Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday Farmer's Market Brunch for Ten... Part Two: Farmer's Market Quiche

 Potato Leek Gratin, Farmer's Market Quiche, Almondberry Tarte, Nectarine/Plum Pound Cake, Herb Infused Breakfast Meats.  Served on vintage, hand-painted, artistan signed plates from the Tonalo region of Mexico, 1940' s green Seneca Driftwood glasses, vintage Coorsite ball pitchers, crystal cake pedestals all from my collection.  All vintage wares come from my spelunking on ebay and in flea markets for a fraction of their worth. Shall I blog about my spelunking???(Ikea flutes bought on sale for less than $1 each... I have about 50 stored away for parties.)

This is the second of a five part blog mini-series about the brunch I hosted for my sister and her friends this past Sunday.   The other recipes will all be posted today as soon as I can get them each written.   Where you see the little book icons, you can scroll over the book and a window will pop up with additional info about ingredients or techniques or tools and such. 

My Farmer's Market Quiche is a great alternative to normal scrambled eggs.  Especially if you're like me... finicky about eggs.  I don't like them poached, runny, sunny side up, easy over, or anything like that.  I like them well beaten, well boiled, well cooked, and well seasoned.  This is a very simple recipe that can be pimped easily once you learn the basic structure of this thing called a Quiche... basically it's a savory egg tarte, made with beaten eggs, veggies, cheese, and if you want, meats, and all ingredients except for the crust and the eggs are optional and interchangeable.  If you do as I've always suggested and read through the entire recipe completely prior to even shopping for ingredients, you will be able to make this recipe happen in about 40 minutes, including baking. 

THE PLAYERS: (your grocery list)

The quantities listed are for one Quiche.  In my estimation, the perfect Quiche has certain variables always... a flaky flour pie crustYou can make your own, or, for time economy, like I did, just buy it in the grocery store.   The ones in the refrigerated section where you find those biscuits and croissants in a tube, ready to bake are much much better than the ones in the freezer section... Pilsbury makes a pie crust that comes in rolled circles without the pans.  I have my own pie and tarte dishes so, this is better for my purposes... about 8 farm fresh eggs(that's means what, class?  that's right! farmer's market!!!). I prefer large brown... As for the veggies I use 1/4 cup of diced ingredients from each of the following categories: and as for specific ingredients, it depends on my mood, and what I find in the farmer's market that week, and what flavor profile I want, mexican, french, italian, etc....  Some sort of diced onion, brown, red, green, shallot, leek, etc... for this particular recipe, I used Vidalia onions for their savory sweetness.   Some sort of peppers... green, red, yellow, sweet italian, pepperoncini, jalapeno, chipotle, etc... I used 1/2 red bellpepper and 1/2 yellow bellpepper per Quiche.  Some sort of herbs... thyme, oregano, basil, sage, etc... In this one I used fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary to compliment the herbs I used in the other dishes for this meal.  Some sort of coarsely chopped greens... spinach, kale, bok choy, cilantro, etc... For this one I used sweet pea greens, which you may not find... use spinach if your farmer's market doesn't have them.   Some sort of semi-hard cheese... parmesan, aged gouda, romano, manchego, asiago, cheddar, etc... I used 1/2 cup of shredded Emmentaler cheese.  Optionally, you can also add 1/4 cup per Quiche... diced and previously sauteed meat of some sort... salmon, bacon, shrimp, ham, ground chicken, crab, lobster, turkey... pretty much any protein you like can work if paired with the right accompanying components above... I used 1/4 cup of diced and sauteed Canadian bacon for  two of our Quiches, and I left the third Quiche completely meat free.  That's everything I used for our Quiches on Sunday.  But you can add mushrooms, asparagus, marinated artichokes, broccoli, peas, to your sauteed veggies, and pretty much anything you like.  It's also a great way to use leftovers that aren't enough to make a whole new meal.  But for this particular time, just try it my way before  you try to experiment.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees if it's not already on from putting the potatoes in.

Dice your ingredients.  
Saute all of your vegetables (and meat) except for the greens in a pan with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, over medium high heat just until onions become transparent.
Prepare the pie crust.  Place it in pie tin or dish and create a scalloped or crimped edge. As you can see, from my photos, it doesn't have to be flawless to look beautiful.  The imperfection of your work will add a rustic look to the end result.  (and it won't make a darn bit of difference to the way it tastes!!)

Place your sauteed veggies (and diced meat) in the pie crust and spread to cover the bottom. 
Spread your fresh chopped greens over the top of that. 
Then your fresh herbs. 
Then 1/2 of your cheese. 
In a separate bowl, vigorously beat your eggs with a whisk until whites and yolks are completely combined
Add 1/4 cup of milk to the eggs and whisk again just until combined.
Pour egg mixture over the ingredients layered in your pie crust. 
Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
Grind a bit of black pepper and sea salt over that. 
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, then check for doneness.  
Quiche should be golden on top and fluffy but firm, crust should be just golden.  Keep an eye on this, and if the crust looks like it's done but the egg part seems to not be done, use a strip of foil to to wrap around the crust edge to prevent it from burning.  
Serve hot or at room temperature.  



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