Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Real Men DO Eat Quiche: French Onion Quiche




In 1982 a little satirical book called “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” was published and for whatever reason became an overnight success. Although I never read it, rumor had it that it made fun of men who not only ate quiche but had the audacity to cook it themselves and clean the kitchen up afterward. How dare these “less than real men” enjoy being creative in the kitchen?

I think today we might call the guys referenced in this book metro-sexual and I bet they would happily own their affection for quiche. Thank goodness for evolution. Anyway, back then all the hoopla over this book introduced a whole new generation in this country to the deliciousness that is baked eggs in a flaky pastry crust.

Thanks to this silly little book the popularity of this dish soared. At that time there wasn’t a café that didn’t have a quiche of the day listed on their menu. Soon after the mini quiche was born and became a staple on every happy hour and wedding buffet table for years. Thirty years later, there is still the rare quiche listed on the occasional French café menu but nothing like the popularity of its 80’s heyday and I really miss it, so I’m doing something about it.

Today I’m offering you a recipe for a wonderful quiche. It’s loaded with aromatic ingredients that when blended together make a dish so flavorful that it is perfect for a light lunch or a hearty dinner. The best part is I even guarantee that “real” men will love it, so join me in saving this great dish from extinction and bake a quiche today.


Savory Herbed Pastry Crust

1 – 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
4 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
4 – 6 tablespoons ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, process the flour, butter, shortening, salt, thyme, sage and Parmesan cheese; pulse to combine. The contents should look similar to cornmeal. With the processor turned on, add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Dust a clean dry surface liberally with flour. Turn the dough out on the floured surface and roll out to 1/4” thickness that will cover a 9” glass pie pan. Lay dough into the pie pan, trim (leaving a 1/2" overhang), turn excess under at the edge, and flute edges; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay an oversized piece of foil on top of the crust. Pour a cup or so of dried beans or pie weights over the foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove foil and pie weights, fill and bake as needed.

Makes one 9" deep dish crust



French Onion Quiche

5 slices bacon
1/2 medium size onion, thinly sliced across
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
6 large eggs
2/3 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
2 ounces shredded Asiago (I like the flavor of Asiago but if it isn't available increase the Swiss or Gruyere to 6 ounces)
1 - 9-inch Flaky Herbed Pastry crust (recipe above) partially baked and still warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fry the bacon in a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat until almost crispy. Transfer bacon to a cutting board and chop into small pieces; set aside.

Drain all but about one tablespoon of the bacon from the pan. Return the pan to medium high heat and sauté onions in the bacon drippings until they are soft and almost transparent; add the garlic and thyme and sauté for one minute longer, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt, and pepper; set aside.

Spoon the onion mixture evenly into a partially cooked pastry case followed by the bacon and the cheese. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the top of all.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 40 to 50 minutes or until the middle is set and golden brown. Cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving. This is delicious served warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6.
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