Friday, May 13, 2011


As promised, I've made a quiche.  If you're old enough to remember when the book Real Men Don't Eat Quiche came out, there's a chance you've never eaten the stuff.  If you're too young to remember those days, the chances are even better you've never had quiche.  This is a travesty.

For starters, the most famous quiche of all, Quiche Lorraine, is about as manly as food gets.  It's eggs, heavy cream, bacon, cheese and a little bit of onion.  Doesn't that sound delicious already?  Even better, it's baked and looks like a pie.  It's in a pie crust that, in a perfect world, would be made with lard.  That's right.  LARD.  What could be more manly that bacon, eggs and cheese in a lard-based crust?

Sadly, I did not take the time to make my own pie crust.  I used a frozen crust.  Sue me.  They're cheap, they're better than most homemade crusts, and they're very convenient.

My wife has a pie crust recipe that is fantastic.  I'm not kidding.  This is Blue Ribbon Pie Crust.  Literally.

The recipe's written down around here somewhere but if I published it I would become Public Enemy Number One in short order.  This is a recipe that's been handed down for at least three generations and is not for sharing.  I'm not a "secret recipe" kind of guy.  I'd tell you how to make anything I know how to make.  Even my professional chef brothers seem perfectly willing to share any and every recipe and technique they've got.  Maybe it's a woman thing.  In any case, this cheap frozen crust worked great.

You can find an endless number of quiche recipes online.  Mine is no revelation.  Really, it's the concept that counts.  Don't get the wrong perception, while Quiche Lorraine might not be the most health-conscious dish you've ever had, quiche does not have to be the least healthy dish in your repertoire.  You can find quiche recipes that use loads of spinach, no egg yolks, and no heavy cream.  They won't be as rich and delicious as the real thing, but it can be done.

The first quiche recipe I ever used was from the good old Betty Crocker cookbook.  It called for four eggs and two cups of heavy cream.  For me, with an egg:cream ratio like that it's more like a savory egg custard pie than a quiche.  It's delicious, but I prefer a closer to 50:50 egg:cream mixture.

I call this Quiche American.  Basically, it's Quiche Lorraine with Tillamook Medium Cheddar instead of Swiss cheese.

1/2 lb. Bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
1/4 lb. Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
5 eggs
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Salt & pepper

Cook the bacon.

You want it pretty crispy.  Certainly much more done than I prefer when eating it on its own with a fried egg or on a BLT.

Shred the cheese while the bacon cooks.  In keeping with the spirit of Chop Your Own, buy block cheese and grate it yourself.  This is a rule.  Shredded cheese has anti-caking agents that tend to mess with melting properties.  I won't lie and say I never buy shredded cheese, but I do shred my own cheese as much as I can.

Chop the onion.  The one-half cup measurement is a guess.  See the picture.  Use more or less according to taste.  As my brother Pete once told me with regard to his French Onion Soup recipe, "Use your brain.  It's not all in the recipe."

Crumble the bacon into the pie crust.

Put the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk lightly.  Add the cream.  Mix a little, but not much.  Be careful - you don't want whipped cream.  Season with salt & pepper.

I know, there are only four eggs in the bowl.  I thought that four eggs and 1 C. cream would be enough.  It wasn't  I ended up whisking another egg and 1/4 C. of cream and adding it to the crust after I realized I needed more liquid.

Add the cheese and onion, then pour the egg/cream mixture over the top.

You're going to bake this at 375 for about 45 minutes.  Put a cookie sheet under your pie crust just in case.  You don't want this stuff burning on the bottom of your oven.

The finished product:

Yes, it is delicious.

It makes an excellent breakfast the next day, too.  Some folks eat it cold but we usually heat it for 45 seconds or so in the microwave.  You can even freeze individual slices (wrapped tightly) for next week.  It won't freeze well long term.

I'm going to try to take some pics this evening as I make pizza...

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