Tuesday, September 23, 2008

quiche for all

Except Pekoe.

This quiche has become a regular part of my dinner menu rotation. I got the recipe from epicurious, but I've made a few adjustments. So what the heck? I'll post it here with my changes. I served it with a simple salad of red boston lettuce+bartlett pears+goat cheese+walnuts+homemade vinaigrette.

It was a nice crisp counterpoint to the quiche. Just a little sweetness from the pear, a little freshness after a bite of the cozy hot quiche. Yum. The quiche has only three eggs and lots of arugala. So I'm wondering if this might not be considered a guilty pleasure. There is bacon, but maybe with organic heritage bacon? And organic low-fat cheese? Possibly this could be good for you? Even the crust, I adapted the recipe so it's only one stick of butter. So a little heavy on the butter. Oh, and a cup of cream. Rats. So maybe not. But if you went for a run that day and ate a salad for lunch, I think this slightly rich dinner would be okay.

Arugula & Bacon Quiche
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4-6 tablespoons (about) ice water

6 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped shallots
8 ounces arugula, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 5 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 cup whipping cream
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces. I’ve always used something else from parmesan to mozzarella. Not a huge fan of the gruyere.)

For crust: Blend flour and salt with a whisk. Add butter. Using a fork and the whisk you can break up the butter with the flour to process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes. Roll out dough on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim dough overhang to 1 inch. Fold overhang in and press, forming double-thick high-standing sides. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen.) NB: I use a pyrex pie pan and just rolled out the dough to fit the pan. We like crust in our household. Also, if you’re not accustomed to making piecrust from scratch, just keep in mind that everything needs to be really cold. If your ingredients lose their ice-box chill, stick everything in the fridge for about half an hour (bowl, flower, whisk, etc). Also if it’s a hot day, and you‘ve got no AC, you might want to wait till night when it’s cooler to work the dough and then store it till the next day for the baking. It also helps to have really cold hands when you are handling the dough. Sometimes I dunk my hands in ice cold water for a few minutes to get them cool.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Bake crust until golden brown, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Transfer crust to rack. Reduce temperature to 375°F.

For filling: Cook bacon in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and drain. Add shallots to same skillet and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add arugula and sauté until just wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add balsamic vinegar; toss to combine.

Sprinkle arugula mixture, then bacon over crust. Whisk cream, eggs, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in cheese. Pour mixture into crust.

Bake quiche until filling is slightly puffed and golden, about 45 minutes- 1hour. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve with a salad and a nice wine. Don't let your cat get into it.