Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Secret Quiche Recipe

I've been racking my brain for the perfect egg recipe to share. I mean, if you're reading this blog because you have chickens, you have eggs. And if you have eggs, you're always in need of good egg recipes. I know I am. I'm so obsessed with yummy egg dishes that I started a Pinterest board called Eggs! You're welcome to check it out at

My favorite on the board so far is a Bread Omelet. It looks delicious. And, it seems genius. I haven't tried it yet, but it's slated for breakfast quite soon. Basically, you cook the omelet on top of bread that you toast in a skillet. It sounds like a winner to me.

By far the best egg dish I make is quiche. It's a secret recipe that I never share with anyone mostly because its deliciousness comes from all the heavy cream and I don't want to spoil anyone's thoughts that my quiche is healthy (eggs and veggies equal super healthy right?). It's delicious, so it's the egg dish I figured I have to share as my first recipe.

I first made a quiche around six months after our hens started to lay. I searched for recipes that call for a lot of eggs and quiche is one of those recipes. This particular recipe is a mash up of Betty Crocker's Quiche Lorraine (except I've never actually made a Quiche Lorraine) and a recipe I found on Pillsbury's website. I didn't exactly like either recipe, so I took a little inspiration from each combined with my own preferences and came up with this yummy quiche.

Your choice of pie crust (You can purchase pre-made pie crust or make it from scratch. I've done both. Homemade tastes better, but if you're in a time crunch or just aren't good at making your own, by all means buy it!) For homemade crust makers, this is considered a One-Crust Pie.
5 eggs
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1 cup shredded cheese (I prefer medium cheddar or a Mexican style mix)
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of ground red cayenne pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms (If you aren't a mushroom fan, it is just as delicious without them)

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Make one-crust pie crust (or unwrap prepared crust and follow directions for a one-crust pie). If making your own crust, fold dough into fourths so you have a small triangle. Place in 9 inch quiche or pie dish. Unfold carefully. Press dough firmly against bottom and side of dish.

Spread cheese in dough-lined dish. Now spread spinach over cheese. Set aside.

Beat eggs with fork or wisk in a large bowl. Beat in heavy cream. Beat in remaining ingredients. Gently pour egg mixture into pie dish. The spinach will rise up throughout the egg mixture. Don't worry. I find it comes out prettier and works nicer to lay the spinach in the dish rather than mix it in with the eggs. Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Cover crust edge with strips of foil (to prevent burning). Bake approximately 30 more minutes or until egg mixture doesn't jiggle and springs back when pressed slightly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting or serving.

I often remove the foil strips in the crust edges a few minutes before I take it out of the oven, depending on how golden brown it is or isn't. For more brown, remove the foil.

You can replace the vegetable ingredients and type of cheese as you like. Just follow the same basic ingredients and you'll have a delicious quiche every time.

I guess I can't call it my secret quiche recipe anymore. Unless you keep it a secret too. Trust me. You'll want to. Everyone will say it's the most delicious thing they've ever eaten and you can claim it as your own secret. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Winter Eggs

We're usually in a horribly tight spot when it comes to eggs throughout the winter. Last year I went into a tirade about how I refused to buy eggs from the grocery store when I had perfectly good laying machines in my backyard. I may have even gone as far as to threaten our hens with the oven if they didn't get to it. Don't get me wrong; I understand that egg production drops in the winter. Does that mean I like it. No. Does that mean I enjoy getting two eggs a week? No. But, I also understand that it's important for chickens to have a break. I'd want a break too if I popped an egg out of my butt once a day.

This winter has been different. We had an early drop in eggs around November. The girls all seemed to molt early, so they stopped laying early. We were barely getting any eggs for easily two months. December egg laying was abysmal. Then January hit and the girls starting laying like it was April or May.

We're getting four eggs from our five hens about every other day. The other days we'll either get one or two. It seems Ocho is the only one who realizes it's still winter. I don't think she's laying yet. If she is, it's so infrequent that I can't tell she is. We've got a dozen eggs in the fridge right now. At one point last week I think we were nearly at two dozen. That's an egg miracle in January.

Now that we're launching into February and Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, we might even get up to five eggs a day! With our extra girl this year we're going to have even more eggs that we don't know what to do with. Belle, our newest edition, has been an excellent layer so far. She's our first girl to ever start laying in January; the others all waited until spring.

As for last winter, after my tirade I kept my promise not to buy eggs. I haven't purchased a single egg since our hens started laying. Now, did I make a quiche or a frittata last winter? You bet I didn't. But I didn't have to buy any eggs either! You have to bend to your supply.

So cheers to an early spring and delicious eggs. Now why have I only gotten this one egg today? They're just trying to prove me wrong. Freaking chickens.