Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Best Vegetable Quiche

So, I am allergic to egg whites. I know...

But my allergy is only a 2 out of a 4, meaning I won't die, but I may feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, eggs are one of my favorite things and I still eat them all the time because I just can't help myself. One of my favorite egg dishes is a good quiche. You don't want an overwhelming, dense, cheesy block. A quiche should have flavor and be light and fluffy.

For this dinner, I made quiche the main dish. Because why can't it be my night time star? If you want to add meat to this, it would also work. I suggest pork; bacon, ham, or pancetta. Make sure to cut down on the salt in the egg mixture if you are adding a salty, fatty meat.

This recipe is adapted from allrecipes.com, Easy Broccoli Quiche.

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced (you really benefit from fresh garlic here)
1.5 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
1.5 cups diced tomatoes
1 unbaked puff pastry
1 1/2 cups rough chopped colby jack cheese (or mozzarella)
5 eggs, well beaten
1 cup 2 percent milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Make sure you also take your puff pastry out of the freezer and have it defrosting. You do not want to try to unfold cold puff pastry as it will break. 
Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Dice your onion and add it to the melted butter first. Next, dice your mushrooms and tomatoes and add them to the pan. Last, mince your fresh garlic and it to the pan. You want to sweat the vegetables. And don't forget to add salt and pepper to taste; your vegetables have to also be seasoned. Make sure to cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft.

Once the vegetables are done, hurt off the heat and leave them in the pan. We need to make the quiche base. Add the 5 eggs to a large bowl and whisk them together. Next add the milk and cream. Whisk until the eggs and milk are thoroughly incorporated. Add salt and pepper, about a tsp each. Last, add the melted butter. Whisk thoroughly.

Its time to add the cheese. I like to rough chop my cheese because I want chunks of gooey deliciousness in my quiche. For a scramble, the cheese flavor is better done incorporated throughout the egg. But for a quiche, you want to be able to see and differentiate what you are putting into your egg base. For this, I like to buy sliced cheese, because you can stack the cheese, slice it further, and then have ribbons of cheese goodness all throughout your quiche. Let me show you...

Colby Jack Cheese slices, stacked. Sliced one way (about 7 cuts), and then sliced once in half. Aka my ribbons of cheese.
You could use shredded cheese if you like and switch the cheese up. I just suggest not a super pungent cheese. You have a lot of flavor coming elsewhere, and you don't want the cheese to over power the dish. You could also dice the cheese into chunks if you like. Once done slicing, add the cheese directly to the egg mixture.

Your puff pastry should be defrosted by now. You want to use a deeper pan, so I opted for a rectangular pan for my quiche. If you like the circle shape, go for that. Make sure to trim the edges of the pastry so its nice and neat. Whichever shape you use, use a rolling pin to roll out the puff pastry just a little so it fits to your shape. For me, I don't like doughy sides. I prefer to only have a bottom crust layer to keep this dish light.

Bake the puff pastry ON ITS OWN for 7 minutes. We want it to puff up a bit, and get a little crispy. While that is baking, you want to add your vegetables to the egg and cheese mixture. They should be cooled by now. The last thing you want is to add hot vegetables and to cook the egg in the bowl. Gross. Mix all the ingredients together. Once the pastry is done, pour the egg mixture on top, and place it in the oven.

Baking time should be about 40 minutes. You want the top to brown, but the rest of the mixture to not be liquidy. If you stick a knife through the middle, there should be no residue. BUT you still want the dish to have a little bit of movement when you give it a little shake, just not be raw. If it doesn't move at all, you have overcooked it.

Slice it up and enjoy! If you are eating it as a main dish, I suggest doing a simple green salad accompaniment, try arugula and kale, with only a drizzle of vinegar and olive oil. Delicious!

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