Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Collard greens in a quiche? Why not? It works for spinach.

The final item I prepared for our ladies' lunch before we got those sewing machines humming to finish our quilts was the extraordinary Spicy Ham-and-Greens Quiche.

I never had heard of using collard greens in a quiche—spinach, yes; greens, no—but that's the imaginative Southern Living (source of the recipe) for you! Their January issue contained some far-out "tradition-with-a-twist" recipes that gave a fresh, new look at some old standbys. What could possibly be more Southern than a dose of collards and ham inserted into a quiche format? This recipe was a "just-had-to-try".

The original recipe in the magazine called for frozen chopped collard greens, but I subbed fresh greens, which I purchased in the ready-to-eat bag at the grocery store. I used about 10 ounces and in the microwave-steamed them until they were tender. I tested the recipe with the low-fat version of Bisquick Original Pancake and Baking Mix.

The lunch crowd was an appreciative audience for my quiche with the unusual mixture. With the Earthy Cauliflower Salad, Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Cookies, and homemade yeast rolls, the menu was perfect. I had enough ham, greens, and pepper jack cheese left over that I made an identical quiche two nights later, except in this second try I added some fresh mushrooms I had left over from the cauliflower salad. This great addition made a wonderful dish even better!

Spicy Ham-and-Greens Quiche

1 cup chopped baked ham
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 (16-ounce) package frozen chopped collard greens, thawed and drained
1/3 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup skim milk
2 large eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/2 cup all-purpose baking mix
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute´ham in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in collards and onion. Saute´ 5 minutes or until onion is tender and liquid evaporates. Layer half of collard mixture in a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate; top with 3/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers once. Whisk together milk and remaining ingredients until smooth; pour over collard-and-cheese mixture in pie plate. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center emerges clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before you serve. Makes 6-8 servings.

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