Thanksgiving has come and gone and the holidays are upon us all. This means there are only a few weeks left to shop, cook and attend gatherings! So the real question is: what do I bring to all of these festive events? Why not impress your friends and family with a quick and easy quiche?
In my house, Christmas morning is a time where loved ones get together, open presents and enjoy a large breakfast. When I was a kid, my mother wouldn't let us open presents on Christmas morning until we ate breakfast which usually involved eggnog and quiche. The wait was painful to say the least, but so worth it!
You are probably already familiar with quiche recipes that consist of a pastry crust filled with a mixture of beaten eggs and cream, but quiches can be made in many different flavors, shapes and sizes. Rich, savory ingredient like onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, bacon, ham, crab and other endless possibilities will keep your guests happy. You can make them in small muffin tins as hors d'oeuvres, medium tart pans or deep dish pie pans. Whether you like yours in a homemade, premade or puff pastry crust, quiche is the perfect make-ahead recipe for company, brunches, lunches and dinners.
As an interesting fun fact, the largest quiche on record was done by Chef Alain Marcotullio in Paris, France on November 22, 1997. This quiche consisted of 1,928 eggs, 125 quarts of milk and 156 pounds of bacon. It took 134 pounds of butter and 149 pounds of flour to make the crust and the whole thing had to be baked for 18 hours. It fed 125 people!
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I was thinking we
should "kick it up a notch" by making a real deep dish quiche using a spring form pan and a shredded hash brown crust. This is really going to be awesome!
Spinach, Pancetta, Fontina & Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash Brown Potato Crust
3 ounces spinach
8 ounces Italian Pancetta, Diced1/4"
2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for pan
1 pound package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
12 large eggs
Sea salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 cup half and half
6 ounces grated Fontina cheese
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (goat cheese crumbles easily if you freeze for about 30 minutes beforehand)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1. Place the diced pancetta into a skillet over medium high heat and sauté the pancetta until slightly crispy. Remove the pancetta from the pan but save the drippings to sauté the spinach.
2. Sauté the spinach in the same pan until it has wilted.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Spray a 9-by-2 1/2-inch spring form pan with cooking spray, then brush with butter. Line the sides of the pan with strips of parchment paper (the same height as pan); brush paper with butter - this part is essential - it will give you the lovely golden crust and keep the crust from sticking to your pan.
5. Place hash browns on 3-4 thicknesses of paper towels and fold paper towels over potatoes. Hold over sink and squeeze excess moisture from hash browns.
6. Remove hash browns from paper towel packet and place in a bowl with butter, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Pat into bottom and up sides of prepared pan, using your hands. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Place cooled Spinach on 3-4 thicknesses of paper towels and squeeze out excess liquid.
8. In a large bowl, whisk 10 remaining eggs, sour cream, half and half Fontina cheese, spinach, a pinch of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and1/4 teaspoon pepper until well combined. Pour into crust, and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and the diced pancetta. Bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove outer ring of spring form pan, and gently peel off parchment paper. Basically when the eggs have puffed up and it just barely has any jiggle left in it when you move it than it is done.
9. Allow the quiche to cool for 10 minutes and the eggs will settle a little, remove outer ring of spring form pan, and gently peel off parchment paper.
If you make this in a different size pan you may use more or less eggs and cooking time will vary depending on how deep dish you make yours.
Chef David Meador, executive chef at Renaissance on 9th, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org