Don’t count your chickens…

Today I returned from a series of dull February errands to find three dozen of the most beautiful and fresh free-range eggs sitting on my counter.  The eggs, light blue and speckled gems, as well as gorgeous brown ones, come from Sugar Hill Farm in Pine Plains, New York.  The blue and speckled eggs are the product of the Americana chicken; and, the brown hail from a bird called the Rhode Island Red.   Now, I ask you: how can eggs from chickens with those monikers not be fabulous?  I mean, really!   

So, how did I come into this unexpected bounty?  And, what do I do with it?  The first answer is easy.  My fabulous egg benefactor is none other than my cousin John and his wife Christine, who own Sugar Hill Farm.  The second question is much tougher.  At first visions of  poached, scrambled and fried run through my brain…  No, I tell myself, that is much too pedestrian!  We can do more than that!  I mean a good omelet is wonderful- but there are fantastic things to be created- particularly on a weekend!  We have 36 spectacular eggs safely tucked into the refrigerator.  It is such a luxury to have to think about this problem!  We cannot settle! 

I consider and mull and finally decide that the first eggs are going to be sacrificed to one of my favorite light lunch or dinner entrees: Quiche.  A good Quiche is heaven for me and the leftovers are good for breakfast lunch or dinner!  Gotta love that!  I am particularly partial to a good Quiche Lorraine- with ham and cheese.  But, Quiche is a vehicle; it can be whatever you want it to be. So have fun with it!  It does, however, almost always have cheese in it; everything else can be added (or subtracted) to your hearts content. 

Basic Quiche Recipe – adapted from Epicurious

1 Pastry shell- make one or buy one- when short on time I like the Pillsbury ready crust

6 large eggs

2/3 c. heavy cream

1 c. whole milk

8-10 oz Gruyere, grated

¼ t. nutmeg

1- 1 1/4 c. diced ham- optional

1.Roll out the pastry to fit a 9-10 “ pie plate. Crimp edges and poke bottom with a fork.  Place the pastry in the freezer for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 425

3. Line the pastry with foil and pastry weights (any dried beans work as well) and bake in the bottom third of the oven until pastry is golden at the edges- about 15 minutes

4. Remove the foil and weights and return the pastry to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

5. In a mixer, mix eggs, cream, milk and nutmeg until well blended.  Season with salt and pepper then add the cheese and stir until blended.  (If you are using ham as well, add it now on top of the pastry)

6. Pour the mixture onto the pre-baked pastry- evening out the cheese as you pour. 

7.  Bake in the center of the oven until the filling is golden and puffed- about 30 minutes.  To test for doneness, shake the quiche-if it is solid without an uncooked pool in the center- it is finished.  Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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One Comment

  1. Lisa
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    Caroline,

    So, Easter came early — how wonderful! I’m sure the Sugar Hill egss are gorgeous. When making quiche, I often use Pepperidge Farm Puff pastry. The beauty is that you don’t need to blind bake it; you thaw it (20 mins, of your counter), roll it, slip it into your pie plate, pour in your egg mixture, and it all goes in the oven. Yum!

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