Monday, July 21, 2008

Puff-Pastry Quiche Lorraine

I just spent the weekend eating in Charleston. Sure, we did other things like shop and lay out on the beach and play Celebrity 2-Word Tango with only musicians for an hour on the way home while translating rap lyrics into non-rap language, but we mostly ate and drank our way around Charleston. Let's just say that by the time we had our lunch of "fried" on Sunday afternoon, calorie content had stopped mattering completely, and we were hoping that some combination of fried pickles, fried shrimp, french fries, and fried flounder would absorb some of the leftover liquor that was probably in our systems and give us enough energy to make it home.

So, I resolved to try to eat healthy foods this week, and to make it to the gym. I didn't really accomplish either of those things today. Nor did I work on the proposal. Last time I tried to work on it, I sat there for 20 minutes, stared at it, and cried a little bit. If you've ever written a dissertation, you understand. It is kinda funny.

Dinner tonight ended up being healthy in that it used romaine hearts, spinach, and eggs. It was unhealthy in that it used eggs, a large amount of cheese, puff pastry, heavy cream, and pork fat, in solid and liquid form. I came up with:

Puff-Pastry Quiche Lorraine and Hearts of Romaine Salad with Dijon-Bacon Vinaigrette

For the quiche:
1 sheet frozen puff-pastry, thawed
4 eggs
about 1/2-3/4 cup milk (I didn't measure)
couple of tablespoons of heavy cream
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and liquids squeezed out
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg
3 strips bacon, cooked on the stove top and crumbled, bacon drippings reserved

Preheat oven to 350. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll with rolling pin until stretched large enough to fit a pie plate. In a 9 inch pie plate sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, arrange the sheet of puff pastry, on the bottom and up the sides, mashed into the plate gently.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in cheeses. Stir in spinach. Pour in prepared pie dish, and top with freshly grated parmesan. Bake for 35 minutes, cool for 10 before eating.

Dijon-Bacon Vinaigrette

Drippings from 3 slices of cooked bacon (about 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon grease)
2 teaspoons (approximately) Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Whisk ingredients together, pour over salad.

This was by far the best quiche I've ever made. It tasted like it had butter in it, and there was no butter except for what was in the puff pastry. The bacon added a nice crunch, and it was more spinach/cheese than egg, which I loved. The puff pastry got nice and crispy on the top, providing an adequate and flaky crust. Next time, I think I will make my own crust, or just pour it in a pre-bought pie crust.

The dressing was my first attempt at using bacon grease for anything, really. It did not disappoint! I considered using maple instead of honey, but I have a severe honey fetish, hence the use of it in the dressing. The white wine vinegar really balanced out the flavors nicely. I would have used red wine vinegar, but I think the bottle I have has gone rancid.

More posts later about the Charleston trip - especially about the deconstructed bruschetta that Veganne created for dinner last night. We have pictures. MMMMM.

1 comment:

veganne said...

1. I need our picture for philosophersscone.

2. I was so excited about this dish until I saw words like pork fat and bacon.