Sunday, August 5, 2012

Zucchini, Bacon and Gruyere Quiche or Zucchini Explosion Part lll

Are you tired of zucchini yet?  Yes, like everyone else who has a vegetable garden, we've been eating a whole lot of zucchini.  When zucchini isn't the star of the meal, we've been eating the obvious side dishes: grilled zucchini, sautéed zucchini, zucchini with tomatoes sprinkled with a little feta cheese and on and on and on....
So the other night when Paul said, "I don't think we have anything in the house for dinner."  
I quickly replied, "Are you kidding, we have zucchini!"......  I thought I heard a groan.
I poked my head in the fridge and saw we really didn't have much in the house.  There was a small piece of Gruyere, eggs, milk, a little bit of cream, a few strips of bacon, some berries, salad greens, cucumbers, and two bottles of Guinness that have been hiding in the back for several months.  I opened my freezer drawer and saw a pie crust from...I don't know when.  Looks like we are having quiche.  Having a pie crust in the freezer made it a no brainer.   Although I would usually prefer to make my own crust, it was a warm humid night and even with the AC on, it wasn't the best of conditions to start messing with pie dough.  We were hungry, not picky.  It was already 6pm, so I defrosted the frozen dough in the microwave, grabbed the Gruyere, eggs, milk, cream, bacon and a few shallots I found hiding in my onion basket.  By 7:15 we were enjoying a piece of silky quiche, green salad and glass of Pinot Noir.  Not bad for having nothing in the house!

         Zucchini, Bacon and Gruyere Quiche                                      

Slightly adapted from: Gourmet Magazine, December 2005
Makes one 9 inch quiche


                1 refrigerated pie dough or your favorite recipe
                4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
                2 teaspoons olive oil
                2 medium zucchini cut in half lengthwise then sliced thin (half moons)
                1 large shallot, cut in half and sliced thin
                1/4 teaspoon salt
                1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
                1/2 cup cream
                3/4 cup milk
                3 extra large eggs
                1 cup grated Gruyere or Comte cheese

  1. Set oven to 425 degrees.
  2. On a floured board, roll out dough into an 11" circle.  Ease the crust into the quiche pan.  
  3. Blind bake crust- place a piece of parchment over crust, fill with pie weights or dry beans.
  4. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.  
  5. After 15 minutes, take crust out of oven and remove parchment and weights.  
  6. Return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and set aside.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
While crust is baking, prepare the filling. 
  1. In a medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.  Discard bacon fat unless you are hardcore and want to saute your veggies in bacon fat. (if you do this, omit the olive oil)
  2. Add the olive oil to the pan, heat for 30 seconds, then add the shallots.  Saute the shallots for minutes, then add the zucchini sprinkled with half of the salt and pepper.  Saute until zucchini begins to brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Wipe out pan, then pour in milk, cream, and remaining salt and pepper, heating it until just warm (feel free to use a clean saucepan).  Remove from heat when warm.
  4. Break eggs into a mixing bowl, whisk thoroughly.  Slowly whisk in the warmed milk/cream.  
  5. Stir in the bacon, veggies and cheese.  
  6. Pour mixture into the prepared crust.   Bake in 350 degree oven for 25- 30 minutes until set. 
  7. Let quiche cool on a rack for 15 minutes before cutting. 
Quiche can be served warm or at room temperature.  I believe the flavors in the quiche  become more pronounced when allowed to cool.  Refrigerate leftovers and enjoy the next day.  I like to take it out of the fridge about a half an hour before serving, just to get the chill off.  Quiche freezes well too.  Why not make two?  

Experiment with quiche fillings.  Make a breakfast, lunch or dinner quiche.  They are highly adaptable.  Mini quiches make great appetizers too!

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