Why Blanch Broccoli?
I had someone point out to me that I’m mainly a baking blog. That is true – 75% of my cookbook collection deals with baking and most of the recipes blogged are desserts. However, I do cook often. I usually make the same dishes, which I blogged a long time ago, like chicken strips, chicken or beef curry, garlicky pasta, chicken a la king, thai-inspired beef, lasagna, and wonton soup. Hmmm I also make beef fajitas often, but I apparently I haven’t blogged about them yet.
Anyway, my point is that although I can’t make any promises, I’m going to try and blog more about my cooking as well as my baking. After all, baking doesn’t necessarily mean desserts! Take this quiche for example. Made in a pie crust but no sugar or butter involved! My parents love quiche. I don’t because I’m not an egg fan, but even I enjoyed this broccoli quiche. Quiche is a very versatile dinner. You can use broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, sausage, bacon, ham, whatever you have in the fridge.
Fresh or frozen veggies are recommended. You can probably get away with canned mushrooms or asparagus (peas and carrots maybe??) but if you can splurge a little, go for the fresh. If you are using frozen broccoli, thawing is all you need. However, you need to blanch fresh broccoli. Why? It makes them maintain their green color as well as cooks them slightly before baking in the oven. The oven cooks the broccoli, but it alone won’t make the broccoli as soft as they should be.
To blanch broccoli, bring water to a boil. Place broccoli florets in the water and cook for 3-5 minutes – don’t overcook! Drain and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let broccoli drain for a few minutes before using or pat dry with a towel.
Broccoli and Mushroom Quiche
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
1 cup milk
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup fresh broccoli, blanched or frozen broccoli, thawed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Using a little bit of oil or butter, saute garlic, onions, and mushrooms for a few minutes. Turn off heat. Blanch broccoli if needed.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and pepper. In the pie crust, layer broccoli, mushroom mix, and cheese. Pour egg mixture on top and distribute evenly if needed.
3. Bake 40-50 minutes (I needed 60) or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. Refrigerate any remaining quiche.
Makes 8 wedges
Source: Pillsbury Breakfasts and Lunches, 1989 p. 64