As I sit down to write this, I’m trying to decide which of two stories I’m going to share tonight. First, there’s the one about the time Rosie O’Donnell got me kicked off the internet. And second, there’s the one about my former love affair with Taco Bell’s 52-grams-of-fat-per-serving Nachos Bell Grande.
Being that this post’s recipe is all about chorizo, cheese, and sour cream, though, I think it’s only appropriate that I tell you the one about Rosie O’Donnell.
It’s true: in sixth grade, Rosie O’Donnell got me kicked off the internet.
First, let me make something clear. A favorite author of mine once described our shared generation as the one that “grew up with the internet but not text messaging”. And that’s pretty much perfect. Yes, I had “the internet” in sixth grade, all right? In other words… I’m not young, you’re old.
In those early days, though, about the only thing one could do “on the web” – i.e. on AOL – was send email and enter chat rooms. There were very few actual websites; rather, the internet consisted mainly of failed attempts to interact with random strangers. AOL was just one big network of pen pals. And most importantly, back then that didn’t seem so weird/creepy. I think everyone was so caught up in the whimsy of the thing that nobody even considered using such powers for indecency.
So, then, the idea that a sixth grade kid might create a second “screen name” and impersonate a random celebrity just for the hell of it was… pretty out there. Today that crap is all kinds of normal, but in 1996 that notion was actually new. I was something of a pioneer, if I do say so myself.
I’m not sure what it was. Maybe I was bored. Maybe I was oddly intrigued by a chat room called “Friends of Rosie”. Or maybe – even at twelve years old – I saw the humor in duping a bunch of A League of Their Own fans. Something made me do it. And it went on for months.
AOL (or perhaps Rosie herself?) eventually got wind of what was happening – the fact that someone had made, on numerous and regularly scheduled occasions, hundreds of “Friends of Rosie” believe they were, in fact, chatting with Rosie O’Donnell – and terminated my family’s account. Kicked us all off the internet. Banned “RosieLive” forever. Total bummer. To both me and my fans.
When my mom found out and confronted me about this little charade, I wasn’t sure if I should be proud or embarrassed. We eventually got our account re-instated, but not without quite a bit of explanation to the interweb authorities. I still wonder if Rosie herself had anything to do with it. Probably. Who else would’ve cared?
I told Erin that story while I made this quiche the other day. She’d never heard it before. There had been a reason for that. This definitely isn’t a story one shares in the first five years of a relationship, ya know?
Anyway – about these quiche. Crustless, muffin-sized, and filled with both healthy stuff and not-so-healthy stuff, these little suckers were a perfect Sunday brunch. I threw in caramelized onions, a bit of shredded fontina, and some grated zucchini, so that they’d be somewhat substantial. I also decided to place a good crumble of goat cheese in the center of each quiche – because why not? And then, to top them off, I made a roasted jalapeno and avocado crema. Rosie would’ve dug them, that’s for sure (I would know, obviously).
Makes 12 Mini Quiche
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 a cup half-and-half
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- ~4oz goat cheese (a small log), broken up into 12 hunks
- 1/2 pound chorizo
- 1 small pat of butter
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- salt & pepper
- a few chives, finely chopped – for garnish
- avocado crema, recipe follows
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the chorizo, and cook – breaking up – ~8-10 minutes or until good and brown.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo and set aside. Add the pat of butter, the onion, and a good pinch of salt & pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and caramelized.
- Wrap the zucchini in a clean dish towel and ring out any excess water. Add the dry zucchini to the pan and cook, along with the onion, for another 2-3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the eggs. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, half-and-half, fontina cheese, and a pinch of salt & pepper, to combine.
- Grease a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
- Spoon the onion mixture into the bottom of each tin. Then, ladle in enough of the egg mixture to fill each tin almost to the top. Finally, top each quiche with a hunk of the goat cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until just set.
- Let the quiche cool, in their tins, for at least 20 minutes before serving. To serve, plate each quiche and top with a spoonful of avocado crema (recipe follows), and a few sprinkles of the chive.
Roasted Jalapeno & Avocado Crema
Makes 1-2 cups
- 1 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream/creme fraiche, if you can’t find crema)
- 1 avocado, halved, seed removed, and peeled
- 2 jalapenos
- 1 lime, juiced
- Preheat the broiler to 500 degrees.
- Place the jalapenos on a cookie sheet, and roast, on the top rack – turning occasionally – for 10-12 minutes, or until good and charred all over.
- Remove the jalapenos from the oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the stem and skin, slice in half, and scrape out the seeds. You should be left with only the soft, roasted flesh of the pepper.
- Combine the crema, avocado, roasted jalapenos, and lime juice in a large food processor.
- Season with a pinch of salt, and then process until smooth.
- Keep refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
Friday afternoon awesomeness:
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