Lox & Cream Cheese Quiche with an “Everything Bagel” CrustPosted: October 25, 2014
If I am not careful, I become a very “all or nothing” type of person. I think it is an outlook that is lauded and encouraged in today’s society–unfortunately more for worse than for better. “Perfect” lives are carefully staged on every form of social media and interaction. Because those with the prettiest house, the best relationships, the greatest jobs will automatically gain some mythical, vague status that will actually turn their lives perfect. Alongside perfectionism, we have glorified busy. Stay busy, follow your hobbies, go out, try new things, have adventures, and make sure everyone knows just how much you have achieved on how little sleep. I’ve had my time spent striving for perfectionism and for “busy”, and I’ve found I do better disregarding both. When I try to be “perfect”, in whatever way, I am left scrambling and climbing towards an unreachable peak. When I let go of perfect, I can be happy with what I have achieved already–I can take a break on my little cliff halfway up Perfectionism Mountain, and enjoy the view from where I stand. When I stop romanticizing “busy” as a gloat-worthy state of being, I can finally slow down and rest. I can watch three episodes of Chopped (one of which I have already seen) and not beat myself up about it. I have a clearer head when I do return to the tasks at hand after a break.
I try to remind myself of all this. All to easily, I fall back into the race for perfection and the competition of busyness. In a sense, I am still glorifying both “perfect” and “busy”. I blog here, its own selfish and entitled act to think that what I place on the internet is worth reading. I make endless schedules, down to the half-hour, to fill my days with exercise and creating and cleaning and reading around my work day. All too often, my schedule lies have forgotten with my neglected blog and I’m left with residual guilt that I failed. This guilt and these tasks are both things that I put on myself. No one is making me write or share or cook or read. Just me, and the thought that “I can do better”. Perhaps I can, and
perhaps, probably, I will be bettered by writing, creating, and reading in a clean house with a healthy mind and body. But with the guilt and this all-or-nothing attitude, I am too often overwhelmed. When I am overwhelmed, nothing is achieved. So I try, as often as I can remember, to focus on the baby steps. My mantra has become something I have recently realized that I yearn for: balance. I long to move, to stretch and bend and twist, to combat sitting at a desk for eight hours a day. I actually want to run, to the utter bewilderment of my sophomore-in-high-school, last-semester-of-gym-ever self (whether or not I can run is another question entirely). I want vegetables by the truckload after getting burgers for lunch and then trying that new pizza place for dinner. I want to rewatch this episode, even when I don’t, because the alternative is watching something new and I have been actively engaged all day and I need to shut off my brain. I want sleep, but only eight-to-nine hours after a reasonably active day, because I’ve finally realized that any more just makes me sluggish. I want to neglect the vacuuming and meal prep to instead do nothing, after six days at work. Until the time when I crave something creamy or I choose sleep over yoga and my life leans back the other way again. Balance. Maybe, what I really want is to listen to my body more.
So I’m trying to be gentler with myself. I try to forget about perfect and remember that it is all okay, because perfect is exhausting and disheartening. Balance is better.
Balance, these past weeks has meant making time for make-ahead meals. I know it will be a huge help to my psyche to know that I am prepared to make dinner with minimal thinking at the end of a long day. I am adjusting to a new work schedule, and M is working on a project that has him working late (and, usually, whenever I am not working). Thankfully he knows me well enough to understand that I will fail (if I try at all) to stay up to wait for him. I am not much of a night owl. These past weeks have been a few mumbled sentences in the morning to establish when someone is home to let out the dog, and a lot of notes left on the kitchen counter. Weeks like these are when I pull out my secret weapons: slow cooker recipes, quick handheld foods made in huge batches, and quiche. I’ve been thinking of writing a defense for quiche. It is one of the most under-utilized dishes. With a crust, 3 eggs, about a cup of milk, a handful of toppings–a collection that would hardly feed two for breakfast as individual parts, these magic ingredients mix together to created at least eight slices of creamy, comforting goodness. If that’s not cheap enough for you, its easy enough to thinly slice a potato. Line a greased pie pan with that and you’ve got a pretty solid quiche minus the expense of butter and flour for a traditional crust. It’s a dish that is delicious served cold, hot, or room temperature, and easily portable if you have a lunch box and an ice pack. Quiche is awesome.
This quiche, however, was not one made with “cheap eats” in mind. Instead, I wanted to add some fun to this dish that would be feeding us for the next 3-4 days. Someone mentioned mixing a bit of smoked salmon into scrambled eggs and then the light bulb went off. M and I love bagels with lox: chewy bagels (preferably a tasty Everything Bagel), thick swaths of cream cheese topped with savory smoked salmon, red onions, tomato, capers, and a squeeze of lemon. Why not put all of this in a quiche? I mixed the traditional spices of an everything bagel into my crust, and mixed the traditional toppings into the egg filling. Voila!
This quiche is an interesting way to mix things up. The crust, salty and garlicky, makes this amazing!
Lox & Cream Cheese Quiche with “Everything Bagel” Crust
For the Crust:
Basically a 1/2 batch of my Gluten-Free Pie Crust
- 1/2 c. sweet rice flour
- 1/4 c. tapioca starch
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. potato starch
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1 + 1/2 tsp. granulated onion
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. poppy seeds
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- optional: 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1/4 c. vegetable shortening (I used EarthBalance)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 Tbsp. cold water
For the Filling:
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 c. milk (whole or 2% is best)
- 1/2 c. cream
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. dill
- 1/4 c. tomato, chopped
- 1/4 small red onion, finely diced
- 4 green onions, finely chopped (green portion only), divided
- 1 Tbsp. capers
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 3 oz. lox/smoked salmon, roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
- 2 oz. cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all dry ingredients (sweet rice flour through pepper/caraway seeds) of crust in a medium bowl. Cube or grate the butter and shortening into the dry mix. Mix well, rubbing the fat into the dry mix until the mixture is coarser than corn meal. Mix egg and vinegar together, add to bowl. Stir egg mixture into dry mix. Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix until dough comes together. If still dry and crumbling, add additional tablespoon of water. Press into 9 inch pie pan. Chill for 30 minutes. (Alternately, if your would prefer a “prettier” crust, chill dough for 15 minutes, roll out on wax or parchment paper, and transfer to pie pan. Trim edges. Chill for 20 minutes). Par-bake pie crust for 15 minutes.
Make the filling while the dough chills and par-bakes. Mix eggs, milk, cream, kosher salt, and dill. When crust has par-baked, remove crust from over. Sprinkle tomatoes, then red onion, half of the green onions, capers, and lemon zest into pie shell. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper the vegetables. Sprinkle bits of cream cheese and slivers of salmon over vegetables. Pour egg mixture over fillings. Sprinkle remaining green onions, parmesan cheese, and additional dill on top.
Bake the quiche for about 30 minutes, until the middle ‘jiggles’ but the top is beginning to brown. If the crust starts to burn, gently wrap the crust edges with aluminum foil. Allow to cool completely. Serve slight warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate, wrapped in saran wrap, for up to 5 days.