Tag Archives: quiche

Mushroom Duo

Spring is finally here … daffodils are the first flowers that bloom in my ‘garden’.

I didn’t grow up eating mushrooms. In fact, my first exposure to them came in the form of canned mushrooms which, texturally, didn’t appeal to me at all.

And then I discovered fresh mushrooms, especially the ubiquitous white, button mushrooms that are often found on sale. They used to be available loose in grocery stores but now, they’re usually packaged in half and full pound versions, sliced or whole.

BUYING TIPS for button mushrooms: If possible, buy them whole as they’ll last longer. Also, make sure that the mushrooms in the package are compact and white without the browning ‘gills’ being exposed. Gills are an indicator of maturing/mature mushrooms and the flavour is more intense. If you want a ‘cleaner’ presentation, stick to the young, solid white mushrooms. Size is not an indicator of maturity so don’t be fooled. There’s also less wastage if you buy young mushrooms since, as they mature, the stems become tough and ‘woody’ and you’ll want to discard them.

Bacon and Mushroom Quiche

I used one of the pre-baked shells from the coconut cream pie recipe. With the additional baking and the savoury filling the pastry was perfect, backing up my belief that under-baking was one reasons for the disappointing cream pie result.

Bacon and Mushroom Quiche – serves 1

1 5 1/2 inch pre-baked pie shell
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
pinch of salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
2-3 strips crispy bacon, sliced
1-3 (depending on size) mushrooms, diced
2-3 tbsp grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 deg Fahrenheit.

Place the pie shell on a baking sheet to prevent spillage during transport. Spread the bacon and mushrooms over the base of the pie shell.  Sprinkle some of the cheese over the top.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, salt and nutmeg. Pour the custard mixture over the contents of the pie shell. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheddar over the top.

Transfer the baking sheet and quiche into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the custard is set. Let cool and serve with a salad for a light lunch.

Mushroom and Shrimp Scampi

Mushroom and Shrimp Scampi – serves 2

2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound white button mushrooms, sliced and diced
1 small red, orange or yellow sweet pepper, medium diced
9-12 large raw shrimp, peeled except for the tail
2-3 tbsp green onion tops for garnish
salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder

200 gm fettuccine or spaghetti, cooked according to package directions

In a small bowl, combine the raw shrimp, a pinch or two of salt and the garlic powder. Let sit for a few minutes.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the butter and olive oil. When hot, add the mushrooms. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of salt over the top and saute until most of the moisture is gone and the mushrooms are lightly golden. Add the diced peppers and saute for another couple of minute until barely tender.

Push the vegetables to one side and add the seasoned shrimp. Saute just until the start getting pink on one side and then turn and continue sauteing until the second side is also pink and the shrimp have started to curl up. Combine the shrimp and veggies, taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.

Add the cooked pasta, stir through to coat with the butter and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning a final time.

Divide the pasta evenly onto two plates, sprinkle the green onion tops over the pasta and serve

BONUS: Tortilla pizzas topped with the last of the mushrooms in the veggie crisper.

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Pie … Sweet or Savoury

I haven’t made a pie in ages but the various flyer sales for stone fruits (nectarines, peaches and plums) tempted me and so I scoped out what was available. I ended up going to Food Basic and picking up a clamshell of nectarines cause I had a bad experience with last year’s basket of peaches. They were firm but not as sweet as I would have liked and I had to guess-timate how much sugar to add. I erred on the side of caution. With a scoop of ice cream the result was perfect but it was a bit tart on its own.

The next question was … which of several pie crust recipes should I use. I went with the one on the Crisco vegetable shortening package, though I replaced half the shortening with unsalted butter. The recipe makes enough pastry for a single double crust pie, but I made two minis in disposable aluminum pie tins instead.

Crisco Pie Crust Recipe – makes 1 double crust pastry, ~580 gm pastry, enough for 2 8″ bases, and 2 6 1/2″ tops, plus leftover pastry

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup vegetable shortening (or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, and 1/2 cup vegetable shortening)**
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp ice cold water
1 tbsp vinegar

** What I used this time

 

Nectarine/Peach Mini Pie Filling Recipe – rough formula for filling

2 – 2 1/2 nectarines per mini pie shell
1 tbsp sugar per nectarine (if the fruit is fully sweet, reduce to 2 tbsp per each 3 nectarines)
1/2 tbsp cornstarch** per nectarine
pinch of salt

** If planning to freeze baked tart, use flour, otherwise, use cornstarch. For every 1 tbsp of cornstarch, you’ll need to use about 3 tbsp of flour. Also, cook whatever you’re thickening a few minutes longer to get rid of the raw flavor of the flour. Baking should take care of that issue. Plus, the filling will be more matte than glossy when using flour.

Preheat oven to 375 deg F.

Bake pies for 35-40 minutes on a baking sheet in case of overflow or melting of butter

The remaining pastry became a savoury tart with broccoli, Canadian (peameal) bacon and cheddar cheese. No waste at all. Though I still have five nectarines in the fridge to deal with.

NOTE: For a filling recipe, I used the same amounts and timing as in an earlier quiche recipe baked in the same ceramic pan. Pre-baking the crust is advised.

Basic Quiche: Ham, (Mushroom) and Broccoli

I’ve made quiches with at least three different pie crust bases (Zsuzsa’s pie crust, Allison’s Vinegar pie crust and Ann’s No-fail pie crust, which I used here and posted below). I’ve even made a crustless version. But whatever the base, and whatever the filling you are using, quiche is a tasty, relatively inexpensive dish to make ahead, freeze and serve at your convenience. Or, pre-bake a few pie shells and freeze them away for when inspiration strikes.

ETA: I was sure I had made a salmon quiche but I couldn’t find the post. Guess that’s something I should remedy soon.

The quiche below is a simple version with leftover ham (and crispy bacon) from yesterday’s ham and potato soup, broccoli florettes and Canadian Swiss cheese. At $12.99 a pound, it’s cheaper than its imported cousin, Gruyere ($21.99 per pound), but nowhere near the sale price of cheddar ($4.99 a pound). Use whatever you like or what your budget allows for. I didn’t have any mushrooms in the house so I just increased the amount of broccoli I used a bit.

Basic Ham, Mushroom and Broccoli Quiche – fills a 9 inch pre-baked pie shell

3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup cheese, grated (cheddar & monterey jack mix; swiss cheese; gruyere)
1 cup broccoli (cut into florets and pre-cooked)
4 oz cubed ham (or 5-6 strips cooked diced bacon)
1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms
dash tabasco (optional)
salt (~ 1 tsp) and pepper (~ 1/2 tsp) to taste
1 9-inch Pre-baked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the baking dish with the pre-baked shell on a baking sheet, in case of overflow.

Mise en place for quiche

In a large bowl, whisk (or beat with a fork) together the eggs. Stir in the flour, mixing well, and then add the milk and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste remembering that the ham, bacon and cheese already have some salt in them. Add as much tabasco or hot sauce as desired.

Pre-baked quiche shell

Layer the cooked broccoli, mushrooms and ham into the pre-baked pie shell.

Sprinkle about 3/4 cup of the cheese over the vegetables and meat.

Pour the milk and egg mixture carefully over the ingredients. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Bake at 350 deg F for 45-50 min.  Let stand another 10 min before cutting.

Ann’s No-fail Pie Crust – enough for a 8-9 inch top and bottom or 2 bottoms

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup shortening or unsalted butter (or half of each)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
water as needed (~1/4 cup)

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender.

In a 2 cup measuring cup beat together the egg and sour cream and add enough cold water to make a total of 3/4 cup liquid. Stir the liquid into the dough using a fork. If a hand full of dough holds together when squeezed, the dough is wet enough, otherwise, fork in an additional tablespoon of water and try again. Repeat.

Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate until needed or roll to 1/4″ thickness.

I was a bit hasty in throwing together the dough for the pie plate … I should probably have re-rolled it. 🙂

For an empty shell, bake 12-15 min in a 400 deg F oven. For a filled shell, bake 15 min at 400 F, then reduce temperature to 350 deg F and bake an additional 25-30 min or until the contents are set.

If the edges get too brown, cover them with a strip of aluminum foil.

Remove the baked pie from the oven to a cooling rack and let cool for about 3 hrs before serving.