“Cheesecake? There is no CHEESE in this cake!”
The point is a very valid one. It would apply to this quiche too, for that matter. Being egg-less, well, it ain’t really quiche!
Nevertheless, I eventually tried it when I visited a cabin in the middle of the woods. A frosty wind blowing at the windows, this warm dish was rather perfect… and it pleased the taste buds so much that it didn’t matter what the heck it was or should be called.
I’ve made this about 4 times since, and each time experimented with various ingredients. What I have listed below is the recipe for the best one I’ve thrown together, but feel free to experiment with the vegetables/cheeses. Some warnings: don’t mix frozen spinach with broccoli. And don’t mix Parmesan with Swiss.
I also learned several things about tofu through this: soft, silken tofu has the least tofu-like taste, while extra-firm has a particularly strong one. The best tofu to use for this is medium or firm. But, if you like and eat onions the tofu taste will be masked perfectly.
One last thing before I give you the nitty-gritty: don’t be afraid of making your own crust. Yes, it always seems so much easier to buy a ready-made pie crust and lay it neatly in your pie dish hassle-free…but really, it’s such an easy crust to make! Not to mention, the flakiness is divine. Thanks again to none other than Smitten Kitchen.
Time wise, make the crust dough at least 3 hours before you roll it out. It will need to chill for that while in the refrigerator.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces, 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very cold (I stick it in the freezer for 5 minutes before I use it)
1/2 cup ice-cold water (take some water and leave some ice cubes to melt completely in it)
In a medium, wide bowl (something I wish I had… the wider the bowl the easier it is to cut with the pasty blender) mix together flour, sugar and salt.
Cut butter into cubes and with a pastry blender, gently cut butter into flour mixture.
Continue adding water by the teaspoon until it can be gathered into a ball. Wrap with Saran wrap OR like I did, use two regular sandwich bags, one on top of the other. Chill in fridge for at least 3 hours. You can actually make this two days in advance if you need.
To roll crust out, flour a large counter/table well. You must understand, flour is your friend. Don’t be afraid to use it! This dough does stick to slick counters, especially as it gets warm. But if you use ample flour while rolling it out, you’ll be fine.
Each time you flip, lift, or turn the crust while rolling it out, dust some flour between dough and counter. Also, flour your rolling pin too!
To lift the crust into pie dish, fold circle lightly into fourths, again, dusting flour between each fold.
Make some fork holes on crust and place in refrigerator while you make the filling.
The main ingredients are cheese, spinach and tofu. I usually add another vegetable or two, though, to make it interesting. Mushrooms (any kind) and olives (black) work well with spinach.
Most cheeses tend to work well together. I would avoid using mozzarella or parmesan, however. Swiss, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, and Cheddar are better.
Also, a note on onions, and garlic for that matter. People who adhere to the Vaishnav or Swaminarayan branches of Hinduism don’t eat either. I have included onions on the ingredients list, however, because there are so many who love onions and it only makes the recipe better.
1 bag (9-10 oz) fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 cup mushrooms OR olives (or both!), sliced
1/4 cup onion, chopped (you can replace this with cabbage)
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
2/3 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
1 (10 -12 oz) package medium or firm Tofu, rinsed, patted dry, and cubed
1/8 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon whole grain yellow mustard OR 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a blender, blend tofu, mustard, pepper and salt, using milk to help the process. I recommend not making this paste thin. Keep it as thick as possible. Taste and adjust spices as necessary.
Combine cheeses, spinach, mushrooms/olives and tofu paste in a large bowl.