Bacon, Swiss Cheese, and Artichoke Heart Quiche

Bacon, Swiss Cheese, and Artichoke Heart Quiche

Made this quiche a few weeks ago.  It was SPECTACULAR, PERFECT!!

Started with a pie crust recipe I hadn’t tried before (Pate Brisee from the old Silver Palate Cookbook). Also pre-baked the crust for 10 minutes before adding fillings.  Don’t know why I’ve always skipped that step (laziness probably).  Made all the difference in the world.  The crust was perfect, no soggy bottom.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust (store bought, your favorite, or use Pie Crust/Pate Brisee recipe here)
  • 8-16 oz. bacon, fried until crisp (I like to cook mine in a cast iron frying pan in a 375°F oven.  Takes longer, 30 minutes or more, but never burns and you only need to turn it once.)
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into small pieces
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream (or cream/half&half/milk combination)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika to dust

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F.  If you have a pizza stone, preheat that too.

Prebake the pie crust for 10 minutes in a 400° oven.  (see Pie Crust/Pate Brisee recipe for details on how to do prevent the crust from puffing up)  Allow to cool slightly before adding filling.

Turn oven down to 350°F.

Place pie pan on foil-lined cookie sheet.  The foil is to catch spills and to fold up over the crust if it starts getting too brown.

Sprinkle half of the cheese over the partially cooled pie crust.  Add bacon and artichoke hearts, distributing evenly.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Whisk together the eggs and cream.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over filling ingredients.  The pie plate should be full, but leave some room for everything to expand (and so that you don’t slop it all over as you transfer it into the oven).

Bake at 350°F for 50-65 minutes.  Check custard by inserting a knife into the center to see if it comes out clean.  If the crust gets too brown before the custard is done, fold the foil up over the edge.

Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!

Note: Quiche recipes range from 3-6 eggs and from 1-1/2 to 2 cups of cream.  Much depends on the size of your pie plate.  Mine is large (10″ pyrex).  If yours is smaller, adjust the egg/cream mixture accordingly.

Copyright © 2010, Lucinda DeWitt

Lent & Spring Training

Lent has continued to be more exhausting than my usual “Lenten Retreat.” Week 2 included more music, less cooking, some minor sewing, ongoing reading, and (most important) the start of the 2010 Baseball Spring Training Season!

Music

I hadn’t been to Jazz Ensemble practice in almost a month (due to snow, vacation days, etc.). This week my violin and I finally got there. And now we have to come up with a 14-bar SOLO for “Play that Funky Music.” This should be interesting 😉

Over the weekend I attended a performance by the Mary Louise Knutson Trio, with special guest violinist Randy Sabien. Picked up one of his CDs to help me with my jazz violin studies.

This week was also the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Chopin. MPR carried some great concert segments celebrating the event. And of course I had to pull out my books of Chopin’s piano music (and even ordered some more from the library).

Quite the musical week!

Cooking

I’ve decided one way to spend less money on food during Lent is to clear out my rather extensive pantry and freezer collections. So this week I roasted some chicken leg quarters (from the freezer) and had them with some beets (from the freezer) and sautéed kale and brown rice (from the pantry). Then ate the leftover baked rigatoni from a couple of weeks ago (from the freezer).  Next I’ll be whipping up a curry from a combination of fresh and frozen veggies in the frig. That should last a while!

Sewing

Never got back to the big sewing projects started last week, but did manage to do some mending and patching this week.  I guess that is in the Lenten spirit of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.

Lactantius

Made it through Book IV of Lactantius’ Divine Institutes (see previous post).  Still not wild about his style of argument.  Also not sure many of his arguments have the Biblical support he claims for them.  But the group is still interesting, so I will plod on.

BASEBALL!!!

Spring Training has begun.  Listened to part of yesterday’s Twins/Red Sox game.  Another game is on this afternoon.  Probably should take it slow.  Don’t want to wear myself out before the season even starts 🙂  I tried not to pay too much attention during the off season.  The Twins actually made some impressive acquisitions (Orlando Hudson, J.J.Hardy).  Maybe now that Daddy Pohlad is gone, the wallet will open enough to produce a winning team.  Not as sure about the Cubs . . . no cable means it will be harder for me to follow them (except when the radio reception from Chicago is good), but that might not be such a bad thing.

Other

Temps were in the 40s most of this week, so I tried to go for a few short (10-15 minutes) walks.  I tend to get post-exertional malaise and/or excessive fatigue and/or post-exertional headache from even the briefest attempt at exercise (other than yoga), but I needed the fresh air.  Also added “take your daily vitamins” to my list of lenten disciplines (along with flossing and drinking more milk).

Five favorite inexpensive kitchen gadgets

Hi there,
I’ve been busy with the Natoma Bay Online Logbook Project and some waste.time.com over on Facebook . . . but now that the Logbook is “done” I’ve been thinking about kitchen gadgets. I’ve already written about my love of my Cast Iron Frying Pan; today I’ve picked out my five favorite kitchen gadgets (in the spirit of all those Facebook things like “Five places you’ve lived” and “Five favorite childhood toys”, etc.

Each of these gadgets was less than $15. Each are worth their weight in gold . . .

#5 “The Boat Motor” (aka Immersion Blender)

"boat motor"

I resisted these for a long time. Eventually Emeril convinced me to ask for one for my birthday. Excellent for making smoothies (fits right in one of my large glasses, so no messy stand blender to clean), as well as pureeing sauces and soups.

#4 Bench scraper

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I don’t know how I lived without this one for so long. I used to scrape my work surface with a metal pancake turner! I mostly use this in baking (to scrape flour bits from my kneading board), but it’s also great for gathering up diced onions or other veggies and transporting them from the cutting board to the pot.

#3 Flour wand

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I can’t think of many uses for this other than in baking. Any time you need to sprinkle a counter or pan with a little bit of flour, this is the way to go. You squeeze it to gather flour in and then squeeze gently to sprinkle flour out.

#2 Ginger grater

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I do not understand why no one uses this on the Food Network! It is SOOOO much better than trying to “mince” ginger with a knife. You peel the ginger and then scrape it along the little knobules on the bottom of this leaf-shaped dish. You end up with both the pulp and juice of the ginger . . . YUMMO!

#1 Zyliss Garlic Press

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I’ve had this one for about 25 years. Before finding the Zyliss, I went through lots of crummy $3 garlic presses. This one cost me $12.98, but was worth every penny. You get all the garlic pulp and juice. Plus it comes with a little cleaning tool to poke through the holes (it’s plastic, so mine wore out long ago, I just soak the press in water until the garlic remains just float out). The newer ones are more like $15-20. I hope they are still as good. BTW, the packaging now claims that you don’t need to peel the garlic before you use the press, but I always peel it first (and NO, I DO NOT pound it with the side of a knife like they show on TV; all that does is lose the juice. The skin comes off very nicely if you just cut the root end and make a slit the length of the clove.) EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ONE OF THESE!

I’m sure after a while I’ll think of other kitchen items that I value just as highly. Certainly good sets of dry measuring cups and wet measuring cups (yes, they are different, you need both) and measuring spoons are all essential to me, but some people manage without them. I also recently bought a good digital kitchen scale, but I haven’t really “bonded” with it yet . . . .

Moving On

I’m sure Mudpie would understand that I must displace the news about her with a great baseball announcement:

Cubs recall Murton from Triple-A

Yippee! The red-head is back.

In other news, I’ve been doing lots of bread baking in the past week. Three recipes from Rose’s Bread Bible. First I tried making the Semolina Torpedo, but the Semolina I have is the type for pasta and, despite what you might read on the internet, trying to grind it into a fine flour using a food processor does not work. So that loaf shrunk up. Edible, but not very good. Then I made both Cracked Wheat Bread and Flaxseed Bread. Both turned out great! Excellent sandwich breads.

Interested cooks will also notice that I’ve added a few other recipes to the Recipe Index and Pages lists. If you try them out, let me know how they turn out. Tomorrow I’m testing out my Pad Thai recipe. I finally wrote up my consolidation of about eight different pad thai recipes. Once I give it the kitchen test (and make any necessary changes), I’ll post that here as well.

Enjoy!