/cheese mixture into the pie shell.

Whisk the eggs & milk with salt & pepper to taste, and pour over the vegetables in the pie shell.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees; the egg mixture custard will appear to be too liquidy well into that 45 minutes but be patient. The last 10 minutes will see your custard rise a bit and then solidify. When the center stops jiggling and begins to brown just a touch, it's ready. Let sit for 5-10 minutes after you take it out of the oven and before you cut it. The puffy custard will settle down when it's ready to cut.

Enjoy with a side salad or all by itself!

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