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Would Popeye Eat Quiche?
In 1982 Bruce Feirstein authored "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche", a bestselling book satirizing stereotypes of masculinity. It popularized the term quiche-eater, meaning a man who is a dilettante, a trend-chaser, an over-anxious conformist to fashionable forms of 'lifestyle', and socially correct behaviors and opinions, one who eschews (or merely lacks) the traditional masculine virtue of tough self-assurance.
"A 'traditional' male might enjoy egg-and-bacon pie if his wife served it to him; a quiche-eater, or Sensitive Guy would make the dish himself, call it by its French name quiche, and serve it to his female life partner to demonstrate his empathy with the Womens Movement. And then he would wash the dishes."
The antithesis of "quiche-eater"? Well, it's Popeye, of course. Long before Superman, Batman, or even Captain Marvel there was Popeye--a squinty-eyed cartoon-character sailor with enormous forearms. Despite his grumpy-looking exterior, he was kind of heart and engaged in fighting only when forced into righting a wrong. And, he gained his super strength from eating spinach.
So, is Spinach Quiche an Oxymoron?
I'll let you ponder that while I explain why I baked a spinach quiche. Every Tuesday morning my older daughter and I participate in a Bible study class. For one hour we sit around tables in the church basement. We read, discuss, listen, and share. We laugh often, cry occasionally, and have formed an amazing close bond with one another.
And, we eat. Each of us brings something to share. There's no sign-up sheet, no assignment of dishes to bring, but somehow it always works. We've enjoyed biscuits and gravy, homemade cinnamon rolls, strawberry shortcakes, cornbread "loaded with goodies", fresh fruits, and the endless pot of coffee. Last week I brought a spinach quiche.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 10-oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
- 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and stir until spinach is dry, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle both cheeses over bottom of unbaked pastry shell. Top with spinach mixture. Beat eggs, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and in large bowl to blend. Pour over spinach. Bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve.
What makes this recipe work?
- Using frozen chopped spinach eliminates the need to wash, cook, cool, drain and chop fresh spinach--a real time saver!
- Instead of a custard base which relies on milk or cream and eggs, this recipe utilizes cottage cheese. Cottage cheese provides creaminess but is much more stable under heat--you will have a firm, not watery quiche if you use this ingredient.
Substitutions and Additions
- If you don't like (or don't have) Parmesan you can certainly use another type of cheese. Swiss and Cheddar are both good choices.
- If you or members of your family insist on meat, crisply cooked bacon, diced ham, or cooked crumbled Italian sausage would be wonderful additions.
- Want to pump up the veggies? Try folding in some corn, grated raw carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, or sauteed mushrooms.
© 2013 Linda Lum