Crustless Greek Quiche

In Recipies on July 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

I had a serious zucchini jones going.  Since I refuse to buy the overpriced squash at my local food mass (corporate) retailer and old Abe has joined Jack in one last race, going to the downtown farmer’s market has been on hold…

…as well as zucchini cooking.

Then, I visited the nearby Drake Neighborhood Farmer’s Market (previously praised on Phyne Dyning).

There, I was able to procure zucchini with which to put down the squash monkey that was on my back.

What better way to enjoy my fix than in a crustless quiche with definite Greek tones.

The basis for the recipe is not my own.  I got it many years ago from The Frugal Gourmet.  Readers may recall Jeff Smith, the person wearing the Frugal Gourmet’s apron.

Sadly, Smith will likely be remembered by my readers for molestation allegations that put his culinary sun into eclipse.

Such a shame, the man had real talent.  He was passionate about food and gave up his career as a Methodist minister to pursue a life as a chef.  Smith never returned to prominence as a television chef after the scandals that brought him down.

He died in 2004 of natural causes.

Smith may have been accused of some foul things, but I cannot dismiss the entire man as being foul.  Therefore, the Phyne Dyner is delighted to give credit to Smith for his impact on the Phyne Dyner’s early years as a home chef.

Smith’s recipe for a basic, crustless quiche can be adapted to whatever ingredients the home chef can imagine.  I am particularly fond of his recollections of the dish as a “Summary Quiche”, so named because his assistant chefs were fond of cleaning out the show’s coolers and using the previous week’s main ingredients in a Friday afternoon quiche.

Crustless quiches take much of the headache out of quiche-preparing.  Crusts are “nice”, but can be over-filling, get soggy, or can be a pain in general.  Removing the crust from the equation makes quiche cookery fast and easy for the home chef.

I previously published a similar garden quiche.  This one has wonderful Greek flavors and a pungent garlic-lover’s tone.

Here we go!

You will need:

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

½ of a small onion, chopped

4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 TBS olive oil

4-6 oz white mushrooms, thinly sliced

½ package chopped spinach, thawed and wrung nearly dry

3-4 TBS finely chopped FRESH basil

1-2 TBS finely chopped FRESH oregano

8 oz cottage cheese

8 oz crumbled feta

5 large eggs, beaten

¼ C flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ C milk

2 oz pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Using a whisk or fork, beat the eggs until frothy.  Add in the milk, baking powder, flour, salt, cottage cheese, and feta.  Mix well and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sauté the zucchini, mushrooms, and onion until the onion just becomes translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.

Pre-heat oven to 400F.  When the veggies are cool, toss in the chopped spinach, herbs, and season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Add veggies to the basic quiche filling already prepared and mix well.  Lightly oil a casserole with vegetable oil and pour the veggie filling into the casserole.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle with grated Romano.  Reduce heat to 350F and return the quiche to the oven for 25-40 minutes.  Cooking times vary significantly according to the depth of the casserole!  Check for doneness at the lower end of the time, using a bamboo skewer.  The quiche is done when the skewer is removed clean from the center of the quiche.  Continue baking until done, checking every 10-15 minutes if you get paranoid.

Remove from the oven when done.  Allow to cool to “very warm” and serve with a fresh salad and a stout red wine.




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