John’s pretty tough.
He’s a bird hunter. He’ll come home after hiking in the fields all day with our dinner, and clean the birds right there on the back porch. (The “lucky” bite has the shot in it.) He skis steep, scary lines in places like Alaska, telling me later about the runs he didn’t take after doing avalanche tests. (Sigh.) He loves playing loud rock n’ roll in his music room (The Cave), plays hockey, and can grow a beard by the end of the day.
And there are few meals he likes more than a slice of good quiche and a salad.
I’m not sure why that meal doesn’t mesh with “manly man” in my head. But when I saw the recipe for Spinach and Gruyere Bakes from Giada, I knew it was a potential home run. It’s not exactly a quiche- there’s no crust. Instead, chunks of crusty bread are mixed in with other deliciousness- like pancetta.
I usually try to tweak a recipe to make it my own, so I added a few things I knew would be tasty, like fresh thyme and sliced mushrooms. I used the same pan to saute the shallots after the pancetta was browned, and added the mushrooms. They soaked up that porky goodness in the pan. Then it went into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. I was doubtful that there was enough egg in there, with so many other chunky things like bread, but I went with it. That Giada usually knows what she’s doing.
The mixture gets scooped into cute little individual baking dishes. Mine were a little smaller than what the recipe called for, so I used what I had and supplemented with an extra, larger dish. I had a little mini-quiche family!
20 minutes later, John was already seated with his plate ready and wine poured. As predicted, he loved his quiche-y dinner. It was really good. There was a crunch from the bits of bread that had toasted, and just enough cheese and egg to hold the rest of the goodness together and keep everything moist and delicious. My new recipe for the week was a keeper!
As we happily devoured dinner, we talked about the possibilities of the dish. Other veggies would be yummy- maybe next time, add sauteed asparagus! Swiss cheese would work in a pinch, no problem! And what a fantastic brunch party option! John helped himself to seconds and raved on about the meal.
And then my manly man did the dishes. Every last one.