My mother had cooking phases during my life. When I was really little, she made vegetarian everything. We filled colorful plates and bowls with vegetable-laden pastas, chilies, stratas, and her super-cinnamon-y coffee cake. When I think back to those days, I wish I had staked my claim then and there on those dishes to use for my kids someday. Eating anything out of a shocking yellow bowl or a vivid orange plate is fun. They would totally eat their vegetables!
During her second marriage there were clear plates and meatloafs. There were STUFFED BELL PEPPERS (ick) and gravy-topped pork chops. But during my early childhood, there were bright melamine dishes. And there were quiches.
One of my favorite fillings for quiche is the rag-tag team of leek, mushroom, and parmesan. Want it to be substantial enough for dinner? Just add potato! Want a boy to eat it? One word: BACON. With enough bacon, my man will eat anything. Armed with this knowledge, I set out to make my first quiche all by myself. I turned to Saint Julia for the crust recipe because I rarely trust myself to stray far from tradition on things like crusts.
The versatility and leftover-friendliness of quiches comes from the freedom to fill them however you want. So if you are missing an egg or are just short on milk, no problem. And if you adore scallions or can’t find good leeks, swap out as you please. If you’re a vegetarian (Hi Mom!), omit the bacon. Trust me, there’s plenty of flavor without it. Tell me your combos in the contents!
Crust (adapted from Julia Child and modified only slightly because it IS Julia Child)
1 1/4 C AP flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3 Tbsp ice cold water
You should know that I have a big ole honkin’ tart pan. Like, who am I? Why did I think I needed this? But at the same time it works well for me as I’m not huge on crusts and prefer a larger ratio of filling. Deb at smittenkitchen used this same Julia crust for her leek and port mushroom quiche and apparently wanted a different ratio too. So modify your crust as you see fit.
Preheat your oven to 400. Dig out your food processor and dump in the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse to combine. Add cubes of butter straight from the freezer. It will look very loose, but don’t worry that’s what the water is for! If your processor has a feed tube, pour the water through while it is running. Otherwise, add in small doses and pulse until the dough holds just together. The amount of water you need will depend on the humidity, how you measured your flour, and what you ate for breakfast that morning. Okay maybe not that last one. Chill the dough for an hour or so before quickly rolling it out on a floured surface and gently working it into the tart pan. For my dough, I can just barely get even coverage and that’s fine with me. Line it with foil and pierce holes all over with a fork. Place pie weights or dry beans in the foil and blind bake for 8 to 9 minutes. When done, lower the baking temperature to 375.
3 red potatoes, boiled and sliced
6 slices bacon (use whichever you like best, but we like turkey bacon for this)
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
1 lb white or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2/3 C milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Fry up the bacon until crispy in a large saucepan. Set aside. Saute the leek in melted butter and leftover bacon fat over medium heat. When they are translucent and fragrant, sprinkle in salt and pepper and add sliced mushrooms. The mushrooms don’t need to cook too much, just absorb excess fat and heat through. When they are finished, set aside.
Now whisk together eggs and milk. Add salt, pepper, and leek and mushroom mixture. At this point you’ll want to lay the slices of potato on the bottom of the tart pan. Try to get even coverage. Now crumble bacon into the bowl and stir together. Pour into the tart crust and top with parmesan shavings. I use about a fourth of a cup but it’s up to you. Bake for 20-35 minutes. I know it’s a large gap in cooking time, but your tart pan might be way smaller or way deeper than the one I use so these things will vary. You might also find it works better to lower the temperature if your tart pan is deep.
It smells so good, is healthy, and reminds me of my childhood and my mama. Sigh.
And then my boyfriend put hot sauce on it.