January 23, 2006


There isn't anything I love more than a lunch made up of a hefty slice of quiche sitting next to a green salad and a glass of wine. I've made many quiches in my day and I always seem to have to search long and hard to find a recipe. There are so many recipes out there with so many different amounts (some only use 2 eggs, no cream, more filling, deep dish, etc.) that I seem to always scramble for a recipe when I'm craving quiche. So, I was motivated to find a great one; one I could call my definitive recipe.

I like a quiche with a nice balance between the egg and other fillings. 2 eggs are only going to fill up the quiche pan if you have lots of other filling (like a pound of onions), so that is something to consider, too. Quiches are simple to make and have a lot of potential for experimentation. Some fillings that are popular around Paris include: Spinach and Chevre, Veggie (diced carrots, leeks, etc...blah,) Onion or Leek, Onion and Bacon (of course!), Scallops, Salmon, Tomato and Zucchini, or Mushroom. Simply adding an unusual type of cheese and can make an interesting quiche. The key to any quiche (or most dishes, for that matter) is that each individual part should taste good. Bland mushrooms aren’t going to taste good just because they are surrounded by eggs and cheese, so season each step of the way.

Call it a New Year's resolution if you want, but I'm going to try and add more vegetables into my life. So, I decided to add broccoli to my quiche with caramelized onions and bacon. Baby steps...

Quiche à la Megane (Broccoli, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Quiche)

1 pastry crust (pâte brisée)
4 eggs
3 heaping Tbsp. crème fraîche, heavy cream (or half & half, if you must)
1 cup milk
1 medium sized head of broccoli, cut into 1-in florets
1/2 cup lardons/bacon
3 medium onions, chopped (I used 1 yellow and 1 red onion and it worked fine)
1/2 cup comté (or gruyere) cheese

Beat together eggs, crème fraiche or cream and milk. Add a pinch each of salt and ground nutmeg. (*note: I've seen recipes that say to use sour cream in place of crème fraîche, but I have not tried this and I find in some recipes they have very different reactions. Sour cream has a higher tendency to separate, I think, so I'm not vouching for it working. If you try it, let me know.)

A shortcut method for caramelizing onions:
Melt 1/2 Tbsp of butter and about that much olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and stir. Cover the pan and let the onions sweat and soften for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the lid (the onions should be soft at this point) and add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar to the onions. Stir and turn up the heat to medium high. Let onions brown and stir occasionally for about another 10 minutes or until caramelized to your liking.

Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until just tender but not overcooked. Drain broccoli and pat with paper towels to absorb excess water. Sauté the lardons or bacon in a skillet until browned and crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Place crust in a 9-in. pie plate, letting edges drape over the sides for now. Arrange broccoli, bacon and onions in even layers on the pastry. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Slowly pour the egg/milk mixture over this so you don't disturb your broccoli. Gently fold the excess pasty over onto the filling, creasing a bit where necessary. I find this attractive and easier than making those fluted edges (which I suck at) that just get overly browned anyway. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F/200 degree C oven for 35 minutes (checking at 30 and maybe needing 40). The quiche is done when puffed, golden brown and an inserted knife comes out clean.

Also, try (my favorite!) Salmon and Spinach Quiche:
by flaking 1 (6-8 oz.) cooked salmon fillet, defrosting 1 cup of frozen spinach and layering those on the pastry before pouring on the egg/milk mixture. Sautéed leeks are also nice in this. Sadly, I never get to make this as my husband detests both salmon and spinach. Sigh…

1 comment:

Oob said...

Now I'm hungry again. Gave you a quick shoutout in my blog tonight.