Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cauliflower Quiche (without crust)

Can it really be called a quiche if it doesn't have a crust?  A simple Google search tells me YES, though it seems I should specify its crust status, should it otherwise upset quiche purists.  Purists be damned.  I'm not even sure this is a proper quiche, since it's more of a dinner side dish.

This is also a good item for potlucks, as it travels and reheats very well.  Babygirl enjoyed it, though I think she found this version a bit too mushy.  Usually I leave some pieces of cauliflower unblended for extra crunchiness, but we were going for speed rather than perfection.  This recipe is either super easy or incredibly laborious depending on how you feel about cleaning your blender.  I hate having to take it apart and washing it, so I seldom make this dish.

In the pan

  • 1 cauliflower head, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 -2 cups of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese *
  • salt and pepper

Bear with me as I try condense into writing something I've always eyeballed. I think I got it right, but if at any point while you're cooking, something is looking off, trust your chef gut and change it.  For reals.
  • Set aside a fourth of the cauliflower and chop into very tiny pieces.  Leave on a separate bowl.
  • On a blender, add some of cauliflower (from the main batch) and milk (enough to cover it) and blend until smooth.  Add more cauliflower slowly, and milk if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.  (You might not use all 2 cups of milk, and that's okay, since it really depends on how much cauliflower you had to begin with.)
  • Add eggs and mozzarella and blend again
  • On an oven container (I use this pirex dish, for reference), pour mixture and add extra mozzarella and the extra cauliflower previously set aside. **
  • Put in the oven for.... man, I'm not sure, was it 20 minutes at 350?  I've also made it in the microwave for 20 minutes.  I would recommend doing the "knife check" after 15 - 20 minutes, and add time as necessary. (You know, that baking trick where you put a knife into your item, and if the knife comes out streak free it means it's been properly baked)

* My mom and I have an ongoing discussion of whether this should be shredded commercial mozzarella or fresh mozzarella balls chopped into pieces.  The fresh mozzarella is definitely tastier and creamier, that's for sure.  But I usually use the shredded type for three very simple reasons:  1) it's pre-cut, which is just easier  2) spreads more evenly in the mixture 3) there's low fat and skim options, which makes a big difference for our heart-healthy purposes

**  The extra mozzarella and cauliflower are for additional crunchiness and texture.  Many times, when in a rush, I end up skipping this step and the quiche comes out just fine.  You can also add some shredded Parmesan cheese at this point since it cooks so nice in the oven.

Toddler Ratings   hearth healthy: not the lowest fat item out there, but hey, it's got a veggie!      spicy: no      easy to chew: yes      ease of preparation: easy      reheating: yes      food groups: dairy, veggies

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