Tovah Cooks a Quiche

The third edition of one of my side projects for 2014 - Tovah Cooks. I'm taking the man's favorite childhood recipes of his mom's and updating them. Throwing in a few stories of her life too.

Although Tovah passed away July 2013, this isn't a gloomy series - it's one of the ways we're remembering and celebrating an amazing woman, mom, wife and grandmother. She'd approve. She'd probably disagree with some of the changes I've made to her recipes but she'd laugh too. And have a few more stories to add. Always with the stories!

Tovah Cooks Sandra Harris

The neighborhood that the man grew up in was a classic middle class 'hood. Kick the can til the sun went down. Roaming around with the kids who lived nearby. Walk to the local public school.

Few of the moms had paid work and many of them volunteered for various charity groups. Tovah led some of them. Not bad for a working class chick who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.

Now don't go ahead thinking it was all Betty Draper. Many of these meetings were about script-writing and acting and organizing plays. If you're going to do a Purim play at the synagogue, why not do it as the musical Guys & Dolls? Yes, why not.

This was a woman who regularly acted in community theater and then started a Hollywood movie acting career in her sixties. 

Far from a Betty Draper.

If you have meetings, you need to feed people too. What better choice in those days than a traditional quiche that Tovah often served. Throw in a side salad and you have a perfect luncheon item. And don't forget the cake and coffee. So fashionable.

Tovah Cooks

But what about my version of a quiche? What ingredients am I going to choose? Seattle inspired me.

I drive down to Seattle two or three times a year - both on my own and with the man and the girl. We have lots of Seattle friends. Childhood ones for the man and others with whom we share our love for jazz music and art making and books and good food and photography.

Seattle is a great town.

It's not too far of a drive - if you time the border crossing you can make it from Vancouver in 2 1/2 hours. It HAS taken up to four hours, though. We drive prepared with podcasts and audiobooks.

Our usual Friday night pitstop after arriving is Serious Pie, a Tom Douglas restaurant. (Fun fact: this is where I first met Melanie face-to-face in Seattle). We always order the yukon gold, rosemary & pecorino romano pizza. And it's these ingredients that inspired my own quiche recipe. 

Steam the potatoes in advance. You'll need to precook any vegetable that you toss into a quiche - it's just in the oven long enough for the custard to set but not long enough to cook dense, raw ingredients.

I also substituted Fontina cheese for the parmesan romano since it's more of a melty-type cheese but still flavorful.

Finally, I made it crustless so that it's easy to put together for a quick weekend or weekday breakfast.

Crustless Potato Rosemary Quiche

(print recipe here)

6 eggs

1 c. milk (1% or whole milk)

1/2 c. heavy cream

1 c. grated Fontina cheese

1 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin and steamed

1/8 c. chopped fresh rosemary

salt and pepper

Butter 8 4-ounce oven proof ramekins while preheating the oven to 350F.

Beat eggs with milk and heavy cream until well combined with no streaks of egg. Stir in cheese.

Place a few slices of potato at the bottom of each ramekin. Ladle egg mixture evenly between ramekins and fill to at most 1/2" from the top. Sprinkle on the rosemary and top with salt and pepper.

Place carefully on a baking sheet and place the sheet in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is still a bit jiggly. Remove from the oven and let sit for a couple of minutes.

Serve immediately.