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Mrs. Breakfast with Nick: Tomato and Asparagus Quiche

I am excited to be writing my first guest-post on the hubby’s blog! I am the most frequent dining-companion sharing a meal with Breakfast with Nick, and it’s fun to share some of the ways we try and introduce our two boys to great, fresh, local food at home. Nick and I share the cooking in our home, and we approach it very differently. Nick prefers to use a recipe that he sticks to. On the other hand, I view recipes more as “guidelines” and am more adept at throwing something together out of what’s in the kitchen. I’m pretty sure that my superhero power is being able to walk into the kitchen with two hungry boys clawing at my knees and put a (fairly) healthy and well-balanced meal on the table in 20 minutes. I like the challenge of it, I like the fast-decision-making part, and I love the multi-tasking efficiency. So I LOVE mystery food boxes, like CSAs. When Nick told me that we were getting a chance to try out a delivery bin from Green Bean Delivery, I was excited – a whole new bin to create delicious meals!

My first creation was the night after we received the bin. Nick was at an evening meeting, so it was just me and two hungry boys and a bunch of produce. We had a few dozen fresh eggs, and the bin included some beautiful asparagus, tomatoes, kale, and limes. I decided on a quiche and used a tried-and-true recipe I keep memorized for times like this! I made a quick pastry crust, and not wanting to mess with the food processor, I just did everything by hand. Prep for the full thing took about 15 minutes, and with cooking time at 35 minutes, it took a bit longer than usual. But it was worth it.

First things first, I started up the oven at 375 degrees, and gathered items for the pastry crust so it could chill a bit. The basic ingredients for the pastry crust are:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into rough cubes)
3 tablespoons ice water

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In a wide bowl, whisk the flour and salt together, then “cut in” the butter by using a pastry cutter or a few forks until it looks like corn meal. (My normal recipe uses chilled lard as well, but it takes a bit longer, so I’ll show that another time. Butter is delicious too.)
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It should just hold together when pressed, like so:

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Then, going slowly (some say use a spray bottle), add very cold ice water to the mixture a few drops at a time just until it comes together.  I usually just grab a few drops with my hands and spritz it in the bowl.

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Shape into a rough flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and put into the fridge for a bit  while you prep the filling. For the filling, my rule of thumb (for my specific pie plate) is 6 eggs, 2 cups of “stuff” (sausage and spinach, asparagus and onions, bacon and mushrooms), spices, and 1/2 cup of cheese. For any veggies, you’ll want to quickly cook those (blanch them in boiling water or sautee in a bit of butter) because the baking portion of the quiche is mainly to cook the eggs, not necessarily cook the other ingredients. (For meat, make sure the bacon, sausage, or chorizo is cooked through.)

For Breakfast with Nick (and those other recipe-followers out there), I did put together a quick “recipe” for this asparagus and tomato quiche:

1 pound fresh asparagus, cleaned and cut into ¾-inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes, cut into eighths
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup onions, chopped
6 large eggs
¾ cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded Dubliner Irish cheddar

Start by boiling some water and throwing some ice water into a separate bowl, filled with water (for the ice bath). Stare at your beautiful locally-grown asparagus for a while, and wonder if you should paint your kitchen in stunning asparagus purples and greens. I did.

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While the water is coming to a boil, chop up the asparagus into 3/4″ pieces and roughly chop the onion. Throw a small saute pan on the stove on medium, and add the butter to melt.

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When the water is at a boil, throw the asparagus in for about 4-5 minutes. Then add the curry and cayenne pepper to the butter, and throw in the onions. Cook the onions until they are translucent and most of the liquid from the butter has cooked off.

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Once the asparagus hit 5 minutes, take them off, strain them, and put them right into the ice bath to stop the cooking. There are few food-textures worse than an overcooked asparagus.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, and grab your cheese and pie crust. We were lucky enough to have some beautiful fresh eggs from Nick’s brother’s chickens, who was visiting from Kentucky a week earlier. (He also has bees! Follow him at the Rooftop Apiary!)

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Look at those bright big yolks! (I don’t have tiny hands, btw, this is my 5-year old helping out. He wants to be, in no particular order, a chef, builder, printer and jet fighter. Go big or go home.)

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When all your ingredients for the quiche are ready, spread out the plastic wrap and roll the dough using a lightly-floured rolling pin, and press into a pie plate or tart pan.

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If you want to get fancy with the edges, great! I didn’t, because my pie pan is huge and this recipe didn’t make enough. (Which are both excuses for the fact that I am HORRIBLE at crimping pie edges. Just terrible.) (If you’d like to see some BEAUTIFULLY crimped pie-edges, take a trip to Worthington to say hi to AJ Perry at Sassafras Bakery and marvel at the perfect crimps.)

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Sprinkle half of the cheese on the bottom of the chilled pie crust. (I will make a note here that sometimes, some pans don’t do great at cooking the pie crust all the way through in the middle of the bottom of the pie – it stays doughy. If you know this about your pans, try par-baking it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. When you go to actually bake it, you might need to cover the crust edge with a layer of foil so you don’t burn it.)

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Then dump the asparagus, spiced onions, and tomatoes in.

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Finally, fill it up with the eggs and top it with the rest of the cheese.

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Once you bake it in a 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes, switch it to the top rack for 3-5 minutes on broil (do not walk away from the oven – I’m saying this more for myself than you.) This gives it a great crispy cheese top which, let’s be honest, is why we all eat quiche in the first place. (IGNORE THE NON-CRIMPED EDGES!)

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Let it sit for a few minutes before you slice and enjoy!

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Stay tuned for more creations!

Pastry
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into rough cubes)
3 tablespoons ice water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a wide bowl, whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl, then “cut in” the butter by using a pastry cutter or a few forks until it looks like corn meal. Taking a few spritzes of cold water (with spray bottle or just using fingers), wet the flour mixture a bit at a time until it just holds together – don’t add too much or it will get sticky. Pat into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge for 15-30 minutes. Remove, and then roll out with a floured rolling pin onto the plastic wrap. Then use that to transfer to a pie dish. Depending on your dish, you might need to throw some flour or non-stick spray into the bottom of the pan. Pat the crust into the pan and then crimp the edges. (I’m not the one to ask about this.) Fill, and bake according to pie or quiche instructions.

Asparagus and Tomato Quiche
(Note: try subbing the asparagus, tomatoes, and onions with Bacon and mushrooms or sausage and spinach)

1 pound fresh asparagus, cleaned and cut into ¾-inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes, cut into eighths
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup onions, chopped
6 large eggs
¾ cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded Dubliner Irish cheddar

Instructions:

Start by boiling some water and throwing some ice water into a separate bowl, filled with water (for the ice bath). While the water is coming to a boil, chop up the asparagus into 3/4″ pieces and roughly chop the onion. Throw a small saute pan on the stove on medium, and add the butter to melt. When the water is at a boil, throw the asparagus in for about 4-5 minutes. Then add the curry and cayenne pepper to the butter, and throw in the onions. Cook the onions until they are translucent and most of the liquid from the butter has cooked off. Once the asparagus hit 5 minutes, take them off, strain them, and put them right into the ice bath to stop the cooking. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, and grab your cheese and pie crust. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the bottom of the chilled pie crust, and dump the asparagus, spiced onions, and tomatoes in. Finally, fill it up with the eggs and top it with the rest of the cheese. Once you bake it in a 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes, switch it to the top rack for 3-5 minutes on broil. Let it sit for a few minutes before you slice and enjoy!

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About Breakfast with Nick

I love breakfast. So I eat it a lot, & write about it. In my city of Columbus, Ohio & wherever I travel, I'm out to find & enjoy all the breakfasts out there.

4 responses »

  1. Truly enjoyed this post! I love making quiche for my family. It’s a favorite go to for dinner during the week. I have always bought my crust however I think I want to try this and see if it works for me. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Tippy O'Brien

    Wow, does that look great. Nick why do you go out for breakfast? That would keep me at home.

    Reply
  3. You sound and your quiche looks like you are a pro at making fresh and yummy, organic meals. How wonderful for your family and husband..I like the fact that you always accompany your husband with your children on outings for Breakfast and show the world how well you are able to dine…Your meal looked yummy, your children will be CSA people and fresh and healthy all the way, our only loves vegetables and fruits and makes her own food in NYC cause she cannot get what she really likes in diners and restaurants without spending too much money for it, she was in 4H and learned early and often what fresh and sustainable and yummee food truly is, she sews and cooks most anything she wants. we are so proud of her..I enjoyed your blog and keep us the recipes and what you do for your family, it is wonderful to have you writing healthy and yummee recipes, kudos! Mrs. Nick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • I meant to say please do another blog of the meals you serve to your Mr. Nick and your children, I know they will be wonderful..Asparagus, fresh tomatoes, eggs, yummeee, I think the crust looked and I am sure tasted superior to anything one buy premade in the supermarket, fresh all the way.. Your sons will take all they know from their meals made lovingly by their Mom with them in their journey in this life and your husband is lucky he is married to a wonderful chef, KUDOS to you Mrs. Nick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply

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