January 4, 2011

Here it is!

Well, first of all...about Dillon's.  I decided to hit Dillon's instead of Hy Vee for my grocery list. First it was the beautiful display of bagged oranges.  The sign read $3.99 for Grapefruit.  Not once, but on all four sides of the display.  I asked, and in fact it was the correct price for the oranges.  Then it was bread...$2.88 for a loaf of air, water, yeast, and flour.  I couldn't stomach it.  But I pressed on.  It was black beans that put me over the edge.  A legume in a can for over $1.00.  So, I shamefully abandoned my cart in clear view of a staff member, stating I had an emergency and had to leave quickly.  It wasn't a lie.  It was better for all involved if I left before there were casualties.  I had a Starbucks capp to soothe me as I drove right over to my HyVee.  Well, HyVee, you were less than impressive today, but bread was $1.88 and black beans were $.73.  I was happy. 
Now for quiche.
Here's my recipe
1 recipe of Pate Brisee (Fancy schmancy for 'Pastry Crust)
1 shallot sliced into rings - reserve a few rings for garnish, chop the rest
1 cup fine chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms - saving a few pretty slices for garnish
1 cup diced deli ham
2 packed cups fresh spinach, cleaned and destemmed
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage (optional)
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp water
1 cup heavy cream
5 eggs
Heat oven to 400.
Gently roll the crust onto the rolling pin and lift onto dish. Very gently let the pastry fall into the pan and press carefully to form into sides and bottom of dish.  Cut off excess pastry.  Using a fork, pierce the bottom of the pastry several times.  This keeps the crust from bubbling up by letting out air.  Using foil or parchment paper, line the bottom of the pastry.  Add pie weights or beans.  Press gently against the sides to assure there is pressure against the sides.  This keeps the crust from sagging as it bakes. 
Bake for about 20 minutes or until sides begin to brown slightly. 
Begin to prepare filling while crust is baking.
When crust is done, empty beans/weights into a large bowl to cool.
Remove foil/parchment. 
The crust on the bottom won't be as 'done' looking as the sides.  

Filling:                                                                                               In a saute pan, on medium heat, melt butter.  Add onions & shallots. Cook until almost translucent. Now add mushrooms, ham, & sausage.  Cook until heated through.  Now add spinach.  The spinach will cook down a lot, so it only takes about a minute.  Make sure to add it all at once. Remove from heat and set aside. 
In a small bowl or measuring cup, add flour, salt, pepper, and mix. 
Add the water to make a roux.  This will act as a thickener for the quiche.  Add a small amount of the cream stirring until it thins out.  Then transfer the roux into a medium mixing bowl.  Add the eggs and remaining cream. Whisk it all together very well. Set aside.     Mix the swiss and gruyere cheeses together.  Now, spread about 1/3 of the cheese on the bottom of the crust, add the meat & veggie filling, top with the remaining cheese.  It will be very full.  Now, slowly pour the egg mixture over the filling. I use a fork to move the filling around so the egg mixture can get into all the crevasses of the filling. Now you can place the mushrooms and shallots on top as a garnish. 
I usually place the dish onto a baking sheet just in case
it spills over. Place in the oven, and reduce
temp to 350.  Bake about 40-45 minutes, turning a half turn once at 20 minutes.  The quiche will get firm and not jiggle when it's done, but be careful not to overcook it. If it needs to bake longer, check it every 3-5 minutes until done. 
Serve with a nice spinach salad and enjoy!

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