Sun-dried Tomato, Spinach, & Mozzarella Quiche

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I started a new job a few weeks ago and for the first time since high school, I have to pack a lunch. I mean, obviously I brought lunch to work in the last 10 years, but this has to be a lunch that needs no microwave which is a new restriction. Most of my leftovers usually require a reheat and sandwiches get kind of old so I’m on the lookout for things to make that can be eaten cold or at room temp. A quick jaunt through my mental catalog of meals brought me to the conclusion that quiche is basically the queen of no-muss, no-fuss anytime eating. They’re kind of amazing that way. Shockingly, I did not even need a trip to the grocery store to accomplish this – I just kind of threw it together with things I had on hand. Something about doing that just makes me feel like I’ve made it as a competent adult so I’m sure I’m going to do something really dumb in the next few days to knock me off my moderately high horse. I’m waiting for it.

Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach, & Mozzarella Quiche

2 T unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely diced onion

1/2 t dried thyme

salt & pepper

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup mozzarella (I used fresh cigliene but you could also use shredded)

1/4 cup parmesan, shredded

1 pie crust, partially pre-baked and cooled (I used this one)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. While the oven heats, melt the butter in a medium skillet and add the onions, thyme, salt, & pepper. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent but not brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside to let the onions cool a bit. Crack the eggs into a large glass measuring cup and beat them slightly, then add the milk and whisk until smooth. Salt and pepper this mix too – just use your judgement, not too much and not too little. Sorry, I really believe seasoning is a personal matter.

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Scatter the spinach over the bottom of the cooled crust, spreading it evenly. Now throw down the onions and sun-dried tomatoes, again making sure to spread them evenly around. Place the mozzarella balls at appropriate intervals around the quiche-y landscape. If you’re using shredded mozzarella instead, mix it with the spinach before you spread it in the crust. Now pour the egg and milk mixture over the whole mess to really seal things together and top it with the shredded parm and we’re almost home-free. Put the quiche in the preheated oven and bake until things look golden and puffy and delicious, about 45 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack until room temperature, then dig in! Quiche is a super-food (no, not in the way you’re thinking) since it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and enjoyed cold, room-temp, or reheated. In closing, quiche is awesome and I’ll brook no arguments, thanks.

In case you’re like, “Pre-bake the crust? What the hell is that all about?” there are super-easy directions at the bottom of the pie crust recipe I linked. Read them and commit them to memory and you’ll never have a soggy pie crust again. Soggy pie crust is the worst. It’s even worse than shrunken pie crust, which I have still never managed to avoid, no matter how closely I follow the directions. But a shrunken pie is better than no pie at all, wouldn’t you agree?

Also shrinkage, it’s a thing.

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French Fridays with Dorie – Mushroom & Shallot Quiche (now with bacon!)

I’m running a little behind with this one but it’s still Friday so we’re good. For anyone who doesn’t know, we are now in what is called “fourth quarter” in retail. These three months are when we make the majority of our money for the year. Consequently I am kind of a zombie from October-December. Long days and lots of events are going to make it tougher to get things done in a timely manner, but I’m going to give it my best. Yesterday we put out Christmas at the store so it was a particularly long one (9:30 AM – 9ish PM) so my idea of making this quiche last night didn’t really work out. I did make the tart dough around 11 though so at least I got a start on it. And before anyone starts complaining about us forgetting Thanksgiving and putting out Christmas too early just shuttie. All that inventory has been sitting in the basement since July and it’s time for it to start making us some money. End of story.

Apologies for the weird lighting on this photo. Who knew that 7:30 AM isn’t the best time to take pics in my kitchen?? I wanted to include it though because I have the same crust problem with all tarts that I’ve made. I swear on the awesome creative force of Joss Whedon that I am NOT stretching the dough and I am chilling it before baking and all that jazz, yet it still shrinks like this every time. What am I doing wrong? I want the perfect looking scalloped edges that other people are getting from their tart pans and it isn’t happening. Tips would be much appreciated.

I sort of went off-recipe a bit for this one for several reasons. I am a tentative guest at the mushroom party. I am starting to like the flavor of them but I just can’t handle a big ol’ slice of mushroom. I can’t do it. I have been faced with a lot of gross vegetables this week (the story is way too long to go into here) so I just had to make this one more to my liking. I diced up the mushrooms very fine and then I also went ahead and sliced up four pieces of bacon, crisped them up, and threw them in the mix. I am a stalwart member of the Bacon Makes (Almost) Anything Better Club and Bek mentioned that she loves bacon in quiches so I thought “why not?” I happen to love scallions but I forgot to buy them so some Italian parsley took on the role of obligatory greens in this one. Because my crust shrunk ($?*#!!!) I couldn’t pour in all of the cream and egg mixture – as it was I had a little bit of an overflow situation – so I had about a 1/4 cup left that I just had to toss. Sad day.

I threw this in the oven and then hustled to get ready for work. I feel like quiche seems like it should be a quick & easy thing to put together but this bad boy had a lot of steps. Make the crust and chill it for at least three hours. Roll it out, put it in the pan and freeze it for an hour. Prebake the crust and let it cool completely. Make the filling and let it cool for at least 15 minutes. Then finally throw everything together and bake it for half an hour. See what I mean?? Kind of one you have to plan ahead for. As it was baking and I was brushing my teeth I was thinking that this probably wasn’t worth all the effort and everything since I don’t really like mushrooms all that much but man, was I wrong. I took it to work with me and we all had it for lunch in between more Christmas decorating and it was so goddamn delicious! I think it might be my favorite quiche I’ve ever made. The flavor was just out of this world! Even though it was kind of a pain in the ass, I would definitely make this one again! Since I did a lot of subbing and I really liked the results, I am going to include the recipe for this one. If you’ve got some time on your hands, give it a try (even if you think you don’t really like mushrooms :P).

Mushroom, Shallot & Bacon Quiche

4 pieces of bacon, sliced and crisped

1 1/2 T unsalted butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

1/2 lb white button mushrooms, finely chopped

1 tsp dried thyme

1 9″ tart shell (use any recipe you like, or try Dorie’s) partially baked & cooled

3/4  cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup Muenster cheese, finely shredded

Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet. Throw in the shallots, season with salt & pepper and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and throw in some more salt & pepper. Cook the mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes or until they have cooked down and started to brown a bit, then sprinkle them with 1/2 tsp thyme and cook for about 30 more seconds. Remove the mushrooms and shallots from the pan and put them in a bowl to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Center a rack in the oven and pre-heat it to 350 degrees. Put the cooled tart crust on a baking pan and sprinkle the other 1/2 tsp of thyme over the crust. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the crust, then sprinkle on the bacon and the parsley. Mix the eggs and cream together in a measuring cup and season them with a little salt and pepper. Then carefully pour the egg & cream mixture evenly over the tart. If it looks like it’s going to overflow, don’t use all of the liquid. Duh. Sprinkle the top of the tart with the cheese and CAREFULLY slide it into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling has evenly puffed and looks nice and golden and crunchy on top. Transfer the quiche to a wire rack and remove the sides of the pan to let it cool. Eat while still a little warm or at room temperature. Yum!!
On a completely non-quiche related note, Halloween just happened and I was a fortune-teller. Is it good or bad that the only thing I had to purchase for my costume was this awesome turban-y hat thing I got in the clearance bin at Claire’s? I had everything else in my own wardrobe/possession (loud wrap-skirt, tall black boots, flowy sweater, big hoop earring & assorted other jewelry, tarot cards, & a crystal ball)…

Also, check out some of our cool pumpkins:

Quiche & The Avengers!

Look at this beautiful spread y’all! The bridal shower was a huge success and it was so pretty and you guys the quiches – the quiches! They were so good! I looked through the completed recipes and it looks like we’ve only done one as a group so far so I am super excited to make the other two again. Tristan was really upset that he didn’t get to try any of them so I know he’ll be happy when I have to make them again too! Look how pretty the veggies were for the quiche maraichere

I have to say that it was so comforting to just open AMFT and know that I would be able to find what I needed within. Do you know what I mean? Dorie really helped me out in this busy week and I so appreciate it! Just a quick note to say the busy weekend is over and it was really fun and I had a great time relaxing with my husband and seeing The Avengers this afternoon! Joss Whedon is basically the king of my creative universe and I bow down at his altar. He is the literal best.

In conclusion, the quiches were yummy and I love Joss Whedon like a love song baby! But you know, in a respectful way not a creepy one.