Now why does it happen that the last Paper Chef weekend, I had been worked into a fabulous frenzy over a feta cheese soufflé after an impromptu visit from a “friend,” and that it just so happens that this Paper Chef weekend, he decided to drop by again?!? There must be something about a hot kitchen and being tied up in apron strings that will get a guy to jump into his car and do that six hour drive down the I-5 ;)
Well, maybe I got lucky that weekend, and uh, maybe I did *wink* because my silly little soufflé and story won in our own cyber-kitchen stadium! *high five! high five!* Which means I get to judge this month! And yes, I know I don’t get to compete in this round number eight, but I just couldn’t let those four fabulous ingredients – olives, cheddar cheese, spinach, and either cream or potatoes – get away from me, even though he did on Sunday afternoon. *sigh*
Spinach, olives, and even both the cream and potatoes screamed out Mediterranean to me, but what threw me for a cul-de-sac was the cheese. Feta? Obviously. Mozzarella? Definitely do-able. Even Swiss? Still something to be had. But cheddar?!?! Cheddar is, like, on the other side of the continent, okay?
I could have done a cheddar and spinach soufflé, but I did that last time, and look where it got me. :)
So, as appropriate for lazily rolling out of bed late on Sunday morning, slightly disheveled, but still in need of a good cup of coffee and brunch, it’s a Creamy Spinach, Olive, and Sun-dried Tomato Quiche in a Cheddar Crust. No borders. Just one big happy European free-for-all with Mediterranean fillings for a decidedly French dish of quiche, but all wrapped up in an English crust.
The cheddar crust is just so wrong. It's not really English (well, Cheddar is), but rather, it's all American (I don’t recall seeing cheddar cheese in a pastry crust anywhere except in American apple pies), so it doesn’t even work with the all-European-ness of the quiche anyway. And the worst of it is that it's sort of a very large pain in the arse to make. Adding shredded cheddar cheese doesn’t make it difficult to bring the pastry dough together. The dough is not even hard to roll out. But it’s an absolute miserable mess to blind-bake because the cheeky cheese decides to stick to the aluminum foil and never let go! Alright alright, so it was my mistake to learn from. Next time, I’ll coat the foil with non-stick spray. Duh. Should have thought of that the first time. Stupid, stupid stupid.
At least I was smart enough to glaze the inside with an egg yolk for the last two minutes of baking the crust, though. Otherwise, the crust would have become a soggy, eggy mess when the filling gets poured in.
The filling is a basic quiche filling with eggs and cream. I just added chopped and sautéed spinach and onions, sliced black olives, and rejuvenated sun-dried tomatoes. It doesn’t have to bake long, and thank goodness. You know me and baking. I don’t think I could have lasted. ;)
Looking forward to salivating over all the delicious entries in the next few days - you know, gotta find something to do with all that leftover spinach, olives, cream, and cheddar cheese – LOL!