Mable and Gar Hoffman
HP Books, Tucson Arizona, 1980
Cooking on page 32
This cookbook was a wedding gift a very long time ago.
Poor John was in the Australian diplomatic corps back then, and I suppose my friends thought I needed some help with entertaining. They must have been seriously committed to helping me lift my game because I have two books from them, and by the Hoffmans, both on entertaining.
I’m pleased to say this one has been used a lot. The cover is scratched and only-just hanging on, some pages are falling out and many are beautifully stained. But I never cooked on page 32 until I started this blog.
This page 32 has three recipes, and I made the first one. The other two call for ingredients I am unlikely to find in Australia.
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 slices pepperoni sausage, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Grease an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). In a medium bowl, beat eggs until pale and thickened. Stir in yogurt, salt, onions, parsley, cheese and pepperoni. Pour evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in preheated oven until just set. Cut into 8 horizontal rows and 7 or 8 vertical rows. Makes 56 to 64 appetizer servings.
How it played out
I made this a couple of months ago for a work function, but the pics and lighting were so disappointing that I decided to make it again this week. I’m glad I did.
I didn’t like it much the first time around. I used a mild sausage, and cut the cooked ‘quiche’ into pieces while it was still warm. It tasted okay, but looked rather sorry and was not up to my usual take-it-to-work standard.
Today’s version was much tastier and prettier. I took it and sausage rolls (another page 32 recipe) to a farewell morning tea. I’m doing a contract job for an Australian government department and the farewell-ee retired today after 30-plus years of service. And yes, there was too much food and I ate too much. Burp!
My version of this today used 3 smallish green onions, a thick Greek yogurt and a very generous tablespoon of sesame seeds (bought a kilo of them last week so have to find creative ways to use them). I lined the pan/tin with baking paper instead of greasing it, and let the whole dish cool for quite a while before cutting it. I was surprised to end up with 49 (7 x 7) bite-size pieces—had expected less from such a small tin.
But here comes my whingeing (fussing). What are four slices of pepperoni? As much as I am prone to altering recipes, I hate it when a recipe make me guess from the start. Anyway, I used about a 1/2 cup of finely chopped pepperoni and that seemed about right. Also, it was still quite soggy after 15 minutes of cooking. I gave it almost 25.
This is really a thin crustless quiche. It’s also an easy throw-together recipe and worth making again. I started it at 7:15 this morning and pulled it out of the oven a little over 30 minutes later.
The pepperoni and thick yogurt give a nice zing, and letting it rest before cutting makes a big difference to presentation. That said, this recipe will never win a beauty contest.
As an aside, you could cut it into larger pieces. Would be nice served as a light meal with a salad.