November is waving goodbye, I try to stay positive and upbeat even though the weather is getting colder and colder. No matter the temperature outside, the last Monday of the month brings with it a warm feeling: it is Reveal Day for members of The Secret Recipe Club. After getting an assigned blog in secret, we have about 3 weeks to pick a recipe, cook, compose a blog about it and post at the exact same time as everyone else in the group. This month I was paired with Curious Cuisiniere, a blog hosted by Sarah and Tim, a young couple with a smile as bright as the sun on a summer day in Brazil. If you don’t believe me, check their beautiful photo… I love it when a couple has so much fun cooking and exploring different flavors and cuisines, so I was pretty excited to act as a virtual stalker of their site. Before I go into the recipe, let me share with you a great quote from their blog:
Life gets rough. The kitchen gets hot. But there will hopefully always be something tasty that results, someone to share it with, and lessons learned along the way.
Perfect! I wish I had written that myself… ;-) During the stalking phase, I selected 6 other recipes as strong contenders: a Sweet Potato African Peanut Soup, a tasty Coconut Fish Curry, a Sesame Chicken Salad (with an interesting method to coat the chicken pieces), Oriental Burritos. a Sweet Chicken Tajine, and finally something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, Pretzel Rolls. But, with a dinner party approaching, I settled on the cute mini-quiches.
POTATO CRUSTED ITALIAN MINI-QUICHES
(slightly modified from Curious Cuisiniere)
for the crust
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 shallot, finely minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
Heat your oven to 350F. Place diced potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes until soft. Drain all but ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Mash the potatoes with salt and pepper to a very smooth consistency. Spoon roughly 1 teaspoon of mashed potatoes into the bottom of each section of your greased mini muffin tin. Press to the bottom and slightly up the sides to form a ‘crust’. Bake potato crusts for 20 minutes or until they start to get golden.
In a medium bowl, combine dry spinach with shallot, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss to mix well. Reserve. In a small bowl beat the eggs and milk until well combined. Season with a little salt and a dash of nutmeg.
When your crusts come out of the oven, immediately measure or pour roughly 1 Tbsp egg mixture into each cup. Add ½ tsp of spinach mixture and ½ tsp mozzarella cheese to each cup as well. Top off with additional egg mixture if needed. Bake mini-quiche 15-20 minutes at 350F, or until they have set and are firm to the touch. Let the quiche cool for 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before removing the quiche from the pan to cool on the rack.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: I only have one mini-muffin pan that holds 12 muffins, so I had to bake these in two batches. That turned out nicely, because in typical Sally fashion, I disregarded the instructions to use 1 teaspoon of mashed potato in the first batch, and added more. That is no bueno, folks. The layer of potato turned out too thick, never quite crisped up, so the first batch looked sad. Not very brown at the bottom. The photo above shows the correct amount of potato, which interestingly enough is exactly what the recipe called for! So, do as specified and save yourself some grief.
I also thought it was a good idea to add the spinach to the milk-egg base and mix it. No bueno hits again: the spinach just floats and you are forced to mix it in and do all kinds of tricks and messy maneuvers to get equal amounts of spinach in each mini-muffin. Crass language will be heard. Once you follow the recipe as written, there shall be no problems.
Using mashed potatoes as the base was a nice change to the regular quiche. The use of milk instead of heavy cream also lightened up the recipe compared to the classic. I can see variations using sautéed mushrooms, my sister in Brazil wants to make it with sautéed zucchini, all sorts of goodies can be incorporated, just like a normal sized concoction.
I had a great time this month, and invite you to check the productions of my fellow Secret Stalkers from Group D. All you have to do is go poke a blue frog. There is one smiling at the end of this post, waiting for your click… 😉
ONE YEAR AGO: Beetroot Sourdough for the Holidays
TWO YEARS AGO: Cod Filet with Mustard Tarragon Crust
THREE YEARS AGO: Soba Noodles: Light and Healthy
FOUR YEARS AGO: Potato-Rosemary Bread