Remember that 1982 book "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche"? The title became a pop-culture catch phrase, but the book was only intended as a tongue-in-cheek guide to masculinity. Of course men eat quiche.
On a recent visit to Julia's, 24 University Ave. in Sewanee, Tenn., I saw several customers enjoying quiche in this charming main-street cafe.
Closer to home, Peggy Roselle, owner of Out of the Blue Cafe, 3230 Brainerd Road, said she, too, has a steady group of customers, male and female, who come in year-round for quiche.
"We make it from scratch every day," she said.
Many folks consider quiche one of those foods best served in the spring and summer months. I agree to a point. It is lighter fare. But I think quiche is good any time of year. In cold months, it can be made heavier with meats and cheeses served in a hearty crust. In warm months, Swiss cheese mixed with ham and eggs makes for a delicious change of pace with a lighter crust. It's all in the fixings.
As a side note, if you are looking for an excellent ham, perhaps for a ham-and-cheese quiche, track down an Ingles grocery store for a Dietz & Watson deli ham. (According to the store's website, there are Ingles locations in Jasper and Athens in Tennessee and Ringgold, Trenton, Calhoun, Chatsworth, Ellijay and Summerville in Georgia.)
I've never been a big fan of plain old ham. I've always thought of them as more of a meat for sandwiches and salads, never an entree for a meal. But now I'm sold on this ham. It's uncured, all natural and prepared with sea salt. Here's what the the ingredient label reads: Pork, water, less than 1.5 percent sea salt, organic sugar and celery powder. No nitrates or nitrites, and it's gluten-free. Hams don't get much better than this.
Now, for a recipe. I found this quiche recipe in the Atlanta Junior League cookbook, "True Grits," several years ago and found it to be the best ever. Roselle she said clipped the original recipe and uses it for her Friday quiche special. She said customers are always asking for the recipe.
1 cup flour
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise (not light)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 drops hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 cup pecan halves
For the pastry: Combine the flour, cheese, pecans, salt and paprika in a bowl; mix well. Stir in the oil. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture. Press the remaining mixture over the bottom and side of a 9-inch quiche pan; prick with a fork. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes; remove from oven and let cool.
For the quiche: Combine the eggs, chicken broth, sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl; mix well. Stir in the chicken, hot pepper sauce, cheese, onion and dill weed. Spoon into the baked crust; sprinkle with reserved flour mixture and pecan halves. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until set. Makes 6 servings. Delicious with salad and crusty French bread.
On the restaurant front: Have you been to the new Fuji Japanese Steak & Sushi in Hixson yet? If not, I highly recommend it. It's excellent. The decor is quite attractive, with no resemblance to the building's former lives as Brick Oven Grille and Sticky Fingers. The menu offers a choice between a room full of hibachi tables or a main dining room, which we chose for a quiet anniversary dinner.
I had the hibachi chicken, and my husband had the hibachi filet and shrimp. I found the servings in the dining room to be a little more generous than I've had at the communal hibachi tables. My husband and I filled ourselves and still had enough left over to bring home for a second meal two nights later. Fuji is at 5437 Highway 153.