Friday, June 15, 2012

Cowgirl Quiche

Do real men eat quiche? Mine does. In fact, he ate this one and it's called cowgirl quiche. Perhaps if I told him the name, he wouldn't. That will be my little secret. Well, I guess it's not so much of a secret since I am sure the captain will read this and see it. Sorry dear.

Quiche is great and so, so versatile. Add what you like, take away what you don't. I know I say that a lot, but I love recipes that you can adapt to your liking. Not everyone likes every single ingredient in a recipe and if you can take it out or add something you like in its place, even better. Quiche starts with two main components - crust and eggs. For the bestest crust in the whole wide word (and I'm not just saying that), use this one! So quick, so easy, and so perfect to keep in your freezer for when a quiche is calling your name. Once you have the crust, then you need your egg base. Eggs + a good guzzle of milk + salt and pepper. That's it. Of course you can use cream or half and half if you are feeling naughty, but I usually use unsweetened soy or almond milk. Use what you have though. Once you have those two things, then comes the fun part - the fillings! One of my all time favorites is one of my momma's specialties - broccoli and cheddar. No matter how many times I make it, her's always turns out better. I guess that's just a mom's touch. Or ham, green onions and swiss cheese. That's another one she makes too. Those two are so yummy, but this time around, I wanted to step it up a notch and go cowgirl on this quiche. Nothing says cowgirl more than bacon, onions, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts. A classy cowgirl that is.

I know the flavor combination sounds a little odd, but just go with me here. I promise it's good. Plus remember, the captain ate it and he doesn't like artichokes. Well, this may again be a place where I didn't tell him it was in there. I'm bad. So so bad. I also decided to use peppered bacon to add that extra little spicy kick. Why not, right? It was on sale. Cook the bacon until slightly chewy, remove from pan and then cook the rest of the ingredients until soft and tender. Mix everything together with a little of your favorite cheese (okay A LOT of cheese) and place into the pie crust. Pour over your eggy mixture and you are ready to bake. In about 45 minutes to an hour, you will have a golden brown and delicious quiche waiting for you. Just remember to put your quiche on a foil lined baking sheet before you fill it with the egg mixture. This will help you transport it to the oven without the pie plate or tin bending and so if the egg mixture spills over during baking, it doesn't make a mess in your oven. I speak from experience. Trust me on this one. It's not fun to have your head in the oven cleaning it.

Get ready to enjoy one fabulous quiche that everyone will love. -not just cowgirls and not just real men. You can serve it for breakfast (my favorite way to enjoy it, especially with some fresh fruit!) or you can even serve it for dinner with a light salad and some sliced tomatoes. I'm getting hungry, are you? 

why is bacon so delicious?

cooking those onions

add in the chopped artichoke hearts and mushrooms

whisking the eggs and milk

add the filling ingredients to the crust

add the egg mixture. if you have too much don't pour it all in

see what happens when you pour too much eggs in - they spill out. This is why you use a pan lined with foil!

quiche is done and cooling!

Cowgirl Quiche (adapted from Pioneer Woman's newest cookbook)

about 1/2 pound bacon, cooked until chewy
1/2 - 1 whole onion thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can (14 Oz.) Quartered Artichoke Hearts
1 pie crust (homemade or store bought)
5 whole Eggs
1 cup milk (soy, almond, regular, heavy cream - whatever you have)
1 (or up to 1 1/2) cups grated cheese (I used swiss since I had it in the fridge, but use what you have)
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside. Pour out excess grease and wipe the pan (you can leave a little bacon fat in if you like, but I just poured in a splash of olive oil)
In the same skillet, add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and artichokes and cook for a few more minutes. Salt mixture to taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. While that is cooling, roll out pie crust and press into a pie plate (I used a 9'' foil pie pan - makes for easy disposal!).  Put this plate on a foil lined baking sheet!

In a large bowl, beat eggs with the milk . Add salt and peper and any other spices you may like (chives or even a pinch of cayenne). After the mushroom mixture has cooled, toss in your cheese and bacon and then place the mixture into the pie pan. If it all doesn't fit that's okay, just get as much as you can in there. Then pour of the egg mixture to cover - if that all doesn't fit, make scrambled eggs with the extras!

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45-1 hour. You can bake for slightly longer if quiche is overly jiggly. Check the quiche at about 30 minutes and if it's getting overly brown, place a piece of foil over the top for the rest of the cooking process.  Once the quiche is done, remove from oven and allow to set for ten minutes before serving. .You can eat this right away, or let it cool completely and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Now, doesn't that sounds delish? Best thing about quiche is that you can make it ahead of time or eat it the same day. If you make it ahead for eating tomorrow, just cool competently after baking and then cover with foil and place in the fridge. When you want a slice, just cut and heat up in the microwave. If you make this and then want to freeze it, bake, cool and then wrap and freeze. When you are ready to eat it, just take it out and let it defrost. Then you can heat it up slowly in the oven or slice and heat in the microwave. How easy is that?!

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