Monday, May 4, 2015

Quiche Cheshire

Quiche Lorraine is a savory egg tart that was developed in the French province of Lorraine. A true peasant food, it celebrates the seasonal bounty of eggs and the return of fresh vegetables in the spring.

Quiche Cheshire follows in its footsteps with ingredients and flavors grown right here in the Monadnock region using delicious pasture-raised eggs and early spring vegetables along with some earthy bacon or ham and delicious cheese
Makes one 9-inch quiche, serves 6 to 8.

Six eggs
½  pound bacon or ¼ pound ham
1 cup whole milk
One large onion or one bunch scallions or two or three shallots
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or swiss cheese
Three cups of chopped spinach

A dash of salt

One pie crust -- use your favorite recipe or a use a frozen crust from the store. For bonus points, make your pastry with local flour and local lard

preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pre-bake pie crust for 10 to 15 minutes at 350, until it’s just starting to brown. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust or use weights to keep the bottom of the crust flat.

Dice onions or shallots or chop scallions medium fine (about ¼ inch)
Remove stems from spinach (save them for stock) and chop into thin strips (chiffonade)
In a large skillet, fry bacon to a crisp, remove and drain on paper towel or paper grocery bag. Reserve fat. Let bacon cool and crumble or chop into small pieces. If using ham, dice finely and set aside.

Sauté onion, scallions, or shallots in the bacon fat (or olive oil or butter) with a dash of salt. Add crumbled bacon or diced ham. When the onions are nearly translucent, add spinach and quickly stir until wilted. Spread the mixture in the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust.

Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over the layer of meat and vegetables.

In a medium mixing bowl or using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and milk until thoroughly combined and smooth. Pour over meat and vegetables in the pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the top of the quiche is golden brown and the egg mixture is thoroughly cooked in the middle.

Hints and variations

Serve with lightly steamed asparagus or a green salad.

Variations could include using leftover chicken in place of the ham or bacon. Replace the spinach with chard or baby kale. Add other vegetables as the season progresses, such as broccoli, sliced tomatoes, and green peppers.

Quiche freezes well, and it’s not a lot of extra work to make a double recipe.

Delicious any time of the day -- breakfast, lunch, or supper

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