Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Squash Crusted Quiche

Today I wanted to make a quiche but didn't want to make a traditional crust. My other goal was to use food I had on hand without any trips to the store. I remembered a shredded potato crust I learned to make from The More With Less Cookbook, written by Doris Longacre and published in the 1970's by the Mennonite Central Committee. Using that as my guide, I thought I would try using a huge candy roaster squash I'd gotten in the fall. The candy roaster is an heirloom variety grown by the Cherokee in western North Carolina. It is known for its firm orange flesh, sweetness, and ability to store well.
This is actually small by candy roaster standards, but huge compared to a butternut or acorn squash.

The More With Less recipe called for 3 Cups of shredded potato for one quiche, so half of this squash was going to be more than enough for two. I'm reserving half for some other use. And I saved the seeds to plant and share with other gardeners (let me know in the comments or DM me on Insta if you'd like me to send you some seeds).

My food processor made short work of shredding the squash. To the about 8 cups of squash I added 1/3 Cup of olive oil and 1 cup of homemade breadcrumbs. I preheated the oven to 425͒ and pressed about 3 cups of the mix into pie plates, pushing it up the sides like a crust.

Determined to use what I had, I thawed some ham left from Christmas dinner, fried up a few strips of bacon, shredded 8 oz. of Gouda cheese, and cut up a log of goat cheese. I cut up a red bell pepper and half a large onion.
After the crusts had baked 15 minutes, I removed them from the oven and filled with the cheese, veggies and meat. The custard was 6 eggs and 2 Cups of whole milk with some salt and pepper added, divided between the two quiche. The great thing about quiche is that you  can vary the fillings so much. Don't eat meat? No need to add! Just have bits of different kinds of cheese? Mix them all together! Back to the oven for another 30 minutes. 

 They baked up nicely and the crust was not soggy as I had feared it might be. I don't know if other squashes or even sweet potatoes would work as well. I'm sure I will try them in the future.

Squash Crusted Quiche
3 cups shredded raw squash (butternut, Hubbard, candy roaster, etc.)
3 TBS oil (olive, grape seed, coconut, or canola)
1/2 Cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt.
Mix and press with your hands into your pie plate

Your choice of veggies, chopped into smallish pieces (peppers, spinach, kale, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, etc.)--about a cup
Shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, Gouda, mozzarella, havarti, smoked cheeses)--about a cup to cup and a half
Meat (optional)--about a cup
2-4 eggs
1 Cup milk
If your quiche dish is deep you may need more egg and milk mixture. 

Heat oven to 425͒. Bake empty crusts for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and fill, layering cheese on first. Return to oven for 30 minutes. If you've added extra milk and eggs, bake until it is set.