Monday, January 13, 2014

Make ahead quiche

This past summer was a banner year for Swiss chard and other leafy greens from my CSA. I didn't mind, I love the stuff, plus I knew I'd want greens come winter. Some members did grumble quite a bit over it though. Bet they'd welcome it now.

What I did was I froze tons of it. Well what was tons of it fresh anyway - chopped, blanched and frozen it's a LOT smaller. Still as tasty and almost as healthful though. Basically it's as easy as it sounds - I roughly chopped the greens, and in the case of chard (and escarole) the stems, and quickly dropped it all in some slightly salted boiled water. I swished them around for a few seconds (but no more then a minute) and then quickly transferred the greens to a waiting bowl of ice water, where I swished them around until cool. I then removed it from the water, squeezing out as much liquid as I could and froze it in reasonable portions (I did 1 cup containers).

Now that its winter and my CSA share consists of root veggies, I'm glad I did all that. I'm preparing for the birth of twins (if all goes on schedule they come out next week) and trying to cook some meals in advance. I have a ton of venison sausage from my husband's autumn hunting trip so I decided on making a few quiches as they are easy to pre-make & freeze, balanced complete meals, and are very forgiving in the reheating process - over baking by 10-15 minutes is no big deal.

I opted for the easy route of store bought, pre-made pie shells in the disposable aluminum pie plate - I know I won't want to bother with extra dishes with two newborns... plus I used my nice Pyrex pie plates at Christmas for pumpkin pies and of course left them with various family members (I'll get them back eventually).

Once the crust is established (and indeed you can skip the crust altogether if you prefer) quiche is ridiculously easy. Mix a bunch of ingredients with egg and bake, basically. I opted for low fat cheddar cheese, greens, venison sausage and eggs. I made four all together, two with straight kale, and two are a mix of escarole and Swiss chard. The sausage is without any casing and simply cooked and crumbled. As for the eggs, I did about 2/3 whole eggs and 1/3 egg white just because, well, it's a lot of egg. I super finely chopped the greens in the food processor and decided what the heck and instead of shredding the cheese, just went ahead and chopped the cheese up in the same method - I can't imagine it will make a difference.

Quiche (makes 2 deep dish 9" quiches)
2 - 9" deep dish pie shells
3 cups blanched greens, room temp, finely chopped
8 oz cheese (I used low fat cheddar), shredded or finely chopped
7 large eggs
5 large egg whites
1.5 cups cooked, crumbled sausage, cooled
salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350. In a big bowl beat the egg and egg whites with the salt and pepper. Add the greens, the cheese and the sausage. Mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake for either 1 hour (or until center is fully set) and eat, or bake for 45 minutes, allow to cool and freeze. To eat bake another 30 minutes (from frozen state).

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