Category Archives: eggs

mushroom and fontiago quiche

Sometimes you just feel like a quiche. Especially when you’re spending your weekend cooped up in your apartment studying for midterms. I took a study break and two hours later, my apartment smells like heaven, if heaven were made of butter, shallots, and cheese, which I suspect it is.

When it comes to quiche, mushrooms are sadly neglected in favor of a traditional ham/bacon, onion, and cheese mixture (quiche Lorraine, anyone?). But dig this: mushrooms are a good source of fiber, selenium, and potassium, among other vitamins and minerals, and unlike many vegetables, they actually retain most of those nutrients when they’re cooked.

They’re perfect for redeeming a quiche from all of the butter, milk, and cheese that might send health freaks running for the hills make you feel a little guilty for indulging. In my opinion, quiche is one of those perfect foods that you can eat any time of day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or (my favorite!) brunch.

A note on the crust: I’m not a big believer in premade pie crusts, but that’s only because I love making crusts! I grew up in a family in which a really lovely, flaky pie crust could magically win you compliments with very little effort, so I learned to pinch together a pie dough at a very young age. I’ve always found something very rewarding about it. If you don’t get the same nerdy satisfaction from making pie crust as I do, just use a premade one–there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it! For this particular crust, I adapted Julia Child’s pastry recipe, subbing in 3/4 c. whole wheat flour because I like to work it into my food whenever I can. It makes me forget that I’m eating a quarter of a stick of butter in one sitting. If you’re not a fan of whole wheat flour, just use 2-1/4 c. regular flour.

mushroom and fontiago quiche:

(Adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2009, p. 54)


  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1-1/2 sticks chilled butter, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 4 tbs. shortening, chilled
  • scant 1/2 c. ice water

Preheat oven to 450°. In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients thoroughly. Add the butter and shortening and pinch into the flour with your fingertips. Be careful not to let your palm touch the mixture because you don’t want it to melt your fats. When it vaguely resembles oatmeal, pour in the ice water all at once and blend the dough vigorously with one hand until it just comes together. (Be careful not to overblend it. The reason pastry dough is flaky and not doughy is because you don’t give the gluten in the flour a chance to become activated.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface for the fraisage, a fancy term for the final blending of fat and flour. Push the dough away from you using your palm in short bursts. Roll it out with a rolling pin (or if you’re a college student, a wine bottle) and wrap it around your rolling pin to transfer it to a buttered pie dish. Tidy up the edges and blind-bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 325°.


  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 3 medium shallots, chopped
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 c. half and half
  • 2/3 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 lb. Fontiago (or Fontina) cheese, coarsely grated

While your crust is blind-baking, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add shallots (a wonderfood, it’s like garlic and onions had a baby) and sauté until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté for another 8 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from heat and let cool while you whisk together the eggs, half and half, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl. Take 1/2 c. of the cheese and set aside. Stir the rest of the cheese and the mushroom mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the filling into the crust and sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 c. cheese. Bake quiche at 325° until barely puffed, golden brown, and just set in the center, about 45 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and serve.


I paired mine with a simple salad with vinaigrette for a light lunch. Best study break ever.



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Filed under eggs, main course, pies, recipes, vegetarian

how to: poach your egg and eat it too

Because this is my first post, I’m feeling pressure to write something poignant that you’ll take with you for the rest of your week, or maybe your life; something inspiring that will make your mouth water and maybe get you into the kitchen. In lieu of that, I simply decided to up the ante and face two fears at once: the first blog post and poaching eggs. I’m happy to report that not only do I have a blog post for you today, I have poached eggs. Four of them, to be precise.

I fell in love with the idea of Eggs Benedict when I was fourteen but I could not poach an egg to save my life. My numerous attempts to master the art of poaching an egg ended in sorry-looking messes that at best resembled unseasoned egg drop soup, and at worst generic cat food. The eggs flowered every time, leaving me frustrated and still hungry. Finally my mother took pity on me and bought me an egg poacher. I considered the poacher a sort of culinary cheating mechanism, but I used it regardless because a fried egg on Eggs Benedict is practically sacrilegious.

I don’t know what possessed me to poach an egg for lunch yesterday. Perhaps it was the “Elegance with Eggs” episode of The French Chef that I watched the night before, or the fact that, due to unforeseen circumstances, I had over two dozen eggs in my refrigerator. No one will ever really know, but I plead temporary insanity.

Just as I had in the past, I followed all the traditional steps. Simmering water, check. Shallow transferring dish, check. Vinegar, check. I cracked my egg. I slid it into the water. And then I waited. About four minutes later, I gritted my teeth and prepared for the worst. Armed with nothing but my slotted spoon, I gingerly scooped my egg out of the simmering water, and nearly fainted with both delight and disbelief when I found that my egg was perfectly poached. Not leathery, not underdone, just delicate and a little bit creamy. I was so pleased that I giggled like a small child and made three more, and each one was better. I melted a few slices of Etorki cheese (from the Basque region of France; if you have the means, I highly recommend it) on some whole-wheat toast with whole-grain Dijon mustard, and proudly placed my eggs on top, dusted with a few grinds of salt and pepper.

Here’s what I learned. Make sure your water is just barely simmering. If it’s not hot enough, your egg will be a tad rubbery by the time it’s properly cooked on the inside. If it’s boiling too violently, the water will tear your egg apart from the bottom up.

That being said, watch out for vertical movement from the bubbles but also beware of horizontal movement from stirring the water. You must ensure that your water is as still as possible, because otherwise your egg will whirl itself into a tangled, irredeemable jumble.You can fortunately keep the inevitable egg flailing to a minimum by corralling the egg with your slotted spoon during the first few seconds of its swim.

Use vinegar! I can’t stress it enough. It makes the outer bit of egg white congeal more rapidly, which means the egg is less likely to flower. Just a tablespoon regular old white distilled vinegar in the poaching water should be enough. Any more and your egg will actually taste like vinegar, and you don’t want that.

Above all, you must persevere. After all, it’s just food, and the worst you can do is mess it up. You eat it and you move on. But if I can poach an egg, so can you.

Be fearless in the kitchen.


Filed under eggs, gluten-free, recipes, techniques, vegetarian