So You Forgot to Eat at Your Wedding? Have Some Quiche.

9 Aug

One of my favorite parts of our wedding last summer was the backyard brunch my parents hosted the next morning. It was nice to have the chance to catch up with everyone in a more relaxed setting and while not wearing several pounds of lace. And there was food. Glorious, glorious food. See, I had made Bride Mistake #1, the mistake I never should have made, because it had been drilled into my head by every wedding magazine and every friend who had been through it: I didn’t eat at the reception. We had a cocktail reception, so there was no designated time for me to grab a plate and sit down. I distinctly remember my matron of honor offering to fix me a plate and I distinctly remember saying, “Oh, no, don’t worry, I’ll get my own in a few minutes.” Midnight found me eating stale Oreos from a vending machine in my wedding gown while my much smarter and not hungry husband looked on and shook his head.

I tried my best, then, to do the brunch justice. I parked myself at a table and did not budge until I had made up for the reception and then some. But try as I might, my mother was left with six or seven quiches–spinach and mushroom, cheddar and bacon, ham…Lucky for us, the quiches froze well. The next day my parents drove us, our wedding gifts, and several quiches back to Chicago.

We had two days in the city before we were scheduled to leave for the honeymoon. During those two days we lived off quiche, wedding cake, extra bottles of champagne (did I mention there was extra champagne too?), and trippy Nicholas Cage movies.

So in honor of our first anniversary, I decided to try my hand at quiche. My recipe is basically a mashup of advice from Michael Ruhlman (caramelize your onions! shallots!), Julia Child (naturally), and my own kitchen. Technically, my kitchen did not provide advice, but I am becoming more and more averse to shopping trips for a single ingredient. Hence the 2% milk rather than cream, and a parmesan topping rather than a softer cheese incorporated throughout. And really, this is comfort food, which should be simple and flexible. But if you feel the need to use French cuisine to make you doubt yourself and the very world we live in,  try one of these. Which I, arrogant little thing, did for French class when I was in high school. It went…it went.

But live and learn, and celebrate with quiche instead.

Rustic* Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Quiche

  • 1 pastry crust , rolled out large enough to accommodate the high sides of a springform pan
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • a few tablespoons of butter
  • salt
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (cremini or button)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 oz ounces baby spinach
  • 2 cups milk (2%, whole, or cream–pick your poison)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan

the crust:

Unlike pies and cheesecakes, you can’t get away with not parbaking the crust, so preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Foil the seam of your springform pan and place a parchment circle in the center. Gently place the rolled crust over your springform and press it to the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim any excess from the top edge. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

Now, if you’ve got pie weights, you’re smarter than me. I ended up making a contraption that mostly worked. I wrapped a round cake pan slightly smaller than my springform with folded strips of aluminum foil until the sides touched the crust. There were a few puffy spots in the parbaked crust where the foil wasn’t perfectly flush with the sides, but that didn’t seem to hurt the final product.

Bake the crust for 30 minutes; set aside while you prepare the filling. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees.

the filling:

First, the onions: Melt a little butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion slices, toss to coat, add a little salt, and put the lid on. Keep covered for 10 minutes–this will give the onions time to steam themselves and get the caramelization process rolling.

After 10 minutes, remove the lid and turn the heat down to low-ish (a 2 on my gas range, not the “low” setting). The darker the onion, the sweeter and more complex the flavor, so give yourself enough time to get the onions where you want them. I kept mine on for about 35 minutes, stirring more frequently toward the end to prevent sticking. If you have some on hand, deglaze with a splash of red wine. Balsamic vinegar works well too.

When your onions are done, remove them from the pot and set aside. Melt another tablespoon of butter. Add the mushrooms and shallots and a little salt and cook over medium heat until the mushrooms have reduced by at least half–they should be soft, but not floppy. One round of mushrooms cooperated very nicely, but another batch produced much more liquid than usual. I couldn’t cook it off without overcooking the mushrooms, so I simply ladled it out. You don’t want too much liquid going in with your filling.

While the mushrooms are cooking, whisk together the milk, eggs, a little salt, and thyme in a bowl or large (at least 4 cup) measuring cup.

When the mushrooms are done, turn the heat off and put the onions back in the pot. Add the spinach and mix everything together. The spinach will wilt a bit. Spread the vegetables evenly in the parbaked crust. Pour the eggs/milk over the filling. (Note: depending on how much your onions and mushrooms cooked down, you might not be able to fit all the egg/milk mixture; the crust should accommodate at minimum 3 1/2 cups, though.) Sprinkle the parmesan over the top.

Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, or until the quiche is puffed and browned. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes before removing the springform and slicing. (Don’t worry, it will still be warm to serve.)

* Why am I calling it “rustic”? Because I can. And “rustic” things seem to be in vogue, so maybe it will improve my SEO. But mostly because it’s not one of those pretty quiches in a fluted tart pan. Which have their place, of course, and I’m sure this recipe could be halved to accommodate such a device.

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: