Any of you dear readers remember our instagram photo from a few months back?
Geez, I guess it was late July or early August?
My how TIME FLIES! Well, I promised you both the story AND the recipe for what I like to call:
“Wear Your Helmet” Quiche.
First, the STORY.
(BTW: if you wanna skip the story, be my guest. Just scroll down for the recipe. I won’t be offended.)
Ok, so, you likely know that Dr. Eric (the hubs) and I have kids, right? Our boy, Wyatt #minidrdahl, is 11, in 7th grade, and all of that. Wow, I am so grateful that he loves to get outdoors to hang with his buddies. Gotta get his 5’6″-tall-men’s-size-10 1/2-shoe-wearing-self outta the house! Luckily, we live in an area where it is what I consider “safe” enough for them to cruise around the neighborhood in say, a 5 mile radius. On the weekends, they speed off on their scooters or bikes, going house to house, to the park or to the local pizza joint (to buy FRIES ONLY – Hi, no wheat no dairy!). Wyatt checking in by text every so often. He is cool, yo. Except that I MAKE HIM WEAR HIS HELMET.
Not all of his friends do. Wear their helmet that is. Because it doesn’t look fly. So every time I get the “Gawwwd MooOOoommmm…why do I hafta…blah blah blah…” I launch into the SAME diatribe. It goes something like this: “I know you are really safe son. I know you are a really dope _____ -rider. And you NEVER do anything wrong. But it is NOT YOU that I am WORRIED ABOUT. Dooood, it’s the twentysomething college frat kid who lives down the street who zips around the corner in his Beemer blasting the tunes, not looking where he is going, that will knock your $&*% down. You won’t even know what hit you and your BRAINS WILL BE ALL OVER THE STREET. It is not about your skill as a _____ – rider, son. Please, an accident is called an accident because it happens by ACCIDENT. I love your brain INSIDE your head. I don’t care if it looks laaaaaame. Do it anyway, or I’m taking away the Nook, your cell phone, and the wheels too! Oh and don’t even THINK of taking it off when you get outta sight, because I have MOM SPIES all over the hood. Also BTW, you can’t wear your flat bill under the helmet leaving it unbuckled – that won’t fly. Only thing’ll fly is your helmet right off your head and your skull will still crack like an EGGSHELL all over the pavement. “Yes, I know so-and-so is going to think you are a loser, but he’s gonna look like an EVEN BIGGER LOSER when his face is smashed-in with bits of glass and gravel stuck in his flesh and his teeth missing… “OK Mom, whatever…”
And as if that isn’t embarrassing enough in front of his friends, some of which are older, I will even lay this on HIS FRIENDS! His OLDER friends! Oh boy, what nerve I have. There’s this one kid, who I adore by the way, my good friend’s son, I’ll call him “J.” He is 13. This guy rules the school. Apparently he has since he was just a toddler. Handsome, funny, likable and hip, “J” has enough baby face and manners to get away with a wee bit too much. But, so far anyway, he is a lot of talk and swagger. Most of his “mistakes” are still pretty innocent, like throwing eggs at the neighbor’s house, for example. At 13, I think this is a punishable, but forgivable, teen rite of passage (but don’t let him know I said that!). Anyway, “J” NEVER wore his helmet. So, I always layed into him. It’s kind of a little joke now, cause my diatribe gets even more gory each time. Sure enough though, at least till he’s outta sight, he puts in on. Buckled.
But even with all that, “J” concussed himself this summer. Back in July. What do you think happened? Yep, scooter accident. Catching air off some tree-root-sidewalk-crack-as-a-jump on his high-end fancy wheels, he bit it, hard, going quite fast as he tells it, on the concrete. Believe me, I was so temped to say “I told you so! NANANANANANA! HAHAHA, serves you right!” But I didn’t. All I had to do was LOOK at him, and he knew. I didn’t say anything. He was hurting poor kid. He was really out of sorts for a good couple of weeks. So instead of making him feel worse, I made him a “get-well” quiche. Because real men eat quiche.
No, really I made him a quiche because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m the kind of cook that likes to use what I happen to have in the house to make something yummy. So I looked in my fridge and cupboards to see what had been harvested from the “Dahlstrom Farm” that I could use to cook him a “recovery” meal. I didn’t have time to go the market; I had just enough time to make something and deliver it. I had a lot of fresh eggs, cheese, and way too much yellow squash. I also had bacon but no ham. Huh, I could make “J” a quiche but how can I make him LIKE it. Lots of bacon…hmmmm...
I thought about “J” and what I’d seen him eat over the past years. I like to think I have been influencing him to eat well. It is a known fact that he eats spinach, thanks to me. The Chinese take-out kind, cooked in loads of garlic. OK, so, I knew he liked GOOD food, man food, barbq and such, but he doesn’t like to eat vegetables so much. They need to be “disguised.” And I knew he prefered savory but with a little sweet. I thought about the time I ate breakfast with him at the hotel after we all went to the Renaissance Faire, and he was scarfing bacon. “J” eats his bacon in a unique way. You see he likes syrup on the bacon, but he likes the bacon crispy, and he doesn’t like the flavors to mix on his plate. So he literally dips the bacon into the maple syrup kind of like you would chips into dip or like a French Dip Sandwich. My mind went into action, as did my chopping knife, and I hoped that he would like the crazy concoction that I was going to whip up.
I didn’t taste it. An hour later, I took it over to “J’s” house still warm from my oven. I told him what I had made and how I had made it FOR HIM, with him in MIND, and that I hoped he liked it and that I hoped he would feel better soon. Told him that he needed to eat it to give me the review cause it was a totally NEW never been done before thing. There’s nothing like a love-cooked meal to heal.
When I spoke to him next, who had two thumbs? That guy! Yay. His mother, my fab friend, even said that he ate TWO PIECES.
I have made this recipe for my own family since, and it was met with hearty approval by all with seconds being had by all except #minimrsdrdahl who doesn’t consume as much as the larger Dahlstroms can. It even did well on the “rate-a-meal” scale, receiving a 9/10 in the “Brunch” category. Special thanks to Grammy Mary for inventing this fun family mealtime game that keeps us all interested in eating well.
Finally, you’ll be happy to know that “J” soon recovered from his concussion and all of it’s symptoms. Not a few weeks after, summer was well under way again when they spent a day at Knott’s Berry Farm on all those GNARLY rides. I guess his Doc gave him approval to shake his brain around in his skull some more. crazy kids.
And who wears his helmet now without being asked? My son, Wyatt.
Following is the recipe that was created with “J” and all hisself in mind…
Before I start, I will state my usual caveat. I do not follow recipes very well, or write them often. I do love to cook but I usually just make do with what ‘s on hand. As I have mentioned before, I am a “little of this a little of that” kind of cook, with things turning out a little bit different each time. So, please bear with me if the amounts are not EXACTLY right. Use your best judgement, and by all means, make it the way YOU like :o) It’ll turn out fine!
FYI, I learned to make quiche in a kitchen in the south of France, where there was no recipe and the belle fille who taught me, literally only said…“un peu de ca, et comme ca, aussi cette chose ici,…et viola!” So I just estimate every time the way I was taught en France…et toujours, c’est bon! Mais, c’est vrai, it is yummy ’cause it is cooked with LOVE! <3
You will need:
- 1 8 inch Pie Pan
- 1 C Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (or regular All Purpose Flour)
- 1 tsp Xanthan Gum (only if using the Gluten Free flour)
- 1 Cube Butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp Organic Pure Cane Sugar
- a pinch of Sea Salt
- 2 Tbs(?) filtered Water
- 5 fresh Organic Free-Range Eggs, beaten
- 1/2 C Greek Yogurt – We prefer FAGE – We use greek yogurt as it is lower fat and contains healthy gut flora as well as creamy goodness (you may substitute sour cream, creme fraiche, cream-cheese, low-fat yogurt, goat yogurt, milk, soy milk, heavy cream, goat milk, almond hemp or rice milk, etc.)
- 1 C Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated – We prefer “extra sharp” Tillamook as it is rBGH-free and yummy
- 1/2 Organic Brown Onion, chopped
- 2 large Organic “Spring” Onions aka Green Onions, chopped
- 2 Springs Fresh Rosemary, minced
- 6 strips Organic Bacon – We suggest Applegate Farms as it is uncured and contains no nitrates or added chemicals (I also prefer it’s thin cut so it crisps up and all the fat cooks off)
- 3 Tbs Pure Organic Maple Syrup (preferably Grade B as it has significantly more nutrients and is very beneficial as an anti-oxidant)
- 1 Organic Yellow Squash, chopped
- 2 Tbs Raw Organic Brown Sugar
- a few dashes Paprika
The quiche serves 4-6 people depending on the size of your slice. The total cook time is approximately an hour and a half assuming your butter is at room temperature when you start. To do that, take the cube out of the fridge in the morning and put it in your pie dish on the stovetop till later in the day.
When your butter is room temperature, unwrap it and place the cube in the pie dish. Heat your oven to approx 350*. WASH your hands. Take off any rings, bracelets, and/or watch you may not want to compromise (the dough gets forever embedded in the settings)…and prepare to make a mess kitchen style!
Add the flour to the butter in bits, smooshing it all in your hands and between your fingers like playdough. I LOVE this part! I get flour ALL OVER THE KITCHEN! :o) When all your flour is added you should have a fairly good ball of dough that is a bit dry and mixed thoroughly. If you are making the quiche gluten-free, you will need to add the Xanthan Gum along with the flour to create the necessary stickiness that holds the crust together (Xanthan Gum is a binding agent that mimics the sticky quality of gluten for us GFies). Prepare a little indent in the top of the ball of dough. Add the water and knead dough again until mixed. Now add the sugar and salt and knead again until mixed. Honestly, my measurements are never exact; You may have to add a bit of flour and/or a bit of water to make dough the right consistency and/or enough for the crust.
You should now have a good ball of dough to press into the pie pan. Starting in the middle, press down with the palm of your hand in a circular pattern, rotating the pan as you go while pressing towards the outside. Slowly spread the dough until it evenly covers the bottom and sides of the pie dish with the edges reaching up just beyond the rim of the dish. You may need to repeat the process and press from the middle once again smooshing the crust with your palm to the outer rim slowly without making any holes in the middle or bottom. Once you have got your dough evened out and the dish is covered, you can scallop the edges by squeezing around the top edge with your thumb pressing between your index and middle finger or opposite index finger and thumb. This creates a nice lacy crust that will turn golden brown and keep the eggies from leaking over the rim of the pan.
Set the prepped crust aside.
First, cook the bacon. For this, please use a deep skillet with a lid. My favorite pan by far was given to me as a wedding present by the Kenney Family and I use it EVERY time. The Le Creuset 3 3/4 qt. deep covered skillet. I also like to use a bacon press to make certain that the strips get nice and crispy. Drain some of the fat as the bacon cooks so that the meat continues to crisp up. Save the excess bacon fat in a small bowl, and set aside. When the bacon is done, remove it from the pan, and let it cool on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat drippings. When it has cooled to the touch, smash it in your fists to crumble it into nice size pieces. Set aside.
Then, in the SAME PAN, deglaze the bacon drippings with the maple syrup. That is, add back some of the original bacon fat, and add some of the maple syrup as well, while scraping the yummy bacony stuff off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the minced Rosemary all the while to preventing it from heating to a burn on the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped onions (both brown and green) and cook until soft and clear. Next, add the squash along with the rest of the bacon fat and maple syrup. Stirring often again so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan, cook the squash and onions until they have soaked up all the yumminess and have gotten good and caramelized (the goal here was to make it NO LONGER TASTE like SQUASH). Remove from heat and set aside.
Now, get out your eggies. I usually use a Pyrex 2C measuring cup – the kind with the spout and handle. Crack your eggs in there and beat them with a whisk until mixed. Add the Greek Yogurt (or creamy goodness of your choosing) and whisk again. Next, spread the squash/onion mix on the bottom of the crust evenly. Do the same with the shredded cheddar cheese, followed by the bacon. Then pour the egg mixture over the squash and onions and cheese. It should come right up to the top edge of the crust without spilling over. If you do not have enough to fill your crust, add another beaten egg but you should be just right.
Lightly dust the top of the pre-cooked quiche with the brown sugar to give it a sparkle and to make it extra sweet. Sprinkle a few dashes of Paprika on top as well just ’cause it looks pretty.
Bake at 350* for approx 40 minutes? Check it at 20 and 30 minutes to make sure that it isn’t over brown. Remove the quiche from the oven when it is golden brown but the crust edges are not burned. You should be able to insert a toothpick in the middle and have it come out clean. If the crust is burning but the middle is not yet cooked, cover it with tin foil that does not touch the surface of the quiche. When done, Let cool for 15 minutes before serving so as not to scald yourself on hot eggies as you try to eat it ASAP!
Coby Dahlstrom (#mrsdrdahl)