Thursday, October 23, 2008

Green Pyramid Quiche with Dijon Hollandaise: A Day with Charlie

My friend Charlie and I had plans to hang out today, but I had a few errands: a stop at Target for prescriptions and hair rollers, then a stop at the grocery store to, you know, get food. I invited Charlie to tag along and he easily agreed since we'd get to spend that time together, even if were doing chores.

There were a few recipes I was thinking of that I wanted to try out. One idea hinged on making pyramid shaped crusts. I asked Charlie for a really brilliant idea of what to put in a pyramid with a crust. He quickly answered, "Breakfast. I like breakfast-dinner."

Thus was born the pyramid quiche. After a quick consultation with the Internet and my mother on the nature of quiche, we decided on crab and swiss. While we were shopping, we realized that we didn't know anything about crab and the best way to purchase it... and I remembered that I don't really like swiss cheese. So, in aisle four, we changed the recipe to include salmon (we just bought a pouch of salmon) and mozzerella (which I already had a lot of at home). And we like salmon, damn it.

While I was sauteéing the green onions, salmon and red peppers, Charlie mixed three eggs, a tablespoon of flour, an unmeasured amount of mozzerella and one cup of half & half in the blender. I added a double handful of spinach, and Charlie seasoned with salt, pepper, basil and nutmeg. He felt like a ninja using the microzester, a.k.a. "that crazy ninja blade."

Next we perfected the pyramid stabilizer system by using a third pyramid to hold up the other two. In Charlie's words, I have "really great spatial relations... for a chick." Which I do. Charlie buttered the pyramids ("Yeah, I greased 'em right up.") while I chopped more red peppers for future usage. Charlie also ate nearly all the Earl's brand Minnesota cheesy poofs. They're so damn good.

It was time to construct. We put more mozzerella and the sauteéd mix of yumminess in the pyramids and then poured on the green egg elixir. Charlie gently mixed it all together with the aid of a plastic fork.

Then we put it in the oven. 350 for... a long time. Maybe forty minutes? We weren't timing because the pyramids were such an odd, deep shape that we figured it best to just keep an eye on them. We had a lot of fun sitting in front of the oven staring like cavemen.

Just before the quiche was done, we starting thinking about plating. I wished I had a drizzle, for shizzle! "What could we drizzle, Charlie, my nizzle?" Like a bolt of lightning had struck him, Charlie blurted, "Hollandaise." But I don't know how to make hollandaise sauce. But! Long ago I had purchased one of those sauce mixer packets of hollandaise in the I-don't-know-how-to-season-my-food aisle. We mixed that with four tablespoons of butter, half a cup of water and two or three tablespoons of dijon mustard. Charlie's bright idea was to season with lemon pepper. Voila! A drizzle, my nizzle. ... For shizzle.

When the quiche came out, we marveled at its golden brown edges and lovely green specklediness. With the red peppers, it looked like Christmas and St. Patrick's Day rolled into one. "It really was pretty," Charlie reflected, but the anticipation of actually taking them out of the molds was excruciating! We were very anxious to see if they would hold their shape. They sort of did. Charlie was a little to hasty about coaxing his out of its shell, and it broke off a piece. Mine fared a little better, but the quiche is so heavy that it was still lopsided and droopy.

Anxious and starving, we drizzled (more like blobbed because the sauce thickened) and snapped a few photos before digging in.

We brainstormed how to make it better next time. A pie crust would be great, but Charlie suggested faking it with flaky crescent rolls in a tube. Of course, this is another recipe where you can change all the ingredients to your liking. Crab and swiss! Bacon and cheddar! Ham and cheese! Tomatoes, artichoke, peppers, sausage... anything breakfasty would do. I like the fancy options like crab and salmon because it dresses up the simple recipe so nicely. It does well in any shape, and maybe the pyramids were a little ambitious.

But don't you worry; I have very deviously delicious plans for the pyramids yet... chocolate volcano, anyone?