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CARLA HALL Cheesy Collards Quiche

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ingredients
GRITS CRUST :
1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter (plus additional for greasing)
1 cup stone ground grits
1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
2 teaspoons thyme (leaves only)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
COLLARDS QUICHE :
1/2 cup cooked ham steak (diced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion (peeled and finely diced)
2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
1/2 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups collards (stems removed, cut 1-inch pieces)
1/2 cup chicken stock
8 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

directions
For the Grits Crust:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch spring form pan with butter.
In a medium saucepan add milk, chicken stock and butter and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add grits, whisking to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until grits are soft and creamy, about 20 minutes, stirring throughout.
Once cooked, stir in cheese, garlic and thyme, allow to cool for 8-10 minutes. Add eggs and stir to combine. Pour grits into the greased pan and spread on the bottom in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes until crust is lightly golden and set. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
For the Filling:
Increase oven temperature to 375ºF.
Sprinkle ham and cheddar cheese over the top of the slightly cooled crust.
Into a large saute pan add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until almost translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic during the last minute of cooking. Add collards and cook until wilted, about 5-7 minutes. Add stock and red pepper flakes, bring to a simmer and cook until tender and most of the stock has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Place collards on top of ham and cheese. In a large bowl add the eggs and milk and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the collards mixture. Bake for 50-60 minutes until eggs are just set. If necessary, cover the quiche with foil while cooking to avoid over browning. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, slice and serve.
Tip: Use leftover grits to make the crust. Just reheat and allow to cool slightly before stirring in the eggs.

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