Monday, May 28, 2012

Bacon, Brie and Spinach Quiche

Normally, I use the phrase "When all else fails, just drink wine". I'm amending that today.

"When all else fails, just make quiche".

I sometimes think that I make too much quiche. It's my go to. My fall back when I have nothing in the freezer, or when I have extras of something that I feel like I need to use up. The story of this quiches inception story involves the latter.

A little while ago, I got into the habit of having a midnight snack of some really good brie on some toasted bread, or a couple of crackers. This with a glass of wine is what became my go-to after work for about a month. I'm still on the kick, but I've been trying to be better about eating things that are delicious unhealthy before bed.

One fateful night, I was heading home. I was tired and sleepy and I just wanted to curl up in bed with my snack of choice, a decent glass of red, and some early episodes of 30 Rock. As I was driving, I remembered devastatingly that I was out of Brie, and also out of cat food. I stopped at the 24 hour grocery store and sleepily grabbed some cheese and friskies, concentrating hard to ensure I didn't mix them up. I got home, toasted my bread and cut into my cheese. This was when I realized that I had picked up some decidedly sub par cheese. This was not the creamy brie that I had been spoiled by. This brie made me sad and unsatisfied. I crawled into bed with just my wine and pouted.

The next day I wrestled with what to do about the Brie. It was a slow day at work. I decided that if I was thinking about it at work, I should just go and pick up some decent Brie, dammit. So i did. The rejected Brie sat in my cheese drawer for a couple of weeks. I felt sorry for it. It hadn't done anything wrong and here it was, lazing around and going to waste.

So when I went through my freezer trying to take stock of the necessary pantry busting that was coming and found some bacon, I realized that I could make this Brie's life worth living. I could restore it to joy and glory. I could turn it into quiche!

So that is what I did.

Spinach, Bacon and Brie Quiche

I've posted a basic quiche recipe before in the early days of my blog. This one is very similar in structure and is a good base to use if you ever want to make a standard quiche. I have a real live quiche pan in the mail right now because I did get a wee bit tired of using my good old pie pan. I'm looking forward to christening it. For the filling, if you don't want to use cream, you can substitute it with half and half or milk.

The Pastry

1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons (1/3rd Cup) Butter
2-4 Tablespoons Cold water

Make sure the butter is really cold. Dice it up and mix it with the salt and flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add a little water at a time and mix or knead until the dough comes together. You don't want it sticky at all. Roll it out until it's the size of the pie dish. Set into a standard pie or tart pan, spread evenly up the sides. If you have a standard tart pan, you may have some excess to trim off. If you are using a pie dish, you'll likely have extra pastry up the sides when the filling is in. Personally, I like the crunch, but feel free to trim it is you don't.

The Filling

6oz Brie
1 Cup Fresh Spinach, Chopped
4 Rashers Bacon, cooked crispy
5 Eggs
1/4 Cup Cream
1/4 tsp Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350F. Cook the bacon until it is nicely crispy, then chop in into inch sized pieces. Chop up the Brie and layer it over the bottom of the pie dish. Cover with the chopped spinach, then sprinkle over the bacon.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream and salt and pepper. Pour over the fillings. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is cooked and the filling is set. Delicious warm or cold.

Makes 8 servings. Believe it or not, this quiche freezes beautifully wrapped in foil and then stored in a zip lock bag.

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