Much in the same way that I loved Abba even before I moved to Sweden, I loved eggs way before having chickens. I like ’em scrambled, fried, poached, coddled, mollycoddled and made into omelettes, particularly with cheddar cheese and artichoke hearts. In fact, if the house were afire, one of the things I would grab (after the children, the cats, the quote books, my old photos and some of the more expensive skeins of yarn in my stash, plus my Addi Turbo circular needles) would be my All-Clad omelette pan. Oh! and my Le Creuset. Well, actually the first thing to grab should be a wheelbarrow…but I digress.
Another way I love to prepare eggs is in quiches, frittatas and stratas. I free form these. A few eggs, whatever veg I have one hand, some potatoes if I got ’em, a crust if I feel like it. And cheese, of course — ricotta or cottage blended with the egg and veg mixture, then mozzarella or parmesan or cheddar or jack scattered on top. If I have appropriate fresh herbs, in they go too. Salt, pepper. I eyeball the mixture, choose a pan, plop it in. After a trip back in time, thanks to the magic of the Barstow, I get something that looks like this:
This is a swiss chard and mushroom quiche, with a cracker-crumb crust. The original recipe calls for panko crumbs to be mixed right in, but since I coincidentally (or maybe not? hmm, fate?) had a box of crackers in which most of the bottom third had already crumbified themselves, thought I would use those instead. Plus, they were “Multigrain & Seed,” which sounds healthy. It’s probably the least healthy, locavorish ingredient in the whole thing, given that the chard was from our CSA and the eggs were from our chickens. But damn, they tasted good!
Chard and Mushroom Quiche
Adapted from the Swiss Chard and Mushroom Squares over at Kalyn’s Kitchen
1 bunch swiss chard, leaves separated from stems
1/2 lb mushrooms, preferably cremini, sliced
1 T olive oil (or a little more, depending on your pan)
1 c. cottage or ricotta cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4 eggs, beaten
small amount Archer Farms Multigrain & Seed Snack Crackers®, crumbified
seasoning of your choice. I used onion and garlic powder because I was feeling lazy, salt, pepper and some hot red pepper flakes
Chop both chard stems and leaves, separately. In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil and add the chard stems. Salt. Cook these over medium-high heat, stirring, until they are browned and mostly tender. Add the chard leaves and the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, or close to it. Remove from heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine beaten eggs, cottage cheese, and about half the mozzarella. Season. Combine the vegetables with the egg mixture.
Lightly grease a large pie pan or square baking pan. Dust with cracker crumbs. Spoon egg mixture over the crumbs. Bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the whole quiche feels set, not goopy or wobbly when you shake the pan gently. Unless you are absolutely ravenous, let this sit for at least an hour. Trust me. It will taste so much better if it’s not piping hot out of the oven. Plus, being patient lowers your risk of debilitating mouth-roof burns.