Monday, July 26, 2010

"Quiche me, you fool."

I've been in a bit of a cooking funk lately. Nothing has really inspired me. My hubby suggested that I try cooking with themes. I was immediately excited! Then I thought of all the different nationalities and food that I love. Yes, world cuisines would be the theme for a while. I'm going to attempt to showcase a new one every few weeks. First stop...France!

I thought I'd start with something relatively easy. I decided on vegetarian quiche. I looked at several different recipes until I got the basic idea of how to make quiche. I then thought of the ingredients that appealed to me most and fiddled around with measurements so that I could cut out some of the fat without compromising the taste.

The great thing about quiche is that it looks and tastes like you put a lot of effort into it. In actuality, the hardest part is the crust. And that's where I totally cheated!
You may shudder while reading this but I bought a frozen pie crust and put it into my tart pan. Then I had the nerve to buy a bag of Swiss and Gruyere mix that was pre-shredded. Plus a bag of crimini mushrooms that were already cleaned and sliced. The shallots and spinach were quickly chopped in the food processor. Oh, the horrors just continue! So after all of the shortcuts and cheating, it was as easy as pie or should I say "easy as quiche".

Well the darn thing turned out amazing. It had a rich yet fluffy texture and tons of flavor from the cheese and shallots. It was a meal in itself with a side salad. The French sure know how to eat!
Mushroom, Spinach & Shallot Quiche

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz your favorite mushrooms,cleaned and sliced
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 jumbo eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz bag fresh organic baby spinach, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss and/or Gruyere cheese
  • 1 pie crust(homemade or store-bought frozen), fitted to a glass pie plate or 10 inch tart pan

Directions

If you are using a frozen pie crust, let the dough defrost a bit by letting it sit in room temperature.

When it has softened, place the dough into your tart pan or pie plate and spread out the dough with your fingers until it fits the pan all the way up to the edges. Then leave it the fridge until you are ready to fill and bake it.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat up a medium pan over medium heat. When pan is very hot add the butter, olive oil and mushrooms. Let mushrooms cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Then add the thyme and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes more or until shallots carmelize and turn to a rich brown color. Lightly salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a bowl.

Combine the eggs, cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor or blender. Blend for about 15 seconds.

Pour a small amount of egg mixture into the pie dish, just enough to cover the bottom. Then layer the spinach, mushrooms and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the remaining egg mixture on top until it fills it completely without overflowing. Place on a baking sheet (in case there is overflow) and into the oven for about 40 minutes or until the egg mixture is firm and the top is a golden brown. Cut into 6-8 pieces. Serve hot or room temperature.

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