eating from the back yard

I was talking with my friend Doug today about the joys and chores of our efforts to feed ourselves from our backyards. Doug has about an acre of land in the Wildwood area of Powell River, as we do, and he has a spectacular garden. 

Doug said, "You know, if it were just a few vegetable that fed us through the summer, it would be easy, but when you try to provide your family with food twelve months of the year, it is work. But in the middle of January when you open a jar of tomato sauce you canned in the summer... now THAT is the reward."

And that is why we do it. For real food. For jam that tastes like real fruit. For a pantry full of goodness. For eating well.

Thursday Will was helping some people harvest their apples, so there was no time for fancy cooking. I was craving quiche, but gluten-free pie crust, though possible, was not something I was going to fuss with, so I made a dish that is a cross between a quiche and frittata, and it was fantastic. An inelegant name for the dish would be an egg casserole, but I didn't think it sounded as good as this tasted! Hope you like it too.

Shrimp FrittaQuiche

5 eggs
1 cup non-dairy sour cream (use the real thing if you can eat dairy)
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (I used oyster mushrooms harvested on a recent hike*)
1 or 2 chopped shallots
2 minced garlic cloves
6 ounces of chopped up prawns, optional (Thank you Nicola!)
handful of chopped basil leaves
2 cups grated cheese (I had some smoked soy gouda!)

Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with sour cream, rice flour and salt. Set aside.
In an oven-proof skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until they stop sweating. Add onions & garlic  and cook until transparent.  Add the shrimp (optional), stirring it in just a bit, just until warm. Add the chopped basil, and then pour the egg mixture into the skillet.
Top with the grated cheese and bake in 350F oven for about 45 minutes. When a knife inserted near the centre comes out clean, it's ready to take out of the oven. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
I love this with sliced fresh tomato on top.

*Oyster mushrooms can be frozen for using in various dishes if you clean them up a bit, chop fine and saute in butter until they stop sweating. Cool, pack into freezer bags and flatten the bags before you toss them  into the freezer so you can break off chunks to add to your recipes.

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