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Improvising With Leftovers - Bok Choy Quiche

One thing I can't stand is having extra ingredients go bad in my fridge. Last week, I was in Oriental Square, a Chinese Market in my neck of the woods that has amazing deals on produce. I buy all types of fresh vegetables and herbs there: they have the best prices on shiitake mushrooms, only $2.50 a pound. I can buy a couple sticks of lemon grass for less than 50 cents, and fresh herbs like cilantro are less than a dollar a bundle. I usually end up buying so much, that I can barely finish everything I purchase.

That almost happened to me with some bok choy I had purchased there. I bought eight vibrant green heads of the stuff for $2, and used four the first night stir fried whole. For the next few nights, I went out to eat, and the bok choy sat in the fridge. On Sunday morning I knew the amazingly green and crisp leaves would start to wilt if I didn't use them that day. But it was breakfast time, and I've never made breakfast with bok choy before. My girlfriend and I decided we would experiment, and what we ended up with was bok choy quiche.

I could've made some pie crust from scratch, but my girlfriend balked

at the idea of eating breakfast too late (it was basically approaching

lunch time anyway - we're late to rise on Sundays). So I peeked into

the freezer and found some filo dough I had bought ages ago. I

defrosted that in the microwave (a no-no), and layered some in the

bottom of a buttered, 12" iron skillet. Since I wanted the bottom to

resemble crust, I didn't bother brushing butter between each layer of

filo, something you would ordinarilly do to keep it fluffy and flaky.

Then, I chopped the bok choy into quarter-sized pieces and sauteed it

until the green leaves wilted and the crisp stems softened just a tad.

I took the pieces out and added a few dashes of sriracha and tamari soy

sauce, just enough to coat but not so much that it became wet. I

quickly steamed some broccoli I had in the fridge as well, tossed it in

an ice bath to shock it, and added it to the bok choy.

I rumaged around the fridge for some cheese - I always keep plenty on

hand. I used a big slodge of mozzarella and some sheeps milk romano

(tip for keeping hard cheeses almost indefinitely - wrap in cling film,

then in foil). I added the vegetables and cheese into the filo-lined

skillet. Then I whipped up eight eggs with a half cup of milk (I had no

cream) and two cloves of minced garlic, and poured the mixture on top.

I then lined the top with more filo dough, this time I buttered between

every layer so the top crust would flake up.

After 40 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees, this is what I had. Of

course, this is plated, and topped with cumin-laced sour cream and a

roquette salad with lemon dijon vinaigrette that I made quickly with a

TBS of dijon, juice of half a lemon, and a few glugs of olive oil.

Breakfast is served, and my conscience was clear - no wasted leftovers

rotting in my fridge.

Bok Choy Quiche

4 Heads Bok Choy, chopped, sauteed
1/2 Head Broccoli, chopped, steamed
1 tsp. sriracha
1 tsp. tamari
8 large eggs
1 package frozen filo dough
1/2 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup romano cheese
1/4 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBS milk
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
(mix above to make cumin sour cream)

1 TBS dijon mustard
juice of half a lemon
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
(mix above to make lemon-dijon vinaigrette)

roquette (arugula)

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John Linn

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