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Cooking in the House - Quiche Lorraine


The traditional Quiche Lorraine is a rich dish using crispy fried bacon and Swiss cheese. The family discovered that other cheeses work equally well, and a lower-fat version is quite tasty too. My original Betty Crocker cookbook called for two cups of cream, but it is still certainly rich enough if half milk is used. Even then, it’s still plenty rich!


This year, I’ll add Herbed Potatoes to the menu again; they were a hit last year. I had experimented and discovered that red potatoes, with their lower moisture content than baking potatoes, don’t bake up well at all, so I now steam the red potatoes first. This can even be done the day before; after the potatoes have cooled, they can be more easily sliced into wedges. I toss the wedges in a bit of olive oil, salt, and fresh herbs, before baking to a golden brown in the oven. Considering that the potatoes can be prepped ahead, a simple but delicious side dish can easily be served.


Serves 6-8


INGREDIENTS

Making the crust for this recipe in advance, freezing until needed, makes preparations a breeze on serving day. Bacon can also be cooked (and frozen) ahead of time; then tossing the last ingredients together is quick and easy. The recipe can be altered to suit tastes; a variety of cheeses can be substituted, although Swiss cheese is classic for the traditional Quiche Lorraine. Chopped onion can substitute for green onion, but green onion adds more color. To make a vegetarian version, substitute 1 c. sliced zucchini or 2 c. raw spinach for the bacon.


3-4 TBS. butter, cold

1 c. plus 1 TBS. flour

2 TBS. cold water

4 eggs

1 c. cream

1 c. milk

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne

5 to 8 oz. raw, lean bacon, fried up crisp (or substitute veggies)

4-5 oz. grated Swiss or other cheese (about 1 c.)


Preparation

Process into a coarse meal in a food processor: 3-4 TBS. butter, cold 1 c. plus 1 TBS. flour


(A fork or pastry cutter can also be used to “cut” the butter into the flour.) Next, add the water through the top of the processor while pulsing: 2 TBS. cold water


Pulse just until fairly mixed. Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap; if a pastry cloth is used, flour the cloth first. Let the dough rest a few minutes, then roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap. Remove one piece of wrap, lifting the crust into an 8-10” pie pan; ease the crust in and pinch top into decorative shape. Floured hands make forming the crust easier.

The crust may be frozen for weeks; no need to thaw it before adding filling and baking. To finish making the quiche, mix together the following: 4 eggs, 1 c. cream,1 c. milk, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/8 tsp. cayenne, 5 to 8 oz. raw, lean bacon, fried up crisp (or substitute veggies), 4-5 oz. grated Swiss or other cheese (about 1 c.)


Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Jennifer Cote, with husband Tom, opened The New Deli in Pinole, CA in 1985. Her cookbooks are available at the shop and online. More can be found at thenewdeli.com. Comments, questions? Email Jennifer at jennifer@thenewdeli.com.

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