I am THRILLED to bring you a guest post by Jean from Lemons and Anchovies. If you’ve never met Jean, you are in for a huge treat when you click the link to visit her site. The recipes are wonderful but those photos of hers keep my drooling my way back there again and again.
Jean lives in the San Francisco area and has access to every fresh food you can imagine and she takes advantage of it all. She’s got a top food blog so don’t miss it! You can follow Jean on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest and here’s her wonderful photos and recipe!
Hi, I’m Jean and I share my cooking adventures at Lemons & Anchovies. I’m so happy to be Maureen’s guest today. Since it’s a virtual visit, I’m imagining sitting at a table with Maureen and enjoying her sense of energy, humor and wit, not to mention the great food I’m sure she’d be serving. I didn’t come empty-handed either. I brought along one of my favorite dishes.
We’ve just welcomed autumn here in northern California and though we experience a change in seasons we don’t get the full autumn show that Mother Nature performs for other parts of the country. October mornings are crisp but daytime temperatures can still reach mid- to high 70s. I do have one lone red oak tree in my yard whose leaves have turned a beautiful crimson, the biggest sign of the new season in my neck of the woods.
But while my mind has finally warmed to the idea of leaving summer behind, spring is another story. To me, spring means fresh, new, bright and it never gets old. Soon enough I’ll be simmering hearty stews on the stove so what a perfect opportunity to create something light and festive for this visit. I made quiche.
Quiche is the ideal take-along dish, don’t you think? It’s easy to prepare and so flexible. In this version I added some of my favorite ingredients: asparagus, mushrooms and bacon. Milk, eggs and cheese round out the filling but this quiche is not cloyingly rich. I tried to balance out the flavors so that you can enjoy the entire individual-size portion from the first bite to the last. And the pastry crust? Perfectly flaky without being greasy.
So c’mon. Pull up a chair and join me and Maureen. There’s plenty of food for everyone.
Maureen, thanks so much for having me over! It was such great fun to be able to visit you and your readers!
- 1 – 1¼ cups all-purpose flour (140 – 175 grams; 145 grams is what I use)
- 7 tablespoons (3½ ounces, 105 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used crimini but you can use whatever you’d like)
- ¼ onion, chopped
- 4-5 stalks asparugus, sliced in roughly ¼-inch pieces
- Olive oil for sautéing
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ – ½ cup half-n-half (regular milk would be fine)
- 2 ounces cheddar cheese (I used a Microplane so the cheese grates more finely)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Start with the smaller portion of flour; 145 grams works great for me.
- Process the flour, butter and salt in a food processor until the mixture is the texture of coarse crumbs, about 10-15 seconds.
- Add the ice water and pulse just until the pastry begins to hold together, about 6 – 10 pulses. Be sure not to let the mixture form into a ball.
- Transfer the pastry to a plastic wrap, flatten and form into a disk (Add 1 tablespoon at a time of the remaining flour if the dough seems too sticky). Since I was going to use the dough for two individual quiches, I split the dough in two, formed each into a disk and wrapped separately in plastic wrap to make it easier to roll later.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- Cook the bacon pieces in a small pan until crisp.
- Transfer to a small plate lined with a paper towel. You can drain the rendered bacon fat or use olive oil to cook the vegetables in the same pan. Your choice.
- Sauté the onion over medium-high heat for a minute or two then add the mushrooms and asparagus. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cook the veggies until the mushrooms are slightly caramelized, 5-6 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon (to leave behind any liquid/oil remaining in the pan), transfer the cooked veggies to a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and half-and-half. I like a pretty moist quiche so I used ½ cup but you can use ⅓ cup if you prefer a firmer quiche.
- Once the dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Lightly flour your workspace and roll out each dough thinly. I used mini springform pans that are 4½ inches wide and 1½ inches deep.
- Spray the pans with nonstick spray and arrange the dough in the pans. Since I like this crust, I didn’t trim the excess and just tucked the overhang inside the pan (This will also compensate for any shrinkage in the dough).
- Pierce the surface of the dough with a fork, line loosely with foil and fill the bottom with pie weights or dried beans.
- Par-bake the shells until the edges just start to turn brown, about 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
- Cool for a few minutes before filling.
- If you are using springform pans like I did, make sure to wrap the bottom of the pans tightly in foil to prevent the egg/milk mixture from leaking. If you are using another type of tart pan this step is not necessary.
- Divide the bacon and veggie mixture between the two pans and arrange evenly on the bottom.
- Add most of the cheese to make the second layer, leaving behind just enough to top the quiche.
- Divide the egg/milk mixture between the two pans and top with the remaining cheese. If you are using similar springform pans, the filling ingredients will be enough to fill to the top of the par-baked crust. If you are using tart pans that won’t be as deep, you may have a little extra. Just something to keep in mind.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the quiche is golden. The inside will still be a little jiggly in the middle but this is okay.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Are you hungry yet? It’s Spring in Australia and the asparagus is fantastic. I can’t wait to put this on our table and maybe I’ll have to eat them both. Thanks so much, Jean, I can only hope to take photos half as good as yours!