Friday, December 22, 2006

The Italian Quiche

I've seen a change in me in the last few months... Now I'm not scared to mess around with recipes, make them my own. It's true that I still need a basic recipe to get me started, but when it comes to following it step-by-step, I am a bit of a rebel and change ingredients and amounts here and there. I know, radical! LOL. But it's a big step for me, especially since I never had the confidence to go my own way with recipes!

You may remember that I used a ready-made crust for the sour-cream apple pie with streusel topping that I made for Thanksgiving. Pastry is still not an area I am completely comfortable with, and the package came with two pie shells, so I had one shell in the freezer ready to be used. I wanted to make something savory this time, so decided on a quiche.

I love quiche! I am not sure why but it feels elegant to me. When I lived in Israel as a poor M.A. student, quiche was a once-a-month treat. In a posh grocery store by my apartment, they sold quiches ready-made. They were the most expensive things in the store, it seemed. I felt rich eating it.

I think my favorite kind of quiche is with mushrooms.... and I found an interesting recipe on the Food Network website. I think it's kind of cool that I have Barbara Bush's recipe for mushroom quiche. I like using the recipes of famous people. But based on the things I had at home, I made a few adjustments -- the result was delicious though.

My recipe is below and here's the original. You may be wondering why I call it an 'Italian' quiche. I think the porcini mushrooms add a bit of lovely Italian flair. I'm glad I thought of it. ;)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup porcini mushrooms
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon english mustard
3 eggs
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
3/4 cup whole milk
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, soak the porcini mushrooms in a cup of hot water. Set aside. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the button mushrooms, onions and garlic together. Stir in herbs and seasonings and cook about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the mustard and mix it in with the mushrooms. There should still be a small amount of liquid to dissolve it. Stir in the softened porcini mushrooms (you can chop them up some more if you like) and 1/4 cup of the reserved porcini stock. (Pour the rest of the stock into an ice tray and freeze for impromptu porcini risotto or soup.) Cook again for another two minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Let cool 5 minutes. In a medium bowl combine eggs with milk and beat well. Add 2 tablespoons of the parmesan and stir again. Add the cooled mushroom mixture, and pour everything into pie crust. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top, and bake until the filling is set and starting to brown, about 40 minutes.

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