Happy 100th Post Day! A New/Old Ingredient

The Egg

After a full year of dedicated vegan eating, I started hearing whispers of a food I thought I had put behind me. . . I started having dreams of eating the perfect poached egg -- so simple, plain and humble – not cheesy pizza, ice cream or a doughnut, but an egg (served with a liberal smattering of salt and pepper, I might add.)

I thought, ho hummed, mumbled, sighed and tried to put the little egg out of my mind – but the more I tried to deny myself, for all the ethical and environmentally - correct reasons, the more the sunshiney yolk and billowy white called to me . . . Like a siren on a luscious, verdant, tropical island – the egg spoke softly to me, luring me into the idea slowly and sweetly (cheeky things, they are).

So, I bought a few – not cheap-- from this amazing little farm in Southern Oregon – the vendor wears black suspenders, plaid shirts and a ruddy suntan. He has pictures of his hens, who lay eggs all over the farm, fertilizing as they graze and lay. He seems honest, the chickens seem happy and the fruits of all that eating and pooping are spectacular. Honestly, I’ve never experienced eggs like these—they are the holy grail of the category. Their yolks are so golden and the whites so fluffy, it’s as if they were formed by pink care bears atop a cloudy peak. Their flavor is beyond measure, they were worth the yearlong wait, I swear. They are a delight to behold; so nice on their own with a good piece of toast . . . I ate them this way, tentatively at first, then with great fervor at my re-acquaintance with my long lost friend. These eggs are perfect as is, but once I delved in, I knew I wanted more more more. Moderation is so difficult – especially when you are delirious with joy and feasting is on the brain. I could feel the excitement and the just full feeling coming on with each dish I envisioned, the egg as the centerpiece. And then it hit me, a dirty little quiche. Quiche a la Portlandia.

For the Crust
Note -- I love a dish with so much dissidence and passion surrounding it, crust is something people feel so adamantly on – shortening, all-butter, flour must be refrigerated, don’t over mix, I’ve heard them all – this is what I do. The results are fantastic and it is easy peasy.

1/2 c whole-wheat flour (good for a savory pie, a nutty little flavor)
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c veggie butter, cut into 1” cubes
3 tbsp ice water

Preheat oven to 425. Mix all ingredients in kitchen aid or food processor, until barely holding together. Get out a piece of plastic wrap and coerce the dough into a disc, about 1 1/2” tall. Chill dough for 10 minutes in freezer or 30 minutes in fridge.

Roll dough out onto a well-floured surface and work quickly, not pressing very hard as you roll into about 1/4” circleish shape. Place dough into pie plate, repairing the tares as you go. Grease a piece of aluminum foil and press down (greasy side to pie dough) to cover all of the crust. Put dried beans, rice or pie weights into the pie pan. This is PAR-BAKING. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove foil, lower the heat to 350.

Quiche Filling
3/4 c peas (frozen work great)
1 veggie sausage, chopped and cooked in a little oil
1 zucchini, roughly chopped
4 eggs
1 1/2 c almond milk

Mix eggs and milk together, with a wire whisk until smooth and yellow. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Pour egg filling into par-baked pie shell and bake for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, approximately 5-10 minutes, if you can. You can also just tear right into it. Season with salt and pepper, serve with a light salad or fruit or just a big slice. Enjoy as much as crazy Lee.

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