Sunday, August 21, 2011

A request for Quiche

In the last week or so, Netanya has been humored by various meal requests from my children. She can't fathom the fact that these four and five year olds regularly ask for entrees foreign to most kids. I heard her laugh out loud when Charlotte wanted to know if we could have tilapia with lemon sauce for dinner.

Perhaps if I offered hot dogs and chicken nuggets more often my kids would seem normal to our 15 year old mother's helper. As I set down the dinner of salmon fillets with quinoa and steamed broccoli, Eli inquired, "Mommie, is this Fresh Wild Alaskan Salmon?" Netanya was D-Y-I-N-G. What five year old knows to even ask that she wondered? Since I make a big deal out of fresh versus frozen, wild versus farm raised and Alaskan versus Bay of Fundy Salmon, this was clearly his way of inquiring on the quality of the food put before him. He was relieved to hear that it was in fact, Wild, Fresh, Alaskan salmon, not the less desirable kind.

It was as this moment that Netanya determined my kids were officially, freaks. I had to agree, but in a kind and loving way. Freaks indeed, and proud of it, thankyouverymuch.

Just this morning, Natalie suggested that we have quiche for dinner. I happily agreed to prepare quiche and a salad for our evening meal. It was when I ransacked the freezer for my gluten free pie shells that I had to improvise a little bit. I could not find a gluten free crust, so instead of a traditional quiche I made a version of Paula Deen's hashbrown quiche. It got mixed reviews from the kindergarten gourmands. CJ and I loved it, but to those who were expecting a traditional, flaky pie crust, it was weird. I bet if I had not called it quiche they would not have been disappointed- we all know it is half presentation and good PR that makes them interested in trying new things anyhow.

Here is the recipe for the gluten free, hashbrown quiche- it was totally easy to make, and it did taste delicious. You could add various fillings like ham or bacon, but when the mother's helper is kosher, not so much- so we stuck to veggies and cheese in ours.

Ingredients:

3 cups, shredded hash browns, drained
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Add hot water to the potato carton, and follow package directions. Gently press the drained hash browns in a fine sieve to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, or in my case, a loaf pan, toss the hash browns with the melted butter and press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready, it will be semi browned and have crisp edges, pour the egg mixture over itand return to the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.
Slice and serve while still warm.

This will satisfy the urge for quiche- even if it is gluten free, pie crustless quiche, and even if the folks eating it are expecting something else. The meal requests will continue around here, I am afraid- fortunately, they do not include hot dogs and chicken nuggets too often. I would rather make tilapia with lemon sauce and quiche any day.


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