Friday, February 12, 2010

Quiche, the language of love~

Love means Quiche this Valentine's Day.

Quiche has a history of being feminine or ...not for men! I first learned how to make Quiche when I visited my Grandmother one summer. My Grandmother had been a home economics teacher for years & told my sister & I we could cook anything we wanted that Summer. My sister & I tried our best to cook things which sounded different or exotic to our impressionable palettes. We chopped, sauteed & cooked our way through my Grandmother's vast library of cookbooks. Our endeavors were not limited either. Grandmother told us to choose recipes & would then purchase any ingredients she could locate in Greenville Texas in the mid 1970's. We used the old Royal typewriter to type out the recipes we wanted to replicate in the future. My sister & I felt like the reigning Cooking Queens that summer long ago. We certainly thought so anyway. Several years later when I was engaged to my husband I asked the future Mr. Texas to Mexico if he liked Quiche? He replied yes. I then told him "Great, I know how to make 4 things, Chili, Gumbo, Spaghetti Sauce & Quiche!" He was a man in love & very patient. I made those few things many times the first year we were married.

Considered part of French cuisine, quiche actually originated in Germany, in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, under German rule, and which under French rule was later renamed Lorraine. The word ‘quiche’ is from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake. Quiche is great for lunch, dinner or my family has enjoyed it for breakfast on occasion. I ran across my time worn, type written copy of Quiche Lorraine not too long ago. I thought fondly about the summer my sister & I were the cooking Queens in my Grandmother's kitchen.

Spanish Mushroom & Spring Onion Quiche
1/2 recipe Simple Pastry Dough
8 large eggs
2 cups plain low fat yogurt**
1 cup fat free half & half
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
8 oz. Chorizo, Mexican or Spanish
1 cup Crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 medium sized *Spring onions, tops & bulbs sliced
1 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese or Queso Chihuahua, shredded

On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into a 16-inch round. Brush off any excess flour; fit dough into a 2-inch deep-dish tart pan with a removable bottom, gently pressing it into the sides. Using a sharp knife, trim the dough evenly with the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap; chill tart shell until firm, about 20 minutes. (for my heart shaped pans I used 1 recipe cut into quarters, following the same instructions.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line the pastry dough with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Transfer to oven and bake until light brown, about 25 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper and continue baking until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together 1 egg and flour on high speed until smooth. Add the remaining 7 eggs and continue mixing until well blended.
In skillet, saute mushrooms & Spring onions till slightly tender, set aside & the use the same skillet to cook the chorizo till browned. Cut chorizo into bites if it is in sausage link form, otherwise cook & then drain well onto paper towels.
Place plain yogurt in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth; add half & half and continue whisking until well combined. Add to mixer along with salt, pepper, and thyme; mix until well combined.
Place chorizo, mushrooms, onions & cheese in prepared tart shell. Pour over egg mixture until tart shell is full (you may not need to use all of the egg mixture). Bake 20 minutes; reduce temperature to 325 degrees, and continue baking until filling is slightly firm, rather than liquid, and crust is a deep golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer quiche to a wire rack to cool until set, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. To reheat, cover quiche with aluminum foil and bake in an oven heated to 325 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Simple Pastry Dough
recipe for two 9 or 10 inch pie shells

1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup ice water
3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 cup(2 sticks)plus 5 Tbsp. very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

In a small bowl, mix together salt and water. Keep very cold until ready to use.
Place flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly until mixture forms large crumbs. Add the salt water mixture and continue pulsing until a dough has just formed but is not smooth.
On a lightly floured surface, evenly divide dough. Form each piece of dough into a round about 1 inch thick. Wrap each pastry round with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours and up to overnight. I have even frozen these prepped pie crusts for a few weeks in a Ziploc bag.

*Spring Onions are the onions which look like very large Green Onions. They have nice plump round bulbs & a very mild flavor.
**I began using plain yogurt when we lived in Mexico & creme fraiche was difficult to come by.


Chef E said...

Oh Dee, I want to so come raid your dish closet! I would be sitting at your house sipping coffee or tea, and eyeing the cabinets, lol!

No we would love each other to death I quiche is a great idea to slip in on the weekend love in meal...I have crust and egg ingredents, your brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Quiche sounds just wonderful and especially in that gorgeous pink heart shaped dish! Have a wonderful Valentine's dish!

Dee said...

Chef E-you & I have the same weakness for dishes & serving pieces! LOL! Thank you & you know we would:) 2 Texas gals with no lack of words!!!

5 Star-Thank you, You have a wonderful Valentine's Day too!

History of Greek Food said...

Savory quiche is a wonderful and easy dish. I love it.
Btw, quiche and cheese cake are based on ancient roman patina, a kind of crustless quiche.

Dee said...

History of Greek Food-I have to wonder if that is the origin of the Italian Easter pie? My girl friend used to make a wonderful version of that dish. It is all connected isn't it? Thanks!

Hornsfan said...

The Quiche is delicious, chorizo is a perfect addition :)