Monday, February 27, 2006

Broccoli & Porcini Mushroom Quiche

Click image to enlarge.

I have not yet conquered the art of rolling out the perfect dough which my mother has down to a science. When I first made quiche, I cheated a little by pressing out the dough in the quiche pan instead of rolling it out and placing it in the pan. Well I've made it the same way ever since. It's easy, there are no risks of a dough disaster when moving the rolled out dough to the quiche pan. My feeling is "If it ain't broke don't fix it." If you have any fears about rolling out dough, don't buy the crust. Try this easy alternative. Your guests will appreciate the extra mile you went to make the crust from scratch.

Broccoli & Porcini Mushroom Quiche

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Ingredients:

For the crust:
(From the cookbook, "The Enhanced Broccoli Forrest...and other timeless delicacies" - available at barnesandnoble.com and other bookstores)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup flour
Dash of salt
Up to 3 tbs. of cold milk
1 cup grated cheese (gruyère or emmanthaler recommended)

For the filling: (you can vary this part and use whatever vegetables you like)
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped porcini mushrooms, fresh or dried (if dried, reconstitute in hot water or broth for about 1/2 hour)
5 -7 scallions, chopped (just use white part of the scallion)
1 Tbs. fresh thyme
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

For the custard mixture:
3 eggs (4 if you use a straight-sided quiche pan)
1 cup milk (1 1/2 cups milk if you use a straight-sided quiche pan)


How to:

For the crust:
1. Use a pastry cutter, 2 forks or a food processor fitted with a steel blade, to cut together the butter pieces and the flour until they are a uniform substance resembling corn meal. Add salt.
2. As you stir with a fork (or as the food processor runs), add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough sticks to itself readily. (Push the dough into itself in the center of the bowl as you stir. Stop adding liquid as soon as the dough holds together. Varying humidity affects the amount of liquid needed.)
3. You can chill the dough (wrap it well) to roll it out later, you can roll it out right away or you can "cheat" like I do and press the dough into the pan, spread it across the surface and up the sides of the quiche pan.

For the filling:
(This is just one variation for the filling. Uou can use asparagus, tomato slides, artichokes, spinach - whatever you like.)
1. Sauté the scallions in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for a couple of minutes
2. Add in the broccoli and mushrooms; sauté until the broccoli has wilted a bit but is not limp (3 - 4 minutes)
3. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste
4. IMPORTANT STEP: Sprinkle the grated cheese on the bottom of the crust in the pan BEFORE you add the filling. This is important because the melted cheese creates a moisture-resistant barrier between the crust and the filling so your crust doesn't get soggy.
5. Add the mushroom/broccoli filling

For the custard filling:
1. Beat the eggs and add the milk. Pour over the filling in the quiche pan.

Bake quiche for 35 - 40 minutes or until the top is nicely browned. Serve with a nice salad at room temperature or cold. Makes great second-day leftovers. Enjoy!

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