Wednesday, June 20, 2007
They say that real men don’t eat quiche.
I say, Bullshit.
After all, what the heck is frittata? Quiche with no crust! And there is nothing better than frittata, especially on Leftovers Night when you’re digging in the fridge trying to find something interesting to eat, realize that you have half a dozen eggs, plenty of veg about to rot, some lunchmeat, and a heel of cheese. Seriously, ask my boy what we ate when we got back from the Atlanta Motor Speedway last October.
Uh... did i just admit that i’ve been to a NASCAR function?
For some inexplicable reason, i’ve lately been hankering for some quiche. I especially like my mom’s Tarte à l’oignon, which is basically an onion pie; but seeing as i will more than likely eat said quiche at work, i won’t be making that one any time soon. I already have a hard enough time remembering to go brush my teeth after lunch as it is. The quiche recipe i most rely on is one i found about 6 years ago someplace online, and i can’t remember where, because i cut n pasted it into a Word document so there are no fancy headers or footers to tell me where it originated from.
And who are these real men anyway? I’ve got bacon going on in here, and cheese. You’ve got to be a nut not to eat this.
Special equipment: I use a removable bottom fluted pie pan. Removable bottoms make life easy.
Crust: either make your own or buy one ready to go. Either way, once you’ve got the crust in the pie pan, poke holes with a fork all over and put the whole thing in the freezer while your oven gets up to temperature.
I’m not going to pretend that i made this crust myself, although i had every intention of doing so. I normally use Julia Child’s dough recipe from that lovely little slender book, Kitchen Wisdom, which i think every good home cook should have. No, instead i went The Lazy Route and picked up a refrigerated Pillsbury crust, so all i had to do was roll it out into my pie pan. In my defense, i was running low on time yesterday; I got home late due to unbelievable traffic issues all over Atlanta, and had to swing by the store on the way home. I then proceeded to spend the next few hours in the kitchen making things, like my lunch for today (sesame encrusted tuna, which i marinated first then seared off briefly; and rice) and started yogurt so that it could slowly yogurtize over night. These things take time. Making crust is not daunting for me anymore, but it still takes effort and i was low on that last night. In times of need, Pillsbury will do.
Also, if you think I make my own puff pastry myself, you are on copious amounts of crack. The stuff in the freezer section of your grocery store is fantastic.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake crust for 15 to 20 mn and remove to a rack to cool while you assemble the filling. About this time, reduce oven temperature to 375 F; but sometimes I forget to do so, and it’s not the end of the world.
For the filling:
6 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (you can use lardons; or if you use thick-cut bacon like i do, reduce amount to 4 slices)
1/2 cup chopped shallots
about 3 or 4 big handfuls of fresh spinach*
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyère cheese (if you can afford Gruyère, go right on ahead and use it. I already had a block of Swiss in my fridge so that’s what i used)
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Add shallots to same skillet and sauté until tender. Add spinach and sauté until just wilted, and then promptly remove from heat. Add balsamic vinegar; toss to combine.
Spread the spinach mixture over the crust first, then sprinkle the bacon on top. Whisk the cream, eggs, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in cheese. Pour mixture into crust.
Bake quiche until filling is puffed and golden, about 35 minutes.
Mine looked a little plain, so before it went into the oven, i spread some spinach leaves around the top and sprinkled on some parmesan cheese.
* The original recipe calls for arugula, but i’m kind of over arugula. When spinach was pulled off the market last year due to all the e coli issues, i ate the hell out of some arugula instead, and now i think we need to take a break from each other.