Food Sunday: Gonna’ Eat Better
Well, it’s January 2 and I’ll bet there are already a lot of people out there who are despairing of keeping any sort of New Year Resolutions. It’s okay – you are not a bad person and frankly, there is no reason to drag those resolutions around like some sort of anvil for the rest of the year if you know, deep in your heart of hearts that it’s sort of a waste.
But here’s one that we work pretty hard at here at Chez Siberia that might work for you: Gonna’ Eat Better. And by that, I mean, eat in a more planned out way, which will give you better meals, better nutrition, and save money. And sometimes that means planning WAY in advance, and not just the on the way out the door, yelling at someone still standing in the kitchen, “Hey, take something out for dinner, ok?”
Like, THAT really works, right?
So, finding ourselves with an abundance of eggs (when you have chickens…), the DH and I decided to make up some “quick/fast/last minute/no one remembered and this would have been the choice if they had” sorts of dinners: quiche. Now, this is an operation that does that some planning and prep; it also works a LOT better if you have a cooking partner to help you with the last minute “pour into the pie shells and get them into the oven” operation. If you don’t have a live-in person, this is also something that you can partner up with someone else with, cook everything up, divide things up and your friend goes home with quiches for the freezer also. . . .
Part of this is going with what you do well and “outsourcing” the rest. Aunt Toby, sad to say, can’t make pie crust for anything. I admit it. So, I went to the store and got six pre-made/in aluminum pie pans pie crusts. While I was getting the rest of all the ingredients chopped, cooked, mixed, etc., I put them all into a 450 degree oven for 12 minutes and baked them and then took them out to cool.
Here’s what I used to make 6 quiches:
3 dozen large eggs (give or take; we ended up throwing an extra egg into each quiche – anything to get rid of extra eggs and it all worked out), 6 eggs for each quiche.
½ cup of half and half for each quiche (you can substitute evaporated milk, heavy cream or whole milk)
1 cup of shredded cheese for each quiche (I used Swiss for the Lorraines; sharp cheddar for the broccoli and..)
2 cups of cooked veggies for each quiche (for the Lorraines, I had a combination of cooked onions/peppers and mushrooms; for the broccoli, I had a combination of the leftover onions/peppers, broccoli and a rather sad bunch of chard that I found in the vegetable bin that I chopped up fine and sautéed with garlic.
For the quiche Lorraine, I had some of what our pork raiser refers to as ‘cottage bacon’; it’s more like ham or Canadian bacon, really. We chopped it up, broiled all the fat out of it and put bits of that in the bottom of the pie crusts before we poured everything else in.
Team Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F
Person 1: Put whatever is going into the pie pans in the bottoms (a little bit of the extra cheese, the ham, whatever. Put the veggies and cheese into a bowl, while…
Person 2: Mix up 6-7 eggs with ½ cup of the half and half (or whatever dairy product you are using) and bring that over to Person 1.
Person 1: Pour the egg/dairy combo into the cheese and veggies, give it a quick whisk around and pour into the pie crust.
The quiches will stand for the couple of minutes while each person is getting their parts done. No one can stand around, however. Person 2 will always be mixing up eggs and dairy so that basically as soon as Person 1 has poured a quiche, the next bit of egg liquid is there.
Pop all the quiches into the oven – as you can see, I did all six at once, which made them take longer to cook but got them all done at the same time. About 30 minutes into the cooking (if you have two rows like this), pull out the ones on the top and switch them around with the ones on the bottom. Cook for another 30 minutes or until a fork comes out clean – the custard has all set. The top will be a bit brown, which is ok.
Take out, put on racks or pads and cool. Wrap them however you want to wrap them. We put them into labeled Ziploc™ bags, closed them up almost all the way and sucked out the air from that little hole and then sealed that opening. Then, we put them into the freezer.
Six dinners in the freezer. Each one will serve four (or the DH, me with one-quarter each and the rest for The Boy) with a salad.