One of the greatest thing about living on the West Coast is the football brunch. Wake up, walk out to couch, turn on TV, football is there.
True, this tends to work out better for my guests than me, (I’m generally up around 8 AM in a panic that I need to get brunch ready before the game, more on this later), and sometimes it is 9:53 PST and you are screaming at your network connection, “MOVE FASTER YOU FUCKING INTERNET! I HAVE ABOUT FOUR MORE MOVES TO MAKE IN THIS LEAGUE AND TWO MORE LEAGUES TO DOUBLE CHECK BEFORE KICK-OFF! FUCK YOU SLOW INTERNET! MOVE!”, but all and all, after a rough transition to living in Pacific Standard Time after a lifetime in the MST and EST, I can say there is no better way to watch football. (Plus, if you over-sleep and miss ESPN Gameday, you’re actually doing yourself a favor, whereas when you live back East, you’re so ready for the games to start, you’ll suffer through anything just to see men running around the field.)
Four Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche, Bloody Marys, and Budweiser Chelada
You will need..
One pie crust (Shown here uncooked, but please pre-bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Homemade crust or store bought, it does not really matter. I usually save homemade crusts for pies, where that taste matters more. Here is it just a vehicle for cheese and egg.)
1 one bag of spinach (I use about 3/4 of a bag of fresh spinach, but you can also use a 10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach, but I think the frozen spinach is way more work.)
1 cup whipping cream or half and half (I almost always use half and half.)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 heaping cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (also heaping) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (also heaping) shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped onion (I used two small onions)
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (About 5 to 6 peppers is good, since I buy the 10.25 oz jar.)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (Ok, any one who has ever read the Friday Football Foodie will not be surprised by this note: I double this amount of cheese.)
Set oven to 350 degrees after you have pre-baked your crust.
Coat cheese with 1-2 tablespoons of flour. Through the magic of science, it makes your quiche a touch less dense and keeps the cheese from…yeah, I don’t really know what it does. But for years I made quiches and then read this tip in a cookbook and my quiches have come out lighter ever since then. I am sure it is the same principle as why restaurants mix flour into their egg mixtures when making omelettes and scrambled eggs. I don’t know the theory behind why it works, it just works.
If you are using fresh spinach, wilt in a pan. Wilt? What the hell are you talking about lady? Easy. Put spinach in a pan over medium low heat – no water or oil – and let the spinach just wilt in the heat. Stir around every few seconds to prevent sticking. Doesn’t take more than a minute or two, and is much easier than dealing with having to thaw frozen spinach.
THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT SKIPPING THIS STEP. THIS STEP MIGHT EVEN BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE CUTTING A HOLE IN THE BOX STEP. Pat off all, ALL, of the oil from your peppers and all the water from your spinach. All of it! No one likes a runny quiche!
Hand chop spinach.
Finely chop onions. When baked into something like a quiche, I prefer that they be minced as fine as possible, which I cannot do with a knife without hurting myself. TSW:knives::McNair:playing field.
Combine with cheese and flour mixture.
Chop peppers. Be careful not to overdo it and end up with pepper puree.
Lightly beat together eggs and half and half. Add in a touch of ground pepper.
Fill your pre-baked crust with cheese and onion mix.
Add spinach over cheese and onion layer.
Pour in egg and cream mix. With a fork, spread out spinach more evenly.
Cover with roasted red peppers.
Top with feta. If it does not look like enough feta, add more.
Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Temped to eat it now? Well, we are not quite there yet, so have another mini-muffin. (What? Everyone has mini-muffins at brunch. When I made this quiche we had cinnamon mini-muffins in hand to keep people going until halftime. Plan, people, plan.)
Cover with foil and let your quiche rest at least 30 minutes, but it will stay hot for up to an hour this way.
While your quiche is resting, get your drinks ready!
Oh sure, you can just buy some Bloody Mary mix at the store, stick a stalk a celery in it and call it day, much like the Bucs field a team, hand it a ball, and call it “football”. You are better than that, and yes, I am talking right to you Gruden.
You will need…
Olives and Celery for garnish
Mix together over ice 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp-2 tsp lemon juice, (you can just use one lemon wedge if you happen to have fresh lemons), 3-6 splashes of Tabasco, and a couple of dashes of celery salt and ground pepper. Really, mix to taste.
Fill glass most of the way with tomato juice.
Fill the rest of the way with vodka. I probably always use too much vodka in these drinks, but no one ever seems to mind. (Or at least they cannot complain when they are passed out on the floor.)
Garnish with olives. Remember how I said no one said to care about the extra vodka? Well, no one cares that this picture is not in focus either.
Hey! The quiche should be done resting now!
Hizzah! Brunch is ready! Generally, on game days, I try to get this all done by kick-off, but if the quiche is still in the oven/resting phase by 10 am PST, you can still watch the game and not have to worry about being stuck in the kitchen.
I have this huge superstition about food and game day:
If you are more worried about the meal than the game, your team will lose. I am convinced of it. If I am concerned about something in the kitchen/laundry room/greeting guests at the door at the time they kick off the ball, then my mojo and hopes and positive energy is not with my team, and they need all of everyone’s mojo and positive energy directed to them to win the game. When TSB starts yelling at the TV mad at a play call or a dropped pass, I consider that bad energy and I send him out of the house. Really. (OK, only when he gets really mad, or he would not see any of the game. But it does happen at least a few times a season.)
Does this sound like New Age claptrap? Abso-fucking-lutely. Do I believe it? Abso-fucking-lutely. But only with sports. I don’t think my positive energy helps stop the ice caps from melting or a child sick in the Third World. Only our actions can solve those problems.
(Damn, when did the FFF get so heavy? How do I get out of this? Hey look! The Christmas Ape came to brunch!)
New Product Review: Budweiser Cheleda
TSB got so excited when he saw this at the the store about how wonderfully bad this must taste, I told him I would pay him $5 if he drank it at brunch and reviewed it.
Well, he did not drink it, so I do not have a review for you. I will however, pay $5 to anyone who emails me a photo of them drinking the Chelada and sends in a review, (limit – first 4 people to submit entries to TSWLadies [at] gmail.com), to be used in a future Friday Football Foodie.
NEXT WEEK – CLARE DOES THE FOOTBALL FOODIE! DIP! SHOTS! HURRAH!