This quiche is outstanding. It is probably the best quiche I have ever tasted in my life. If you are looking for something to make this weekend or in the coming days, I promise you, this quiche will not disappoint. Serve with some sort of green and you have an extremely filling meal.
There are two ingredients that you may not be able to find at your average grocery store: African Bird Pepper and Humboldt Fog. Humboldt Fog is tangy like a brie, but creamy and smooth like goat. Whole Foods, Fairway, and specialty cheese shops usually carry it. If you can’t locate Humboldt Fog, I’m pretty sure you could sub in a brie or goat or a combo of the two and still keep the integrity of the dish intact. Substituting African Bird Pepper for its cousin cayenne is a little different. Aside from being one of the hottest peppers, the way the heat from African Bird Pepper hits the tongue and throat is distinct from every other pepper I’ve tasted. Please don’t let not owning some African Bird Pepper stop you from cooking this. On the contrary, maybe this quiche should inspire you to purchase a bit and use it rampantly in your other recipes calling for cayenne.
Note: Give the butternut squash and sage enough time to cool before assembling, (it won’t be pretty if you add hot ingredients to the egg mixture). You can always throw the squash in the fridge or freezer for a few after it comes out of the oven or start this quiche the day before.
ROASTED SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, GOAT CHEESE and FRIED SAGE in GARLIC QUICHE – makes one 9″ quiche; Active time: 15-20 minutes; Inactive time: 1 hr 25 minutes
- 1 medium to large butternut squash or squash of your choice (about 1 – 2 lbs) (Fresh is best, but foodstores do sell pre-cut butternut squash. This will save you 15 minutes or so if you’re good with a knife or an hour if your knife skills need some love.)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ⅛ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp paprika smoked sweet
- 1 ½ tsp himalayan sea salt
- 1/16 tsp african bird pepper (or substitute ½ to 1 tsp chili powder depending on how well you can handle spicy. Few chilis are as hot as african bird pepper.)\
FRIED SAGE IN GARLIC:
- 4 cloves garlic**, microplaned or minced
- ½ bunch sage— (about 30 leaves)
- 1 tbsp olive oil**
- 1 tsp butter
QUICHE – based on Alton Brown’s recipe for Refrigerator Pie
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 pinches himalayan sea salt (about ⅛ – ¼ tsp)
- ¼ of a fresh nutmeg or ⅛ tsp of dried nutmeg
- 1 recipe fried sage in garlic
- 1 recipe roasted squash
- 1 pre-made pie crust
- ¼ lb Humboldt fog or goat cheese of your choice
** garlic and olive oil are milk boosters; — sage suppresses lactation
Roast the Squash: Pre-heat the oven to 350 and set your rack in the middle position. Peel, de-seed, and cut the squash up into 1” pieces. (I like to use a Y-shaped peeler.) In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together cut up squash, olive oil, salt, paprika, chili powder, and african bird pepper, making sure all the pieces are coated. Spread out seasoned squash in one layer onto a jelly roll pan and cook for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Note: The squash should be quite spicy in order for the spice to come through in the quiche. Let cool, (you can throw it in the freezer or fridge for 10 minutes to speed up the process) and keep oven on for cooking quiche.
Make the Fried Sage and Garlic: Add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tsp of butter to a small sauté pan on medium-low heat. When that is hot, add the sage leaves and garlic, stirring gently until sage leaves are crisp. Remove sage and garlic from pan and place on a cutting board to cool. When cool, mince.
Assemble and Bake the Quiche: In a medium sized bowl whisk together eggs, heavy cream, salt, and nutmeg. Place off to the side. Add the cooled sage and garlic to the cooled squash and gently mix, taking care not to mash the squash. Add the crumbled up cheese in the same way. Place the squash/cheese mixture in a ready made or homemade crust, distributing evenly. Pour the egg mixture on top of the squash mixture making sure to leave at least ½” space between the egg and the top of the crust for expansion. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 or until egg mixture is set and golden brown. Let cool 20-30 minutes before serving.