The hit Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, just presented its third season. It’s as addictive as a bag of chips and hot sauce. Binge watching at its best, once you start, you can’t stop. (Spoiler Alert: There are some details from Season Three).
Each season, I have a favorite character and this season, it’s Red, brilliantly played by Kate Mulgrew, and recognized as the leader of the white girls, and not someone you insult, made very clear in Season One.
One of my most favorite moments of Season Three was watching Red cook a special dinner for hand selected inmates. When the grateful ladies of Litchfield prison sat down to eat, she comforted them, loved them, soothed them with a special treat of corn and leek quiche with a crispy sage leaf as a gourmet bonus. I nearly wept, thinking about how special that bite of quiche was because this season the prison food took a real dive.
Galina “Red” Reznikov, a middle aged Russian woman, who got herself a long prison sentence for some kind of Russian mob activity, was master chef in season 1, running her kitchen with an iron fist, yet soft enough that she attracted a few very loyal daughter figures. Unlike some prison leaders, she is anti-drug, and you root for her and feel sad when she loses her kitchen for all of Season Two. (I hated that).
Red has clout, and knows how to maneuver things enough to get herself back in the kitchen this season, only to heartbreakingly come under new bureaucratic regime and all the food is delivered in big plastic bags, in heat, serve and barf style.
Red is devastated because this hits her inner pride, and she repeatedly tells the inmates she didn’t cook the food.
One of the dinners surrounds the most precious of jewels, real corn on the cob, but things take a dicey turn, when the corn is eaten by another gang of women. Then something wonderful happens.
Red discovers a new batch of delivered corn, and you’d think she’d just gotten her release papers. She hugs that corn as if it were gold. There is nothing like real food, when one has been deprived of this most basic right.
The ladies show up for their very coveted invitation, and she serves them corn and leek quiche. Then she shows them she has added a crispy sage leaf, a moment that showed me how we on the outside can take all our food blessings for granted.
That little crispy sage leaf on top of the corn and leek quiche stole my heart. Sage is one of my favorite herbs and I grow it all year, yet it had never had the supporting role that Red gave it.
Sometimes a bite of food is powerful and full of pizazz like a marching band. Other times, it’s quiet, like a violin solo, more romantic than adrenalin flowing, sublet and comforting. That is how I see a corn and leek quiche. It’s a quiet comfort food with a little surprise of flavor added by the leeks and sweetness from the corn. The buttery pie crust holds it all together and the crispy sage leaf assures that this cook doesn’t fool around.
There are two ways you can go. You can make a traditional quiche with pastry crust, my favorite if I have the time. Or you can make a quiche with a tortilla. It’s quick, easy and surprisingly works. You can make small 4 inch quiches, or one big quiche. (see notes on that).
So tell me, do you watch Orange is the New Black? Who is your favorite character?
Corn and Leek Quiche
1/2 recipe Pie Crust (Recipe here)
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1-2 ounces grated medium cheddar cheese
- 1 large ear of corns
- 2 leeks
- Prepare Pie Crust
- Butter each quiche pan.
- Put pie crust in each individual pan. You can use one large pan to make one quiche instead of individual. In that case, double your recipe ingredients.
- Clean leeks. Cut off stem, slice thinly.
- Saute leeks in butter just until softened, not browned.
- Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
- Wrap the corn in wet paper towel. Microwave for two minutes. Cool. Cut corn off cob.
- Beat eggs with cream, salt, pepper. Add in cheese.
- Pour eggs into each pie shell. Add corn and leeks evenly.
- Bake for 15-20 mins until light golden brown.
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