We have a Sunday night tradition of having slightly decadent dinners.
It’s the night we have risotto or lasagne or quiche…. all of which include a good bit of cheese of some sort and often sausage. It’s a change from the more usual chicken breast and broccoli.
If we have soup (also a Sunday tradition) we have popovers or biscuits… with butter, of course.
We try to eat healthily the rest of the week….
And the quiche is only slightly decadent.
I’m still loving the shredded potato crust, too.
Sausage, Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche
Total time: 65 minutes
- 2 medium potatoes, (12oz, 360gr), shredded, no need to peel
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 6oz (180gr) sausage, sliced
- 6 medium shallots, chopped
- 6oz (180gr) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 3 tbs parsley
- 2 tsp basil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 5oz (150gr) goat cheese, sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) cup milk
- Mix shredded potato and egg.
- Pat into a lightly oiled quiche or 10″ (25cm) pie plate, working it up the sides a bit for the edges.
- Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 15 minutes.
- Sauté shallots in oil over medium heat until softened.
- Add sausage and sauté until cooked through.
- Add spinach, herbs, spices and heat through.
- Whisk 3 eggs and milk together.
- To assemble:
- When crust is done, remove from oven.
- Spread the sausage / spinach mixture evenly over the crust.
- Top with goat cheese.
- Pour egg mixture over all and bake, 40 – 45 minutes, 400F (200C). When done the center should be firm or with a very slight jiggle.
- Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before cutting.
Note: I usually put the quiche dish on a baking sheet to make it easier to handle – it gets kind of full.
Have you ever seen a castell?
No, not a castle….. I spelled it correctly.
I’m talking about the human castles of Catalonia, or, as they are properly known, castells.
As it’s getting close to Semana Santa, or Holy Week (the week before Easter), and Spain will be filled with celebrations of all sorts, I thought I would share one last piece from my friend’s book ….
Starting as a side-show at fairs centuries ago, castellera had become a Catalunyan tradition. To their followers, it’s like baseball in the Americas: halfway between sport and religion.
By the mid-1990s, castles nine tiers high with five people in each tier, had become common; the leading groups were focused on breaking the 10-tier barrier.
Carles phoned me one day. “We’re planning to unload the 3 of 10 at our festival next weekend,” he told me. “Come and see history being made.” In castellera-speak, to “unload” a castle means both building it, then taking it down without collapsing the structure.
At midday, the Minyons marched into the plaza, preceded by their band of pipes and drums. After warming up the crowd with a display of smaller castles, they were ready for the main event.
The sixty members of the second and third levels started climbing into position; behind them, the castellers of all the other tiers were ready to begin their ascent; behind them were the two youngsters, seven-year-old Gemma and eight-year-old Cristian who would form the topmost section of the peak.
“Our target is two minutes to build the castle and another one to take it down,” Carles told me. “After that, the risks multiply every couple of seconds.”
Gemma and Cristian begin climbing from opposite sides. They’ve proved themselves in earlier performances, but the pressure on them this afternoon is enormous. In a heart-stopping moment, with the castle almost built, Gemma misses her footing, then loses a hand grip.
Opposite her, and watching intently, Cristian awaits his chance. If Gemma can recover even for a few seconds, he will be able to climb over her shoulders and give the traditional wave-of-the-hand to signal that the castle is built; the pair can then begin descending. By now, though, the structure has been compromised. The tier below begins to sway uncontrollably. The movement ripples down the castle, magnifying as it goes. Within seconds, the castle disintegrates, hurling bodies from all directions onto the backs of the people at ground level.
“What happened this afternoon was bad luck,” Carles told me later, “but our strategy was correct.”
The following year, the Minyons entered the history books when they unloaded the 3 of 10. They repeated their success in 2002.
More than a decade later, only two other teams have been able to build the castle; no-one has yet matched the Minyons’ achievement in unloading it.
They really are quite fantastic…. and a bit terrifying, to see.
If you are interested in reading more about Peter’s adventures in foreign lands have a look at his book:‘Here, There and Everywhere’
I hope you enjoyed this brief look into a traveler’s life.