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

Caesar Salad

I LOVE Caesar Salad.  But authentic Caesar Dressing includes raw or coddled eggs, so I never tried to make it.  I often buy Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar Dressing, but really prefer to make dressings from scratch.  This “Caesar-style” dressing really fits the bill.  Nice taste and texture. And egg-free!

Caesar-style Salad Dressing

adapted from a recipe from Ley Clifton in the Penzey’s Spices catalog, Spring 2010, p. 37

1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbls. Dijon-style mustard
1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbls. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder (optional)
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbls. Penzey’s Italian Herb Mix (or your own blend of oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme and rosemary)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the fresher, the better)

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients.  Blend well, taste, and add more spices as desired.  Toss with bite-size pieces of romaine lettuce.  Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

(For more details and notes, consult the separate recipe page.)

 

Happy New Year!

Okay, so it’s been awhile.

I actually typed up a bunch of recipes just before New Year’s, but apparently I forgot to post them . . .

I made Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells for Christmas dinner, which included making homemade tomato sauce, which got me thinking about Deep Dish Pizza (because my tomato sauce recipe was developed, over 30 years ago, from one included in a recipe for Deep Dish Pizza).

I should mention that it’s been a few years since I made this Deep Dish Pizza, but I used to make it quite a bit. Growing up outside Chicago in the 60s and 70s, Deep Dish Pizza was all the rage. Making it yourself takes all day, but the result is INCREDIBLE! The crust, from a buttery egg dough, is so yummy that many people prefer to save it and spread it with butter as a separate treat. A great party can be had from doubling the dough recipe and having guests bring their favorite topping ingredients. Back before I owned a pizza stone and deep dish pizza pans, I used to bake these pizzas in any oven-safe frying pan (cast iron is good, or anything that doesn’t have a handle that will melt in the oven). Using different size pans also allows you to personalize the pizzas for different guests.

Nothing else much new on the cooking front, though I just placed an order from King Arthur Flour, so my search for the perfect Italian Bread recipe will be on again soon. I ordered Duram Flour, Semolina and a special Italian Style Flour in the hopes that some combination of these will do the trick!

Of course I’m very excited about the recent inauguration of President Barack Obama. I have to refrain from singing “Oh Happy Day!” everywhere I go 🙂 I posted lots of inaugural links to my Facebook page, but will try to include some of them here for those of you not on Facebook.

But all this writing about food has made me hungry, so I must go get some lunch!

Not at all for summer

I’ve been culling through my recipe files. Found some old favorites in the cookies, cakes, and pies sections.

Apple Crisp complete on one little handwritten 3×5 card:

apple crisp recipe

(translation found at: Apple Crisp)

Also, Peppermint Pattie Brownies (sure, you could just add the candies to a boxed mix of brownies, but once you make these you won’t want to . . .)

and Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. I’m not much on baking cakes, but this one, courtesy of my grad school friend Janet Davidson, has remained a favorite. Similar to carrot cake, but without the vegetables 🙂

None of these are very appropriate on a day when it’s supposed to reach 90°F, but keep them in mind for autumn.

Something quick for summer

This is for my friend Betsy, who observed that most of the recipes on this blog are rather long and involved . . .

I make this basic pasta salad many times each summer. It is open for endless variation–leave out the cheese for non-dairy gatherings, substitute broccoli for the green pepper, use nuts only if you have them, etc. The original recipe used pimentos instead of artichoke hearts (but I HATE pimentos). This past weekend when I made it, I added a pint of grape tomatoes (just tossed them on top).

[Given the current “tomato salmonella scare” I’m sticking to grape and cherry tomatoes until they get the rest figured out. A week or so ago, my food coop sold me tomatoes from Mexico and insisted that since they were organic they are safe, regardless of what the FDA says . . . and even claimed that no manure is used on organic produce . . . though as far as I know, it is just “synthetic fertilizer” that is not considered organic . . . oh well.]

I’ve included the Pasta Salad recipe on its own page, but will put it here as well:

Lucinda’s Favorite Pasta Salad
Time: 30 minutes to prepare, several hours to chill
Servings: Many
Ingredients
1 lb. (raw) pasta–medium shells, Campanelle, and Farfalle (Bow Tie) work well
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
a spoonful of pesto OR 10-20 basil leaves (fresh) OR 1/2 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp oregano (dry)
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red onion, minced
1-15 oz can artichoke hearts or 2 jars marinated artichoke hearts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup (packed) freshly-minced parsley
4 oz. mozzarella cut into cubes
a handful of toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt (if desired) and the pasta. Return pasta to a boil and cook until al dente (approx. 8-10 minutes depending on the shape).

Drain pasta in colander. Rinse in lukewarm water. Drain thoroughly.

Transfer pasta to large bowl. Add olive oil. Stir. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients, mix well. Chill and serve cold.

Enjoy!

Copyright © 2008, Lucinda DeWitt