The Great New England Quiche Cookoff: Winners and their recipes
Our 2013 culinary competition, the Great New England Quiche Cookoff, attracted entries from far and wide. The judges narrowed it down to a set of finalists, tasted their creations, and then the public weighed in to select the People’s Choice Award. The awards were presented by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, along with Phyllis Trier, Cookoff organizer, and Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the heifers. Here are the winners, and with their recipes:
First Place & People’s Choice Award Winner: Easter Quiche, from Tara Sullivan of Brattleboro
1 1/2 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Vermont Creamery butter
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp Vermont maple syrup
5 Tbsp. buttermilk
4 organic Pete and Gerry’s eggs
1 1/2 cups organic whole milk
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 medium organic yellow onion
1 lb. fresh organic spinach
1/4 cup grated Grafton 2 yr. cheddar
1/4 cup Cabot cottage cheese
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- Steam spinach for 5 minutes in one inch of water. Drain into collander and let it cool. Sqeeze water out of spinach when cool.
- Chop onion and saute in 2Tbsp. butter until very soft. This can simmer as you prepare the other ingredients.
- CRUST- Add flour and salt to bowl of a food processor. cut butter into rough pieces and add to flour. Pulse mixture until it resembles course meal. Add maple syrup and buttermilk and pulse until dough comes together into a ball. Do not over mix. Remove dough, form into flattened disk, wrap in wax paper and refridgerate.
- Wash food processor now, as you will need it again for the spinach cheese mixture.
- Combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg and dry mustard in large bowl. Whisk to combine well.
- Squeeze spinach to remove excess liquid and place into bowl of food processor. Add cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and fets cheese. Pulse to combine ingredients and to chop spinach into small pieces.
- Place spinach cheese mixture into large bowl containing milk mixture and whisk to combine. Let this mixture sit while you roll out the dough.
- Roll out pie dough on floured bowl and fit into 9 inch pie plate. Tuck edges under and crimp.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup Grafton cheddar onto pie crust. Sprinkle sauted onions around on top of cheese.
- Gently pour filling into crust and immediately place in preheated oven
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375. Bake for another 30-40 minutes, until custard had set and the middle of the quiche does not jiggle when wiggled!
The story of this quiche:
I was hosting Easter lunch at our house this year. My family is not fond of ham, my relatives were coming from Rhode Island where the seafood is fresh and we are all tired of chicken. I decided I would serve up a lunch created around Spanikopita, a delicous and hearty vegetarian delight. We would have tzatziki, olives, pita and hummus and, of course, hard boiled eggs. After enjoying the trappings of the visit from the Bunny and the homemade Hot Cross buns, we all went for a beautiful morning hike. I had my menu planned and the ingredients in the pantry and could relax for an hour or two. As I arrived home and set to work I realized I had made a disastrous mistake. I had forgotten to take the Filo dough out of the freezer. Frozen filo is as good as no filo at all! Oh no! What was I going to do? Make quiche! Spanikopita inspired quiche. The recipe here is the result. It is delicious and much easier to make than my original. plan.
Second Place Winner: Sorrel Leek Quiche, from Deb Hicks of Vernon
1 leek, white portion sliced into rounds
1 shallot, sliced thin
4 T butter
4 to 8 ounces sorrel leaves
2 large eggs
½ C plain yogurt
1.2 C milk mixed
2 ounces smoked Gruyère cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
favorite pastry shell recipe
- Make pastry shell, roll out & freeze in pie plate for 20 min.
- Par bake pie crust (not in glass plate) & put aside
- Melt 3 T of the butter in a wide pan, add leek, shallot and salt. Cover the pan, and stew slowly until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Stem and roughly chop the sorrel leaves.
- Add last tbsp of butter and chopped sorrel to leek mixture.
- Cook until sorrel has lost it’s ‘green’, about 3 minutes.
- Whisk milk & yogurt, add eggs and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Preheat oven to 375
- Add sorrel, leek mixture and 1/2 grated cheese to eggs.
- Taste for salt, add if necessary. Also add pepper.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese into pie shell.
- Pour filling over cheese mixture and bake 35-40 minutes – until custard is set.
The story of this quiche:
Inspired by an internet search for eggs uses, which I often do since we have a tiny flock of chickens and we need ideas to keep up with their production. We happen to have sorrel in our kitchen garden as well, and some leeks still in the ground in early spring, so this was the happy result. I think the yogurt and smoked cheese add a nice kick.
Third Place Winner: Papa’s Maple Linguica Spinach Quiche, from Joyce Silva of Keene, NH
1 cup King Arthur unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup (Sugarheads Syrup Swanzey,N.H.)
1/2 cup ground Linguica
2 cups organic spinach
1/2 cup Feta Cheese(crumbled )
1 cup heavy cream( Vermont, Cabot)
6 beaten eggs(Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs)
2 Tbsp melted Butter(Vermont creamery cultured butter)
- Mix flour and salt and set aside.
- Whisk water, olive oil and 2 Tbsps maple syrup until slightly thickened
- With a fork mix dry and wet ingredients together until forms soft dough
- Press dough into 9″ pie plate
- In small skillet brown linguica until fully cooked and drain on paper towel
- In same skillet lightly stir fry spinach
- Sprinkle drained linguica and spinach in piecrust
- In medium bowl beat eggs,cream, butter and feta cheese together
- Pour into piecrust
- Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving and brush with 1 Tbsp maple syrup
The story of this quiche:
This recipe is a tribute to my father who was very proud of his portuguese heritage and just loved the portuguese sausage linguica. Growing up I can not remember a cookout that did not include this incredibly spicy sausage. When it is cooking on the grill or in the frypan it brings back wonderful childhood memories of my father and is also a part of my six children’s(now adults with their own families) memories of Papa. They too have introduced this food to their children carrying on the tradition. Adding it to the quiche creates a wonderful spicy taste and beckons you back for another slice.
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