and it’s Fight Back Friday!
Well – it was Fight Back Friday – and then my computer got the hiccups – and so you’re getting Fight Back Friday on Saturday. Sorry!
I gotta tell you – I love quiche.
Well – it has to be good quiche, because bad quiche – ewww…. YUCK!
Good quiche is – well, obviously – the polar opposite of what bad quiche has not going for it… you know, that rubbery consistency, the slightly (or not!) burnt egg aroma and taste, greasiness, and is overall – not an experience you want to repeat.
The problem being – too many people have come to accept that quiche is:
1. Hard to make – a total lie!
2. Not worth the effort – fallacy!
3. Is probably nutritionally not so great for you – um, not!
4. Kinda yucky tasting – au contraire!
I’m here to show you that quiche is one of those things that is easy to do, fun to make, is nutritionally fabulous (protein galore!), and tastes utterly divine.
There’s something important that you need to know starting out, though. You need fresh eggs. Seriously fresh eggs. Like go out the back door and collect the eggs from the coop and then start cooking fresh eggs. (Julia Child agrees with me on this!) I know you may not have a backyard flock of chickens – and that’s okay. If you don’t – find someone who does and buy a dozen eggs from them! Totally worth it, people! (And you should know my bias – I feel like this should be the case for all food – fresh, local, organic – do this, and fabulous food will ensue!)
Okay – so – insider tip: all good quiche is built around two basic ingredients: fresh eggs and excellent quality heavy whipping cream.
From there on out it’s about what floats your boat.
This post is about a potato crusted quiche, but it could just as easily be about a traditional pie pastry crusted quiche, or even a crustless quiche. Quiche is incredibly versatile, easy to throw together, and willing to work with you. I’m going to throw in ingredients that I love and have on hand – but you could mix it up any way you wanted!
So let’s get down to it!
So this is a potato crusted quiche, right? All that means is you’re going to take some frozen hash brown potatoes, a couple of beaten eggs, about 1/2 a cup of shredded white cheese – whatever you have on hand is fine. Mix them all together, press them in the bottom of a pie plate or something akin to that. Go ahead and bake it for about 20 minutes at 350 F. It should look something like this:
Yeah, I know, it’s not a traditional pie plate. This was actually my Grammy’s and she cooked all sorts of stuff in this pan. It is circa 1940-something, and has been well used and loved. I particularly love it because it’s so nice and deep – so I can put lots of yummy stuff in my quiche.
Note: you could totally put the potato crust up the sides of the pan. I just wasn’t in the mood for that this time, so didn’t.
Go ahead and take it out of the oven and set it aside. You don’t want it piping hot when you have the filling ready.
Moving on to the filling. I start with bacon – a wonderful place to start, don’t you think?
I took 8 slices and just cut them up into little strips. It’s so easy to do it this way. Once it’s cut up, throw it in the frying pan and cook until they’re nice and brown – but not so brown that they’re super dry.
Then I remove the bacon to a paper towel lined bowl, leaving the drippings behind in the pan. You’re gonna need those drippings!
Now comes the love…
Is there anything more fabulous than a sautéed Vidalia onion?
I think not!
Again – I remove the contents, not the bacon drippings.
Next, the mushrooms. I always debate whether or not to add mushrooms to my quiche. Some of the time I do, some of the time I don’t. The reason I hesitate? Well – it’s the texture. But since this quiche has bacon in it – say, opposed to some diced black forest ham – it’s already a little bulky, so the mushrooms are no biggie. If this were the black forest ham rendition, I’d probably throw some spinach in there with the sautéed onions and call it perfection.
Back to the mushrooms. Yes, there are bacon drippings in there, but not a whole lot left, so I added a couple of tablespoons of butter to aid in the whole sautéing effort.
You don’t want to cook these down to shoe leather or anything. Just enough to soften them up and give them the opportunity to suck in some of that buttery/baconey goodness.
Here are our toppings:
Now it’s time for cheese.
Here’s the thing – you can use any old cheese you want. I’ve used cream cheese, various Spanish cheeses, goat cheese, cheddar, co-jack, muenster, jarlsburg – you name it, I’ve probably thrown it in a quiche. They’re all fabulous. Just choose cheese that complements your other ingredients.
For this quiche I used some Monterey Jack and some Swiss cheese.
I would normally have a block of Swiss on hand that I would grate, but I found an insanely cheap package of sliced Swiss at the grocery store the other day and brought it home. Sliced is fine!
Now is when you start layering.
First – sprinkle a little bit of the Monterey Jack on top of the potato crust, then top it with the Swiss.
Now add the bacon:
Next the onions:
And then the mushrooms:
Now more cheese – Swiss first this time:
And then the Monterey Jack:
Easy so far, right?
It just stays that way… Now for the rest.
You’re going to need six fresh eggs.
These were laid yesterday and today. See that dark speckled egg on the right in the front? BB laid that one – her eggs are SO fabulous!
Crack those eggs into a container that you can mix the eggs in easily. I have a stick blender that I love that came with a fabulous container that is perfect for this application!
This container has markings up to 24 ounces. The eggs take up about 8 ounces, then I fill the balance up to the 24 ounce mark with heavy cream.
Now blend those babies until they are as smooth as can be. It takes a good two or three minutes with the stick blender to get the consistency that I want to see.
Time to put everything together!
Now – insider tip.
Put the pan with the oven.
NO – I did not skip a step.
See? Put the pan in the oven:
NOW… pour the egg/cream mixture in the pan. Like so:
Now you need to find something else to do for an hour. Yep, it takes a whole hour to bake. But that’s okay – there are dishes to wash, laundry to fold, kids to nag to clean their rooms, chickens to chase… The time will fly.
And soon – you’ll find this in your oven:
Isn’t it pretty?
The real key here is to make sure that when you jiggle the pan GENTLY that you don’t see any movement. You want it to be just set up.
I go so far as to use a toothpick to make sure it is:
Exactly as it should be – the toothpick will come out clean. (Yes, sorry – I have Blu-Kote on my thumb nail! A chicken keeper’s work is never done! And yes, it can take WEEKS to wear off!)
Now all you have to do is wait for it to cool a bit before you can dig in.
That is the hard part!
Voila! You have now made an amazing quiche – it wasn’t hard at all, was it? You’re going to make it more often, aren’t you? Nod your head up and down. You will – I know you will, as soon as you have a bite of this luscious treat!
And just so you know – I make a quiche about once every week or so. I cut it up into 8 pieces once it’s cooled some, cover it and put it in the refrigerator. Then, every morning I take it out, take a piece from the quiche, put it on a plate and microwave it for about a minute to 90 seconds – and I then have a fabulous breakfast with little or no effort!
Warning: others will find out how marvelous this is and will want some, too. Be prepared to make quiche on a regular basis!
Potato Crusted Quiche
1.5 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shredded white cheese (your choice)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a bowl, mix together hash browns, beaten egg, and shredded cheese.
- Press hash brown mixture into a pie plate, covering as much of the surface as possible.
- Bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes. There will be some browning at the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 slices bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
12 mushrooms, sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
- Cook diced bacon in medium pan until it is cooked through and fairly browned. You don’t want it super crispy. When cooked through, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside – leaving the drippings in the pan.
- Sauté thinly sliced onion in the bacon pan. Cook until translucent and beginning to brown. Remove onions from the pan and set aside – leaving the drippings in the pan.
- Sauté the mushrooms in the bacon pan. Add the butter, cooking the mushrooms just until they have tenderized. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Sprinkle half of the Monterey Jack and Swiss cheeses on top of the crust.
- Now layer the bacon, onions, and mushrooms on top of the cheeses.
- Sprinkle the remaining Swiss and Monterey Jack cheeses in the pan.
- In a bowl, combine the eggs and heavy cream. Beat until thoroughly incorporated and smooth.
- Place the pan with crust, fillings, and cheeses in the oven.
- Now pour the egg/cream mixture into the pan.
- Bake at 350 F for 50 to 60 minutes – until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool slightly before cutting.