27 July 2011

{Cooking Lesson: The Quiche}

It’s a good thing this quiche is so delicious. Though you can use this recipe to make two quiches in a standard pie pans, I like to make one big one in a deep french tart pan so there’s a much higher filling-to-crust ratio; the pans are available at Williams-Sonoma or any cooking or baking supply. And the filling for this quiche is totally adaptable—throw in asparagus tips, broccoli, and whatever cheeses you have in your fridge. In addition, the filling can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to pour it into the crust and bake it. I did this when I made seven of the suckers for Missy’s baby shower, and I think it’s the only thing that prevented me from going into premature labor over the whole ordeal.

Ingredients for eigh persons:

  • 3/4 pounds Thick Cut, Peppered Bacon
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 whole Large (or 2 Medium) Onions, Very Thinly Sliced
  • 2 boxes (5 Oz. Each) White Mushrooms, Washed And Sliced
  • 1 can (14 Oz.) Quartered Artichoke Hearts
  • 1 whole Pie Crust, Or Half A Recipe Of "Sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust"
  • 7 whole Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 cups Grated Swiss Cheese
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Fresh Parsley, Fresh Chives

The Cast of Characters: 1/2 recipe for Perfect Pie Crust, eggs (not pictured), heavy cream, onions, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, grated swiss cheese, butter, thick cut bacon, salt, and pepper. Fresh parsley and chives are optional.
Don’t you love how I forgot…um…the EGGS in the above photo? I’m nothing if not thorough.
The bottom is the removable disc that will allow you to lift the finished quiche right out of the pan. I have about eight of these pans, but probably two remaining discs. My boys use them as frisbees.
First fry 3/4 pound (or so) of bacon, which is—wait for it—HALF of a 1 1/2 pound package!
I’m nothing if not brilliant. In my own mind.

Next, very thinly slick 1 large or 2 medium onions. I used a mandoline to slice these paper thin, but you can use a sharp knife if you’ve got the skillz.
Next, wash 2 packages of white mushrooms and slice them up. They don’t need to be overly thin.
Finally, drain 1 can of quartered artichoke hearts (I like them better than the whole ones) and have them ready.
The bacon is ready. And the reason I know this is that everyone in my house is now standing next to the stove and I’m beating them with wooden spoons.
Put it on a plate and let it cool, then drain the grease from the pan. DON’T CLEAN THE PAN, THOUGH! You’ll regret it if you do. When the bacon cools, give it a rough chop.
Now, because you have no sense, throw a stick of butter in the pan and melt it over low heat. If you’re a health nut, go ahead and use 7/8 of the stick. I love giving you these health tips. I consider it my purpose on earth.
When the butter’s melted, throw in the onions.
Cook them for about 3 or 4 minutes, or until they start getting brown.
Next, throw in the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two…
Then violently throw in the artichoke hearts.
Cook this around for a couple of minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. When it’s done, remove the mixture from the heat and set it aside, allowing it to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes.
During that time, ask your daughters to roll out half of the Perfect Pie Crust and press it into the deep dish tart pan. Set it in the fridge to firm up a bit while the mushroom mixture is cooling.
Next, crack 7 eggs into a bowl.Pour in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream.
Whisk this together and throw in some salt and pepper.
Throw in 2 cups grated swiss cheese. Now usually, I don’t like the pregrated stuff you buy in bags. But in this case, I think it works splendidly!
Plus, I didn’t have any other choice. That’s part of why I think it worked splendidly.
Now spoon the cooled mushroom mixture into the egg mixture. No need to pour all the mushroom liquid in there, but if you get some in there it’s fine,
Now remove the pie crust from the fridge and just pour the filling right in! Refrigerating the crust for a short time will prevent it from becoming overly brown while the thick quiche filling is cooking.
Press down the filling so everything’s submerged. (To my photography friends: I realize I need to step away from the bokeh here. Sorry.)
Set the quiche on a rimmed baking sheet. loosely cover with a sheet of foil (to keep it from browning too quickly) and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove the foil for the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking.
It should be only slightly jiggly when it’s done, so don’t be afraid to keep baking for another 10 to 15 minutes if you need to.
NOTE: the quiche should not appear to be totally firm and set. A little jiggle is just fine.
Ooooh! Look at how beautifully it lifted from the pan. (The silver disc is underneath the quiche at this point.)

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