Saturday, December 20, 2008

Real railroaders eat quiche

Yes they do! And in case they don't, just serve biscuits and gravy too. Blog No. 22 shows you how to bake the quintessential egg pie ...

To quote a popular cliche: "Real railroaders eat quiche."

I approached the menu for the annual Christmas working breakfast at the El Dorado Western Railway this week with a bit of uncertainty. On one hand, my experience with the crew told me not to worry. They've eaten every dish that I've handed to them in the past three years.

But I was still concerned. I found the recipe for the creamy Southwestern quiche on the Growlies Recipe Exchange and Party Planning Board website. A reader wrote:

I have a question about this recipe which I made recently. First of all, it wasn't done in 30 mins at 350 so I stuck it back in the oven for 20 more mins at 400.... Then it came out fine. However, I would like to know the best way to handle this for future reference. The recipe is excellent and I think it's the best brunch recipe I've ever made. But I don't want to overcook it because it could get dry.
I quickly found the recipe on the Growlies for Groups website. Since the recipe looked promising, told her that I'd bake a pie Thursday evening, which I did.

A search of comparable recipes on the Internet told me her problem was timing. The pie needed 15 to 20 additional minutes in the oven.

Then I found the identical recipe on a travel website. The site attributed the quiche, called cheese and egg brunch pie, to the 1890 Williams House, a bed and breakfast inn in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

After testing the recipe Thursday for dinner, I agreed the Growlies reader. The creamy, smooth texture of the quiche will please any railroader, this one included.

I served the quiche with grilled sausage links and biscuits. To be safe, I added sausage gravy at the last minute.

The gravy turned out to be a wise addition to the menu as I dropped one of the two quiches that I baked. The crew enjoyed the gravy, and it stood in for the ruined quiche.

And, for the record, they enjoyed the remaining quiches as well.


In the outdoors, bake the quiche in the pie pan inside a 12- or 14-inch Dutch oven. Add coals for 350 to 400 degrees.

5 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces cottage cheese
1 (4-ounce) can green chili peppers
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese (2 cups)
1 (9-inch) pie shell, unbaked

Combine eggs, flour, cottage cheese and chili peppers in a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir in butter, baking powder and cheese.

Pour filling into pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake 20 to 25 minutes until set. Let rest 10 minutes.

Cut each pie into 6 or 8 wedges, as desired. Serve with spicy yogurt sauce (recipe follows).


Adjust cayenne pepper to taste.

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate. Makes 1-1/4 cups.

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