Black Jack, Green Back Torte



Even though I am not a vegetarian, I often prefer meatless menus. I created this savory quiche-like dish when I was low on provisions but high on canned goods and dairy products. The color of the olives is tempered by the lovely green of the chiles and the yellow of the eggs and cheese. Thin slivers of garlic are layered on top to become toasty brown. But don't wait until you're out of groceries to make it. This Southwestern style pie tastes great enough to serve anytime. Make it in advance and have it ready to serve for a casual evening amongst friends.




Stir the 1 cup of flour together with the salt in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender (or 2 knives), cut in the 6 tablespoons of butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the beaten egg and stir with a fork until the dough is solid. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, F.

Using butter or margarine, grease and flour the inside of a pie shell. Roll the pastry onto a floured board to fit the pie shell. Place the pastry in the shell, trimming the excess and crimping or fluting the edges. Prick the bottom and sides of the shell with a fork. Place a sheet of waxed paper over the pastry and weigh it all around with pie weights, beans or rice. Bake for 12 minutes.

While the crust is baking, slice the garlic cloves into paper-thin leaves. Slice the chiles in half lengthwise. Set aside.

After 12 minutes, remove the foil and weights from the pan and bake the pastry for another 4 minutes. Separate one of the eggs called for in the filling, placing the egg yolk in a medium mixing bowl. Lightly beat the egg white. Brush the edges, sides and bottom of the pastry with the egg white and return to the oven for 2 minutes more. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool on a rack for 5 minutes.

Break the remaining eggs into the bowl with the existing egg yolk, adding the leftover egg white you used to brush the crust with. Lightly beat in the cream and cumin until blended.

Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly into the bottom of the pie crust. Then arrange the chiles in a single spoke-like layer, covering the cheese and bottom of the crust. Sprinkle the Monterey Jack over the chiles.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the cheeses. Sprinkle the olives on top of the egg mixture, then arrange the garlic slices in a single layer decoratively over the olives. Finally, dust the top with the grated Romano.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.


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Black Jack, Green Back Torte
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©1994, Katherine Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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