Thursday, February 23, 2012

Asiago, Spinach & Bacon Quiche

Oh, quiche. The egg dish that is often relegated to 'special' brunches can really be so much my house, it is a viable dinner alternative every once in awhile and with the amount of ingredients you can chuck in? Why deny yourself of quirky quiche? 

The favorite one in our house uses asiago cheese, sautéed spinach and bacon (albeit turkey bacon most of the time). But forget the ingredients - the true key to quiche is keeping it moist yet not runny and, of course, flavorful.

For starters, I don't bake so the crust I use comes from the pillsbury box - I know, I know, how unlike me! - and just needs to be rolled flat at room temperature and then gently laid into a round (pie) pyrex dish that's been lightly greased. Do your best not to tear the dough and try to get the sides to come up as close to the dish edge as you can. Then place that in the oven at 325 degrees for about 6-10 minutes and keep an eye on it. You want it to crisp up A LITTLE but not to fully cook; after all, it is going back in the oven once it is loaded up. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 large eggs (yolk and whites, the whole egg), a splash of milk (more than this will ruin the consistency!), some salt & pepper to taste and about 2 cups of grated asiago. We used the rest of a rosemary asiago that I found at a gourmet market and then finished with a regular, find-it-anywhere block of asiago. The 2 cups is negotiable too - honestly, we might have used more than that because we are cheese whores, so adjust accordingly. Whisk that together and let it sit. Next stir in some chopped shallots (1/4 cup) and 4-5 slices of crisp, cooked bacon that you've crumbled or sliced. Then add in the sautéed spinach....sidebar, here is how I do spinach: hot, wide sauté pan coated with olive oil, torn fresh spinach leaves with the stems removed, 2 cloves of minced garlic, a splash of white wine and a sprinkle of salt. Toss the spinach frequently and once it is wilted and soaked in the liquids, remove from heat.

Pour the mixture into the warmed, crisp crust and place it back in the oven at 340 degrees for 25 minutes. Check on it towards the end and adjust the time accordingly - you want the crust to be just browned and should be able to stick a toothpick into the quiche and have it come out clean. Let it sit for a few minutes before slicing to ensure that the pieces stay together. 

Served with a mixed green salad & champagne vinaigrette (courtesy of Trader Joe's).

- Melissa 

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