Our Foodie Friday post is brought to you by one of our ARWB guys, Peter Horton, of One World Plate where he explores the global world of food and food culture. Peter believes that food transcends cultural boundaries, brings people together, makes strangers into friends and family. He lives in Northwest Arkansas with his wife, kids and two cats. His favorite foods are Vietnamese pho, Thai panang curries, good thin crust pizza margaritas and dark dark chocolate
I have a weakness for a good quiche. There’s something comforting about the simplicity of it, the way the eggs combine with other humble (or sometimes not so humble) ingredients to something much more than the sum of their parts. It’s the magic of eggs, I suppose. And quiche is quite often creamy, cheesy, the top kissed to a deep, rich golden brown by the oven, the crust flaky and buttery. One of my favorite quiche recipes, aside from the standard cheddar and ham variety, is a simple Greek spinach feta quiche. It’s kind of a riff on the concept of spanakopita, but without the difficulties of working with phyllo dough.
I’m not above using a store bought pie shell. I cheat. I admit it. The important thing to remember when using a store bought shell for a quiche is to partially bake it in the oven before adding your filling. If you poke holes in the bottom with a fork this will help prevent the bottom of the pie crust from puffing up in the oven.
The ingredients for this are really simple. You’ll need one store bought pie shell, two ten ounce packages of frozen chopped spinach (thawed then thoroughly drained, squeezing most of the liquid out), five eggs, one teaspoon of oregano, ¼ teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, one tablespoon Greek yogurt, and finally a six ounce package of crumbled feta cheese. My wife suggested perhaps a little Cavendar’s Greek seasoning (something I wish I’d thought of before I baked it).
Once you’ve pre-baked your pie shell, add one layer of spinach into the bottom of the pie shell in quarter sized chunks. Then add a layer of feta cheese.
Then another layer of spinach on top.
Crack the five eggs into a mixing bowl or cup. Add the oregano, milk, yogurt, salt and pepper, then mix until it becomes a smooth mixture.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pie shell, making sure to evenly distribute over all of the spinach.
Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. All ovens are different, so you’ll have to watch it carefully to make sure the edges don’t burn. If they do turn browner than you’d like, turn the heat down a bit and cover the top of the quiche with some aluminum foil. It’s critical that all of the liquid is drained from the spinach, otherwise you’ll have a soggy quiche, or one that’s undercooked in the middle.
Greeks have broken longevity records, and there’s evidence that that’s closely related to the amount of green leafy vegetables in their diet.
So Greek Spinach Feta Quiche isn’t just a delicious breakfast or brunch dish. It’s practically health food!
Getting to Know our ARWB Foodies
What food reminds you of childhood?
Really good fried chicken reminds me of my childhood. When I was a child during the summers I would go to Mississippi to spend time with my Gramma and Granddaddy Horton, Aunt Jane and my cousins. Gramma could cook the most amazing fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life. It was different from other fried chicken, in that it was never dry, but always moist and delectable. The thigh was my favorite piece.
What is your favorite international cuisine?
Thai food is my favorite international cuisine. I appreciate the delicate art and balance in their food philosophy. All the tastes matter. Everything should balance. Hot, salty, sour, sweet.
What is always in your refrigerator at home?
What is your most used cookbook?
Strangely enough, Betty Crocker for a general reference on cooking times for various dishes.
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
My chef’s knife. I’m very particular about the knife I use to cut food.
Do you have a favorite food indulgence?
My favorite food indulgence is Ethiopian food, largely because we don’t have an Ethiopian restaurant where I live. If I want to eat Ethiopian (think Indian food, but the flavors are somewhat different) I have to either make it myself to go to a restaurant that’s at least 4 hours away.
What is your go-to ingredient that you use time and time again?
Ginger. Garlic. Pepper. Do I have to pick just one?
What is your favorite food meal to cook at home?
Panang curry chicken.
What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
Slice meat super thin when it’s half frozen (such as chicken). If you cook the thinly sliced meat in a hot sauce (such as a Thai curry sauce) it shouldn’t take too long to cook through, and it won’t be rubbery or tough. It took me far too long to realize that.
When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
I write science fiction and also compose electronic music.
What else would you like us to know about you?
Keeping an open mind about other cultures and peoples is important. I’m quite evangelical about trying to get other people to catch a glimpse of cultures beyond their own by trying food outside of their comfort zone