March 28, 2012

Artichoke & Feta Quiche

Perhaps you recall back in December 2010, when I reviewed a cookbook called Cook This, Not That! (subtitled "Easy & Awesome 350 Calorie Meals") by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding on my (sadly neglected) other blog "Much Ado About Diet" or the other recipes that I have made since then, either straight from the book, or somewhat adapted therefrom. In fact, it should be noted that many of the recipes that I've made from the book (each one a success) which haven't made it onto the blog are simply because either a) the photos were crummy, and I need to take better ones next time, or b) I am a lazy blogger who sometimes forgets that I haven't already written them up.

This recipe is not from that book. This recipe is from the other Cook This, Not That! cookbook by the same duo, subtitled "Kitchen Survival Guide." As a test recipe, it was a big hit, and I'll definitely be making it again (or other versions inspired by this one). In the spirit of "use what you have", I substituted thick-cut dry cured bacon for the recipe's turkey or chicken sausage, and, not having any frozen pie crust hanging about, I used my mother's basic recipe for a simple pastry shell. Since I knew I would be making this on Sunday, on Saturday I mixed up the crust, rolled it out, and stuck it (in the pie pan) in the fridge overnight.

Artichoke, Feta & Bacon Quiche
(Adapted from Cook This! Not That! Kitchen Survival Guide)

Serves 6

3 large eggs
1 cup 1% milk
3 canned artichoke hearts, drained, chopped, and squeezed dry
60 grams feta (I use sheep feta)
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, chopped
4 slices of thick bacon, fried until crisp and well drained

While the oven is preheating to 350℉, chop and cook the bacon, and set aside. Mix the eggs and milk together until smooth. In an unbaked pie crust, arrange the chopped artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, bacon, and crumbled feta for even distribution. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the filling, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is slightly puffed and firmly set. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before cutting, for easy removal.

Next time I do this, I will at the very least add some snipped chives or fresh parsley or basil (or chile flakes!) to the the mixture, I think, but it was very good on its own, too. We finished the individual slices with black pepper and a tiny drizzle of truffle oil.

I was using paler-yolked eggs than I usually do, so the quiche was rather lighter-coloured than my quiches ordinarily are. I imagine that if you use orange-yolked eggs you will have a more golden quiche.

For those of you who don't have a frozen pie crust lurking about, and would like an easy one to make yourself, here's mine:

Single Pastry Crust
for a 8 or 9" pan

3/4 cup all purpose (unbleached) flour
1/4 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vodka
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water

Place the flour in the bowl of a small food processor fitted with a metal cutting blade. Add the pinch of salt and the butter (cold is best) in chunks, and pulse until well mixed, and the butter is in pieces no larger than a piece of confetti. Add the vodka and the water, all at once, and pulse again, continuing to pulse until the dough comes together and pulls away from the edge of the bowl. Dump it out and massage the dough, as minimally as possible into shape. Chill the dough for 10 minutes, then roll out as needed. This recipe can be doubled to make a double crust pie.

The recipe was published as containing 250 calories per slice. My bacon-y adaptation with a freshly made crust (and using 1% milk instead of 2%) clocked in at 237 calories (based on an online recipe calculator), so at least I didn't damage the healthiness of the recipe with the few adjustments that I made.

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