Topic: Appetizers

Holiday Appetizers Through the Decades | 1970s Mini Spinach Quiches

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Slip on your bell bottoms and mood ring and say hello to the groovy 1970’s, an era marked by the Vietnam War, women’s liberation, the release of Star Wars, and the resignation of President Nixon.

Holiday parties during the 1970’s may have been lit by lava lamp with a soundtrack fueled by The Jackson 5 and John Denver, but the buffet table was no doubt piled high with new and interesting foods that reflected America’s growing palate. On one end of the spectrum were dishes from other cultures, including Mexican salsas, Vietnamese pho soups, and Thai curries. On the other were contributions from the growing California “fresh food” movement, with ingredients like fresh arugula, sprouts, and tofu.

One dish that is firmly rooted in our 1970’s memory is the quiche, which ruled the brunch set during the early part of the decade. Good either hot or at room temperature, the tasty combination of eggs, cheese, milk, and meats or veggies baked in a buttery, flaky crust transitioned beautifully to appetizer size with the help of a mini muffin tin.

Similar to the 1960’s, the 1970’s weren’t a bountiful decade for recipes in the pages of Yankee Magazine. Instead, Home features tended to focus on the “forgotten arts” aspects of home life, with occasional food features on baked beans, honey, and one memorable 1972 feature on baking with flower pots.

Fortunately that same year, Yankee also published a standalone cookbook entitled Favorite New England Recipes, which included (phew!) a recipe for spinach quiche.

By updating it with refrigerated pie crusts and frozen spinach, it’s easier than ever to make without sacrificing any flavor. For the dough, just roll it out a bit thinner than normal, then use a 2-inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut rounds for the quiche crusts.

Once the dough has been pressed into each well of the mini muffin tin, it’s time to gently spoon in the filling. Try and get a little of the firm stuff in first, then drip in the eggy mixture until it just reaches the lip of the crust.

Once the quiches are puffed and golden in the oven, it’s time to let them cool for a moment before popping them out of the muffin tin and onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Piled on a plate, these mini quiches are irresistible. Tender and flaky crust filled eggy, cheesy, spinach, mushroom, and scallion filling packs a serious savory, buttery bite.

Of course, filling options are as varied as your imagination. Try mixing up the add-ins like bacon, shrimp, cheddar, jalapeno, broccoli, etc. for new flavor combinations.

In my experience, both men and women are unable to resist these mini spinach quiches, proving that when it comes down to it (and contrary to the popular expression), real men definitely DO eat quiche!

Mini Spinach Quiches Recipe Links

View and print the recipe for Mini Spinach Quiches
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Classic Holiday Advice from the Yankee Magazine Archives

Sayings of the Oracle (December 1972)

DEAR ORACLE: ‘Tis the time of year when everyone is wishing on turkey and chicken wishbones. Can you tell me where this custom originated? M.S.

ANSWER: If the scientists are right , it began when folks ate the dinosaur, which was the first critter to have a wishbone.


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