Thursday, 6 August 2009

Bacon and Leek Quiche

In France, this dish is known as Quiche aux Poireaux avec Lardons, The leeks and bacon filling of this quiche produces a flavoursome country style dish. Together with a green salad, it makes for a very agreeable light lunch or dinner. This was very popular with the guests at The Great Tree Hotel especially as a light lunch or supper dish.

Serves / Makes: 6
Prep-Time: 10 minutes
Cook-Time: 30 min
You Will Need;
  1. One Recipe of Short Crust Pastry (Pâte Brisée)
  2. ½ pound bacon, cut into 1 cm (about ½-inch) cubes
  3. 2 leeks, white and light green parts, chopped (about 2 cups)
  4. 3 shallots thinly sliced
  5. ¼-teaspoon salt
  6. 1/8-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1-tablespoon Dijon mustard
  8. 3 eggs
  9. 1-cup milk
  10. ½-cup single cream
  11. ¼ pound Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/3-cups)
  12. 1 Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Cook the bacon in a frying pan / skillet over a low heat until just cooked, not crisp. Add the shallots, leeks, salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté until the leeks and shallots are soft and the bacon is crisp, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Drain off the surplus fat, if any. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and arrange the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Then on a liberally floured surface, roll the pastry from the centre out, lifting pastry, turning it slightly, and intermittently turning over to prevent it from sticking. Roll the pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Lightly butter and flour a 9-inch pie dish and line with the pastry, leaving about ¼-inch overhang for shrinkage. Pinch up the surplus pastry to form an edge and flute, prick the bottom all over with a fork.
  • Line the pastry case with a sheet of parchment or aluminium foil larger than the dish, and fill with pie beans (the ceramic ones are ideal for this). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges begin to colour. Remove the paper and beans, and spread the mustard over the bottom of the pastry.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly with the milk and cream, add a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg and then mix in the bacon and cheese mixture, pour the custard into the pie shell to within ¼-inch off the top of the crust.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the custard is just cooked.
  • Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm or room temperature.

Serving Suggestions

My favourite is, to serve the quiche with steamed new baby potatoes tossed in butter, freshly chopped mint, and parsley and with baby lettuce leaves, cucumber, spring onions finely chopped, sweet cherry tomatoes together with a little chopped red pepper. On the other hand, you could try jacket potatoes with melted butter.

Leek is a vegetable related to the onion and garlic. Its edible portions are the white onion base and the green stalks. The white onion-like layers form around a core. I prefer to use young leeks. Otherwise discard the outer leaves; you can use them for soups.