Orange is the New Black: Corn & Leek Quiche

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Orange is the New Black returns tomorrow for season 4. Woot!

While I know some of you are planning on binge-watching your way through the weekend, I’m sure you can spare a moment for a theme appropriate dinner or brunch reminiscent of last season.

I know this is not the first time I’ve visited Red’s kitchen. My very first two recipe posts were for Borscht and a Russian-Style Ratatouille inspired by the best prison cook on television. Today’s recipe, though, comes from last season, episode 12: Don’t Make Me Come Back There.

By this point of the season, Red has made her glorious comeback to to the kitchen only to find that she can no longer cook since the company that bought the prison replaced all ingredients with mass-produced slop. She is not stopped for long though. Using her ingenuity and connections to the garden, she hosts fresh vegetable-centered dinners like a zucchini night where “she did this fried thing with the flowers that made tears come out of [her guests’] eyes.”

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Today we’ll be making the featured dish from this episode: Corn and Leek Quiche with a Fried Sage garnish. “Not to brag,” as Red would say, but if you taste this dish, “you will feel things about corn you have never felt before.”

So staying true to the episode I used some fresh leek, sage, and ears of corn. I’m currently loving this season as I can get 3-5 ears for a dollar, and the corn tastes delightful even raw. You’ll have to cut it off the cob, but a bundt cake pan makes it easy to collect all the kernels with little to no mess involved.

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Since Red has been deprived of most of her workable ingredients, it stands to reason that she would have to get creative with what is left for the rest of the quiche. I figure management would spring for the cheapest resources possible. Hence I made a crust using lard instead of shortening or butter — which actually is the traditional method and makes a downright delicious, flaky pastry. Also the only cheese available would probably be either slices for sandwiches or frozen pizza cheese. Knowing Red would opt for real ingredients, I followed suit with the latter – shredded mozzarella. I also used pumpkin pie spice since there would more than likely be some still available from the previous Thanksgiving.

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So here it is in it’s sweet and savory glory. The past is in the past. Today’s a new day, and we’re all equal in Red’s magic restaurant.

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Corn and Leek Quiche with Fried Sage

Serves 6-8
Equipment: 9 inch pie plate, pastry cutter, large skillet, stove top, and oven.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup lard
  • ice water

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium leek, light green and white parts only sliced into half moons
  • 3 ears worth of sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12 leaves fresh sage – 4 sliced thinly, the rest left whole
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Begin making your crust by mixing the flour and salt together in another mixing bowl. Cut the lard into the flour mix using a pastry cutter until completely incorporated and the pieces are the size of small peas. Add cold water a teaspoon at a time, folding with a spatula until the pieces just hold together and you have formed the dough into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to chill.
  2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the corn and leeks and allow to cook until softened. Stir in the pumpkin pie spice, sliced sage, salt and sugar and cook another three minutes. Scoop the contents of the skillet into a mixing bowl and put the skillet back onto the stovetop. Add oil to the skillet.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the remaining sage leaves and lightly brown on each side. Remove leaves and allow to dry on a plate with paper towels. Allow corn and leek mix to cool completely while you start rolling out the crust.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Take crust dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured surface until about an 1/8″ thick. Line the pie plate with the crust and flute the edge.
  5. When the corn mix has completely cooled, mix in the cheese. Beat the eggs and milk in a separate container with another pinch of salt, and then fold this into the corn mix. Pour this into the pie plate with the crust, cover the edges with aluminum foil, and bake 50 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow quiche to cool. Garnish each slice with a sage leaf before serving.

The Gluttonous Geek