Cookery Maven Blog

Makeshift Quiche

Sometimes cooking with leftovers from your refrigerator can make you feel like a contestant on a Food Network show. I never know what I will find. My leftover containers are typically miscellaneous plates/bowls covered with aluminum foil. It's always a surprise when I peel off the unlabeled foil and reveal the contents. Last week, I wanted quiche but didn't want to go to the grocery store. I harvested some leftovers from the fridge and came up with a makeshift but delicious quiche.

The harvest included eggs from Spirit Creek Farm, bacon from Jim's Meat Market, roasted fingerlings and asparagus, mushrooms, swiss cheese and balsamic glazed carmelized onions. I cook for a crowd every night (one of the perks of a large family). Sometimes the crowd doesn't like the results and I have lots of odds and ends left over. They will always eat anything that comes from a chicken, pig or cow, it's the vegetables that get covered in foil and put in the refrigerator.

I am a fan of Pillsbury pie crusts. They taste good, are easy to roll out and are relatively flaky. Maybe someday I will hop on the pastry making wagon but for now, I am happy to let Pillsbury make me look good. I use a tart pan with a removable bottom. I like the fluted sides but a traditional pie dish works just as well.

Makeshift Quiche

6 - 8 roasted fingerlings

1/2 cup caramelized onions

8 - 10 roasted asparagus stalks

1 cup sautéed mushrooms

6 - 8 slices of cooked bacon

1 cup swiss cheese, grated

5 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper

1 pie crust, rolled out and fitted into a 9 inch pie dish or tart pan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl and beat until combined. Layer the potatoes, asparagus, onion, mushrooms, bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges.

The Day After The WinterDash

I did something extremely out of character yesterday- I participated in Ashwabay's first ever 5K WinterDash. Basically, it was an obstacle course on the ski hill, in the woods and in the snow. While athletic prowess is not one of the top ten things about Mary, it was a grand adventure. My friends Ellen, Meghan and Tammy tackled the course with me and we finished the race with great style and panache. My friend Julie captured the 'Final Four' finish. Last but not least, right??

All that exercise got me thinking about grocery shopping. Ted suggested a trip to Duluth today and that means a stop at one of my favorite places- Northern Waters Smokehaus. The first time I stepped in that store a few years ago, I thought I had died and gone to heaven- country pâté, bacon, pancetta, chorizo, andouille and the best coriander and black pepper smoked salmon I have ever eaten. They use local meats and fish- Berkshire pork from Iowa, bison from North Dakota, free range turkey from Minnesota and fish from Lake Superior. I am a sucker for smoked and cured meats wrapped in white butcher paper. Seeing all those packages in my refrigerator gives me a thrill.

The next stop on our provisioning trip was a stop at Tetzner's Dairy to pick up milk. Tetzner's is a dairy farm about 10 miles from my house, outside Washburn. They sell the milk and ice cream in an outbuilding on the honor system. You write your purchases (in pencil) on an envelope, put the money in the envelope and deposit it in a black box attached to the counter. The cows have a stunning view of Lake Superior and Chequamegon Bay- I think that is why the milk tastes so good. Of course, my favorite part of the stop is the friendly black lab who meanders up to say hello.

Last stop in the provisioning tour was picking up the eggs my friend, Jennifer, gathers from her hens. I can say with absolute certainty, once you taste fresh, local eggs you will never be satisfied with grocery store eggs. We go through at least a dozen a week. My son Charlie loves scrambled eggs but will only make them if they are 'local eggs'. The eggs are dropped off in a cooler in the basement of a house a couple blocks over. You bring your empty cartons back (I am horrible at remembering to do this), cross your name of the list and head home with Jennifer's hens hard work nestled in a carton.

In the interest of full disclosure, Ted and I ate at Culver's (I like the onion rings) on the way into Duluth and stopped at Sam's Club (the kids eat hundreds of granola bars and thousands of bowls of cereal a week). Life is a series of small steps forward and few steps backward....I think we are making progess.