Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What Happens to a Vegan Deferred?

I think there's another, more closeted reason why my posts have have been so few. Like with any proper latent Catholic, it pertains to guilt. I started this blog with the ambition of posting healthful, wholistic, mostly vegan (or completely veganizable) recipes.  Of course, posting in this vein implies that I'm living as such. And well, I've sort of fallen off the health-food wagon since starting school. It's really, really hard to maintain a healthy, animal-free lifestyle when you work at and attend a school with an outstanding French culinary program co-founded by Julia herself. Couple that with being broke, and my defenses are completely shot. When lunch time comes around, guess which one wins: the over-priced bagel sandwich from the chaotic hipster coffee shop down the street, or a few (free!) slices of hot, homemade pizza with potatoes and brie? And I haven't even gotten to the tuna aux poivre incident (the incident was that i loved it)...

So, the moral seems to be that I have no morals. Not true! More like I'm toying with my boundaries. As if to prove a point, I made one of my most un-vegan creations in awhile tonight: quiche.  I hardly even had veggies to put in it. I had a paltry amount of broccoli, and I stretched it out by chopping the stem and cutting the florets reeaally small (which addresses my love for all things teeny-tiny). I've toyed with tofu-quiches before, and will likely revisit them. But I doubt anything soy-based will come out looking as drop-dead delicious as this.

Broccoli Quiche

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small chunks
3-4 tbs ice water

4 eggs
splash of half-and-half or whole milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 cup broccoli with its stem, cut into tiny florets
1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I had mozzarella on hand) 

To make the crust, combine the flour and butter with a butter knife. Add the water, a little bit at a time, and stir the mixture with the knife until a crumbly dough forms. Resist the temptation to use your hands! The warmth from your hands will warm the butter and give you a tough crust.  Chilling the dough is the next step, and I just discovered this trick: slip the ball of dough into a plastic bag (I used the bag my broccoli was in), flatten into a disc, and refrigerate for half an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the broccoli. Boil for just under a minute, strain, and rinse under cold water.

For the egg mixture, lightly whisk the eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg, pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper in a bowl.  It's ok if the yolks don't completely mix in with the whites. Don't overmix, otherwise the mixture will back up tough and rubbery (can you tell that a light hand is the French way?).

Now press your dough into an 8- or 9-inch pie or tart pan. I must say that I used a 9-inch tart pan and was pressing the dough dangerously thin, so I would say stick with the 8-inch. Add the broccoli, then the cheese, then the egg mixture.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops in bubbling up and browned nicely. Allow to cool slightly before cutting. Serves 6.


Ben said...

That looks friggin delicious. OM NOM NOM.

Emma said...

God I love quiche. I've done a similar 180 from a vegan-leaning life. I can't live without eggs and cheese now.

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Tiffiney said...

This my friend, is exactly why I ride the fence on my blog and consequently, my morals. Long live the flipflopping lifestyle of those of us who care too much!!