Where does inspiration for a recipe arise? For me, there are many sources. It could be a client's request, the theme of a school program, or a visit to the farmers' market. However, I have to admit that some of the most original recipes I've written have come from the simple desire to avoid the garbage can.
My last post was written in Florida during a week long vacation well deserved by both my husband and me. If you're anything like me, the day before a trip is spent setting timers, finishing laundry, and clearing out the fridge and pantry of perishables.
In between freezing extra beans from our March legume curriculum and our last meal of macaroni and cheese (made with ALL of the odd cheese bits in our refrigerator's meat keeper), I had to figure out what to do with a pound of greening potatoes.
I figured that they would keep better mashed than whole so I boiled them until tender, smashed them with the last of my sour cream and a bit of salt. Freezing them flat in a Ziplock bag, I had visions of croquettes. Yet, on the flight down to the Sunshine state, I thought of another use. I couldn't wait to put it to the test.
Tonight, on Meatless Monday, I turned my mashed potatoes into a pie crust, a delicious crusty vehicle to hold a spinach, goat cheese and caramelized onion custard.
Potato, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pie Serves 3-4
Crust 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes 1/4 cup sour cream salt to taste
Custard 1/4 stick unsalted butter 2 medium onions, thinly sliced 3 large eggs heavy cream 8 ounces frozen spinach, cooked 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg salt and pepper to taste 2 ounces fresh goat cheese
Peel and quarter potatoes. Cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and mash with sour cream and salt to taste. Cool and freeze.
Defrost potatoes and drain any liquid that has wept from the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Grease a pie plate. Press in the potatoes evenly in the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden in the center and browned at the edges. Cool.
While the potato crust is baking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onions until caramelized about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
Break the eggs in a measuring cup. Add heavy cream to the eggs so that the mixture measures 1 and 1/2 cups. Pour the eggs and cream into a medium bowl. Whisk with nutmeg, salt, pepper, and spinach. Fold in onions and goat cheese gently. Pour into the potato crust and bake until the pie is almost completely set approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.