Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mushroom Quiche

I love the holidays and I love traditions. When we lived in Germany, people always asked if we were homesick, especially during the holidays. I wasn't. I could tell you with utter happiness what my family would be doing on Christmas day, exactly what they would be doing, in order, hour by hour. It's the same, every year.

I'm so excited to be back and to share family, our traditions and the holidays with our Chef's Helper. His first Christmas! We've wrapped a couple of presents for him, and a couple of books he already owned. I think I'm going to wrap a couple extra empty boxes, as I hear kids at this age just love to unwrap. The present thing wont really be understood by him.

While we won't be celebrating with Tim's family, we will be thinking of them and sharing some of their family traditions. Every Christmas, for breakfast, Tim's mom made quiche (amongst other foods). I love, love, love quiche. I made this quiche for last years festivities (recognize the German kitchen in the background?), and have since made it at least 10 times. It's a solid recipe. Plus, I find most people like mushrooms. Not so with spinach or meat.

As I don't own pie weights, I improvised... dried beans create the same effect, and then I store those used beans in a ziploc for the next pie crust need. You can reuse them for... years?

I hope you are enjoying the holidays, surrounded by loved ones. And I hope you are feasting in delicious traditions.

Happy, happy days to you!

Mushroom Quiche
from Simply Recipes

1 recipe pie dough
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1 pound assorted mushrooms, quartered or sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
Pinch nutmeg
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups) - I used emmentaler/swiss

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Fit into a 10-by-1 1/2-inch round tart pan (with or without a removable bottom)(Note from Laura: I used a 9 inch pie plate, worked fine), pressing dough into corners. Transfer to freezer to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line pastry with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil, pressing into the corners and edges. Fill at least two-thirds with baking weights - dried beans, rice, or aluminum pie weights. Bake first for 15 minutes, remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Carefully remove parchment paper and weights. Poke the bottom of the pie pan with the tongs of a fork and return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until lightly golden. (Fork holes are for any air to escape.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool while making filling.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add shallots, and cook, stirring, until translucent but not brown, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms first release their liquid and then liquid evaporates and mushrooms are dark golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Place tart pan on a baking sheet to catch any run-off there might be (especially if you are using a pan with a removable bottom.) Sprinkle half the cheese evenly over the bottom of the crust. Spread mushrooms over the cheese and then top with remaining cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, and eggs. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour over cheese. Transfer to oven, and bake until just set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 6-8.

Can't get enough quiche? Try these:
- Crustless Broccoli and Cheese Quiche
- Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche with Brown Rice Crust, from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
- Spinach and Feta Quiche, from A Veggie Venture
- Zucchini and Tomato Quiche, from Chez Megane

Guten appetit!

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