Alan has great friends. I get to have Alan’s friend as my friends now by virtue of my association with Alan. Lucky me. Two of his friends invited us to their weekend house up in Idyllwild. They have invited us up about a dozen times and we can never go for a variety of reasons – all legitimate I might add – but this time it actually happened and the timing couldn’t have been better because the following weekend it snowed! Their home is lovely, the fire warm and welcoming, the wine and vodka freely flowing. It’s in a pine forest, in a little valley community called Pine Cove. The views feature beautiful pine trees with a backdrop of the San Gorgonio mountains.
Their home is filled with family heirlooms – from hooked rugs and cross-stitched samplers to Grandma’s silver and Limoges dishes to mahogany furniture and paintings and patch-work quilts, warm, unpretentious, comfortable and perfect. We couldn’t have had a better weekend even though our hike up to Tahquitz Peak at 8,846 feet was unrealized due to wet, drippy fog.
Wife, Alan and I drove up Friday after my court appearances. Husband came up Saturday morning and he was greeted by three very relaxed people, a warm fire, and a delicious quiche that Wife made. It was undoubtedly the best quiche I have ever eaten. It was substantial and elegant and beautiful to look at and it was honestly delicious. The recipe came from the Café Chimes Cookbook by Kathleen J. Etter and although it is the basic Quiche recipe – somehow it was different from your garden variety quiche. Qualitatively different. Here it is.
Basic Rice Crust Quiche
(Café Chimes by Kathleen J. Etter as adapted by my friend) (Serves 6-8 unless you eat it all yourself – it’s possible)
1 cup uncooked rice (Susan used long grain black and it was gorgeous)
1 2/3 cups water
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (gruyere would be good too)
1 Tbsp sesame or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetables of your choice, chopped
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk
1-2 Tbsp tamari sauce
½ tsp black pepper
Wash rice and drain. In a heavy saucepan, combine water and brown rice. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40-50 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Do not allow to cool.
Oil a 10-inch pie pan and with wet hands firmly pat the warm rice into the pie plate, bringing the rice to the top of the rim of the pan. Cover the rice crust with ¾ cup of grated cheddar cheese.
In a skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until the onion is translucent. Add vegetable and spice combinations of your choice. Susan used cauliflower and kale with curry power and it was outrageously delicious! Sautee until the vege tables are just crisp tender. For vegetables that require longer cooking time add a bit of water (like ¼ cup), cover and steam for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable mixture to the pie pan, over the grated cheese.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, tamari and seasonings until well mixed. Pour the mixture over the vegetables in the pie pan. Top with the remaining ¼ cup cheddar cheese. Cover the pie plan with a raised “tent” of aluminum foil so the foil does not touch the surface of the quiche. Bake covered at 350° for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
If you’re serving this later, refrigerate at this point and then cover with aluminum foil and reheat at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes.
Broccoli and squash (1 cup each) Curried cauliflower (2 cups plus one stalk celery) Eggplant and pepper (2 cups chopped eggplant and 1 small chopped pepper) Kale and celery (2 stalks celery and 2 ½ cups kale) Spinach mushroom (2 cups chopped fresh spinach, 4-5 sliced mushrooms, ¼ cup basil) Sweet potato and walnut (2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, ¼ cup roasted walnuts) Etc.