Thursday, November 10, 2011

Leek and Canadian Bacon Quiche

As delicious as this meal was, I can't say it was a stress-free preparation. Everything went wrong, and I do mean everything. From the stubborn, crumbly crust to the egg mixture seeping out of my elevated tart pan and making a mess all over my counter. In fact, by the time the quiche was ready to go in to the oven, I was in the pissiest of moods, and I threw an oh-so-mature temper tantrum in my kitchen. Disasters aside, as I stated before, this recipe was delicious. I don't think I've ever cooked with leeks before, but I've found that I truly like them. This wasn't the healthiest recipe in the world, so I made a few changes here and there (I used turkey bacon instead of Canadian bacon, and I used fat free half and half). If you love quiche, you have a lot of time on your hands and you don't get flustered easily, this meal is for you.
Adapted from Williams Sonoma

Ingredients:

  • For the pastry:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. cold water

  • For the filling:

  • 6 slices Canadian bacon, cut into strips 1 inch
      long by 1/4 inch wide
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, including tender green portions, carefully
      washed and cut crosswise into slices 1/4 inch
      thick
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 6 oz. Gruyère or Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch 
Directions:

1. To make the pastry, in a bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening and, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.

 2. Sprinkle in the water 1 Tbs. at a time, stirring gently with a fork after each addition and adding only enough of the water to form a rough mass.

3.  Using floured hands, pat the dough into a smooth, round flattened disk. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. (Try as I might, I could not get this mixture to form a disk. I finally gave up, dumped it all in a ziploc bag, and put it in the fridge for 1/2 hour in hopes that it would be a little easier to work with).

4. Preheat an oven to 425ºF.

5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry dough into a 12-inch round. Drape the pastry over the rolling pin and carefully transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently ease the pastry into the pan. Trim the pastry even with the pan rim. (Ha. Hahahahahaha. That SO did not happen. Here's what mine looked like:)
However, I refused to be thwarted. I simply pressed the crumbly mixture into the pan until formed a passable shape, like this:
6. Prick the bottom and sides of the pastry shell with a fork.
7. Form a double-thick 12-inch square of aluminum foil, poke a few holes in it, then press it into the pastry-lined pan.
 8. Bake the pastry for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the pastry looks dry but not brown, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the oven; reduce the temperature to 325ºF.
9. To make the filling, in a nonstick fry pan over medium heat, sauté the Canadian bacon until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
10. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off the fat, reduce the heat to medium-low and melt the butter in the pan.

 11. Add the leek and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
 12. In a bowl, using a fork, beat the eggs until lightly frothy.
13. Stir in the half-and-half, salt and pepper.
14. In another bowl, toss the cheese with the cornstarch.
15. Add the cheese, bacon and leek to the egg mixture and stir well.

 16. Pour into the pastry shell. (For the love of God, don't do what I did. When the pastry shell came out of the oven, I set it on a hot pad to cool. Big mistake. The bottom of the pan became slightly elevated, and I completely forgot about it. When I poured the egg mixture over the pastry shell, it seeped out from underneath the tart pan and made a huge mess. This is why I don't have a picture...).

17. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. If the edges are browning too quickly, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.

18. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the pan rim and place the quiche on a serving plate. Serve warm.

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