Thursday, July 1, 2010
Quiche with Greens and Bacon
It's not that I've never had quiche before... in fact, my dad used to make "refrigerator" quiches when I was growing up. In case you don't know my dad, he was very creative with leftovers. Basically take all of your leftovers, add some eggs, and BOOM - Refrigerator Omelet, Refrigerator Quiche, etc, etc.
This week in my CSA box I got some Tuscan Kale, Beets, Radishes, Lettuce, Zucchini & Yellow Squash, Cucumbers, Strawberries, and Blueberries. Get excited for some great meals this week. In fact, I think I might even try to make a fancy red and blue tart for the 4th of July next weekend!
Back to the quiche! This reminds me, if you want to make a quiche for dinner, plan to start as soon as you get home from work in order to eat by 8pm. Its the dough that takes awhile.... its always the dough....
Pate Brisee (pronounced pat breezay) is the traditional dough used for quiche. I learned this from Julia Child. No, not personally. This is the first recipe I've tried out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking that was actually very easy to follow. The dough doesn't take too long to make, but you need to let it sit in the freezer for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge before its ready to use.
So if you don't have that kind of time, just buy a pie crust from the grocery store. I won't tell anyone.
Basically, the nice thing about pate brisee is that its a simple ratio of flour : butter : shortening (12 : 3 : 1). In other words, 12 tbsps flour (3/4 C), 3 tbsps butter, 1 tbsp shortening (for mini tarts/quiches), or scale it up from there for bigger sized pans (or if you want to make extra and freeze it for later). The only other ingredients are salt, a little sugar (for color), and ice water - which also fits into the ration as a "2" but the tricky thing about water is that it depends on the humidity in your kitchen, the type of flour you use, etc, which is why I didn't include it in the original formula.
I have a big tart/quiche pan so I made a large amount of dough:
3 C flour (all purpose)
1 1/2 sticks of butter, cold, cut into 1/2" cubes
4 tbsps shortening, cold
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of sugar
1/2 C ice water
Sift the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl then add the cold fats (butter and shortening) and work quickly with your fingers to incorporate the fats into the flour. It will get crumbly and flaky, kind of like dry oatmeal. You don't want to let the butter melt into the flour, so again, work quickly. If your dough starts getting too soft, put it in the fridge for 10min then go back at it. Once it has come together somewhat, add the ice water and scoop it out onto a floured surface and form into a wet ball.
Now for the fraisage. This is just a fancy way of getting all of the fats incorporated into the flour. You basically use the heel of your hand to push the dough, spoonfuls at a time, away from you, dragging it along the counter surface. Here is a good video demonstrating how to do it.
** And yes, those "dots" you see are butter... apparently I need to work on my fraisage technique...
You need to pre-bake the dough for this recipe. To do that, place your dough in your tart/quiche pan, line with foil and weight it down with rice, beans, baking stones, etc. Place in a 400F oven for 8-9min, then remove the foil and weights and place back in the oven to finish cooking for another 2-3min. Place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
The filling can be anything you want, I chose to use up my kale and remaining beet greens from this week's CSA box along with some nice smoky bacon.
The filling consists of 3 eggs, 1 1/2 to 2 cups of kale and beet greens, 1 1/2 C light cream, some salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
I added about 1/4 cup of a mixture of shredded fontina and this new fun "potato" cheese I found at Trader Joe's:
** I thought the slight potato flavor would go well with the other ingredients in my quiche, kind of like tortilla espanola....
Add the filling to the pre-baked shell and but back into a 400F oven for 25-30minutes. During this time the quiche will puff up and become golden brown.... and make your kitchen smell amazing. It will deflate once out of the oven, but still taste absolutely divine. I fed 5 people with one quiche and still had leftovers. Lets see: Eggs = cheap, Flour = cheap, Butter = cheap, Cream = cheap. With a little elbow grease this whole meal probably cost me less than $1 per person. Sweet!
I drank a nice dry Pinot Grigio with this but I think a Chardonnay would have worked wonderfully.