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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Use What 'Ya Got: Recipe

It's been confirmed. I am nuts. Truly. You should see the food I am hording. I think that is some type of mental illness - I think I'm due for a check-up.

Seriously, tonight in the 'deli' drawer of the fridge I realized I had:
1. 1 unopened 4 oz. container of pancetta
2. 1 unopened 10 oz. package of salami
3. 3/4 block of newly opened Gorgonzola cheese
4. 1/2 block of newly opened goat cheese
5. 1/2 lb. of smoked ham
6. 1 1-lb. block of unopened extra sharp cheddar cheese
7. 1/4 pkg. of shredded cheddar cheese
8. 2 16-oz. unopened packages of sauerkraut
9. 3/4 pkg. sliced American Cheese

What is wrong with me?? You should actually see the shelf in the basement. It's crazy! boxes and boxes and boxes of pasta and rice; cans and cans (and so on) of broth, beans and tomatoes. I have 2-3 packages of 80% cacao chips. There are about 8 bars of white chocolate. ?????????

And then there are the odd items like a can or two of those black olives with the hole in the center and absolutely no taste? And there are packages of flaked, sweetened, coconut; BBQ sauce, a jar of capers. The list really does go on.

So tonight as I thought about what brilliant recipe I wanted to share, I realized I needed to begin getting rid of all this food (so I can make room for new!). So looking at all that cheese made me think of one of the best things I can make - Quiche! Quiche can be made with so many left-overs. It's wonderful to use a few pieces of broccoli or left over meats and cheeses. It's much like the Frittata I've outlined already but this is baked, obviously, and delicious.

Many times when I'm hosting a brunch, I'll throw these into the oven about 2 hours before guests arrive so that they can cook an hour and cool equally as long and yet still retain their warmth.

I do normally make the crust but to be honest, I see no reason why one can't use a good quality frozen crust and I did just that tonight. I always keep a package of frozen pie crusts on hand for just such an occasion. They are a wonderful alternative to making your own.

Quiche with Pancetta, Arugula, and Two Cheeses

4 oz. cubed pancetta
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup torn arugula
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
1 frozen 9" pie crust (I use Oronoque Orchards brand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large frying pan, melt the butter and saute pancetta over med-high heat for about 3-4 minutes or until the meat begins to brown. Add in the wine and scrape up all browned bits - stir well for about 1 minute. Add the arugula and saute until leave wilt, about 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Remove and place on bottom of pie crust.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Spread the two cheeses evenly over the meat mixture and cover with the egg mixture.

Bake about 55 minutes or until middle is set. Let cool on a cooling rack before cutting into pie-like servings. Quiche can be reheated well in a toaster oven or a regular oven.

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