1.16.2010

swiss chard and zucchini quiche

quiche with swiss chard, zucchini, and goat cheese Quiche needs to be given some due recognition. It seems like one of those items which sits on top of the cafe display case, awaiting someone to love it, but alas, it seems to remain oh so very lonely. And I can't really blame anyone, but after it sits, it just gets a little less fluffy, puffy, and can be just a little bit rubbery. Rediscovering the quiche is a little like rediscovering butter and sugar, after years of avoiding it; you soon find that you really shouldn't live without it. It is good, and can even contain a few good things, not only eggs, but greens, onions, and herbs too. I'll be the first to admit that making the crust can make a little mess on the counter and the floor, but once the aroma of the herbs, cream, cheese, lightly sauteed vegetables and pastry start to waft through the air, it will seem like an effortless clean-up. I have to admit that I completed cheated on making the pastry dough. I used a Julia Child recipe, and the recipe said I could use the food processor to combine the ingredients. So I did. And perhaps, I overused it, as it did not need anymore mixing after that. Plus, I also forgot to chill the lard. But hey, it worked out flawlessly. If you have the "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", Julia's instructions are very good; I have have adapted it below. I adore quiche for dinner, and prefer to have it with a tangy green salad and a glass of wine, but it definitely makes for excellent leftovers. As Julia says, especially nice for a picnic. Do be sure to find some fresh thyme, and the Chèvre, as they are truly the two ingredients that make this quiche lip-smackingly sublime. Quiche Crust (makes 2) 2 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp sugar 3/4 cup of butter, chilled and cut into centimeter's-cubed bits 4 Tbsp shortening (I did not chill it) 1/2 cup of iced water 1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, butter, and shortening in the food processor, for about 10 seconds. Have the iced water ready, and pour it into the top of the machine all at once, with the machine running. The dough will begin to form a ball. Be very careful not to overmix the dough, but do be sure it has just combined, no more. A few more drops of water can be added if needed. 2. Remove the dough from the food processor. 3. Place the dough on a lightly floured counter top. Using the heel of your hand, push the dough away from you in a smear to ensure everything is combined. If the dough is quickly becoming warm, stop immediately. 4. Knead the dough into a smooth round ball. Sprinkle with flour, and cover with wax paper. Place it in the freezer for 1 hour or refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. 5. To roll out the dough, you must work very quickly. Ensure that the filling oven is preheated, and the bottom or the pie plate or flan mold (bottom lifts up) is already buttered. 6. Cut the ball of dough in half (makes 2 crusts). Beat the ball of dough with a rolling pin to soften it. Begin to knead it into a circle; it should be malleable enough to roll without cracking. 7. Lightly flour the rolling pin, the dough, and underneath the dough. Begin to roll out the dough, by pushing away from you, and only to within a few centimeters of the far edge. Carefully lift the dough, and turn it to a different angle. 8. Continue to roll out the dough, turning it occasionally, until it is about 4-6 centimeters larger than the pan. 9. Carefully roll the dough onto the rolling pin, and reverse roll it over the mold. 10. Starting in the corners of the pan, lightly push the dough into the edges. Ensure that the bottom of the pan has dough that is flat, and the dough is securely pushed into the corners. Leave some excess at the top edges. To trip the edges, roll the rolling pin over the top of the mold, and peel the dough away. 11. Line the pastry with a buttered aluminum foil, and fill it with beans. 12. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the crust in the middle of the oven, on a baking sheet (easier to remove with the removable bottom) for 8-9 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, and prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes, just until the crust is beginning to colour. Quiche Filling 2 medium-large onions 1 small chopped zucchini, sautéed, butter an olive oil and salted 1 bunch chopped sautéed swiss chard, salt 3 large eggs 2/3 cup whipping cream grated nutmeg fresh thyme leaves 2 tbsp fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup Chèvre, goat cheese (a little whipped cream cheese is also nice) 1/4 cup butter chopped into pea-sized pieces extra virgin olive oil, for sautéeing butter, for sauteeing kosher salt 1. Dice the onions. Using a 10-inch sauté pan, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and bring the pan to medium-high heat. Add the onions. Immediately lower, the heat to medium low, and season the onions with salt. Continue to cook the onions until they are evenly golden throughout, and very tender, likely an hour. Lower the heat if the onions begin to brown, over caramelize. 2. Remove the onions from the pan, and set aside. 3. Dice the zucchini into small triangles. On medium high heat, add a 1/2 tbsp of butter, and 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in the sauté pan. Once the butter begins to foam, and is about to brown, add the zucchini and quickly continue to move the pan until the zucchini has just a little golden colour. Try to keep the inner part of the zucchini to remain a little crunchy, as it will continue to cook when removed from the heat, and when it is added to the quiche. 4. Thoroughly wash and chop the swiss chard. Remove some of the larger stems, and be sure to chop the smaller stems into no larger than centimeter-sized pieces. Drizzle a little olive oil, into the saute pan, and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the swiss chard, and a tablespoon of water. Using tongs, move the chard around, so that it wilts evenly. Season with kosher salt. This will take only 30 seconds, to 1 minute. Remove from the pan, and set aside. 5. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, and whipping cream. Beat with a whisk, until a little light and fluffy. Add a little grated nutmeg, fresh thyme leaves, and the chopped parsley. 6. Add the goat cheese (and/or whipped cream cheese) in bite size chunks to the mixture. 7. Gently stir in the onions, zucchini, and swiss chard. Add another 1/2 tsp of kosher salt. 8. Carefully add all of the egg mixture to the tart shell, and the pea-size pieces of butter to the top. (Just trust, me it seems excessive, but adds an incredible depth of flavour to the dish) 9. Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven, for 25-30 minutes, until slightly puffed and hinting at browned. 10. Let it cool on a rack, just enough for a minute. Serve immediately, while beautifully puffed. Excellent with a citrus enhanced green salad.

6 comments:

daring one said...

Be still my heart. I can't wait to try this.

A Year on the Grill said...

don't tell anyone, it'll ruin my image... I love quiche

Jenious said...

I adore the versatility of quiche. You combine a rewarding blend of flavors in this recipe.

Kevin Kossowan said...

Thank you for the reminder. We love it, and I never make it, and the pork lard I rendered yearns for it.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Hubby loves quiche. But unless I have a crust already on the go I tend to skip it and make it crustless. Not as good, but another easy dinner.

Caroline said...

Okay - this looks fab! I so love quiche and would love to make this - and I would use Kamut khorasan flour in my crust for sure. It looks like it has sooo many awesome nutrients already but I wonder if I could add spinach? Have you tried that? Thanks for the recipe - cannot wait!

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