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.