December 29, 2018

Quiche Lorraine

New Year's Eve is not my favorite holiday if I'm being honest. Everybody says they want to go out and do something fun when in reality most people probably just want to be at home in their pajamas. The food is always a bit of a letdown too, since it's mostly just appetizers. I need a real dinner, people! Also, if I am going to stay up all night and socialize I at least need a good breakfast to look forward to. There's always a decadent French Toast or some fresh biscuits, but quiche is great because it's filling, can be eaten at any time of day (*cough* if you're sleeping late from the night before), and kicks off the new year with the illusion of nutrition. Eggs are healthy right? You're just adding some bacon and cheese for flavor, the onion counts as a vegetable, and the crust just makes it easier to eat.

Quiche Lorraine is delicious because it takes all my favorite parts of quiche--the cheese and the bacon--and complements it with some onions and that's it. No other fussy veggies to cook off or fancy ingredients to buy. You could dress it up with shallots instead of onions or maybe a handful of fresh herbs, but if you really want something more hefty just go with another quiche recipe, like this one with mushrooms and caramelized onions.

The quiche crust is my basic savory all-butter pie crust recipe. Just combine flour with a pinch of salt and sugar, add some cold butter, and stir in enough water to make the dough come together. Keep it cold and work it as little as possible and you'll end up with a buttery, flaky crust to cradle your quiche. The quiche base consists of eggs and half and half plus a bit of salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. To make it quiche Lorraine, I throw in some bacon, diced onions cooked in those tasty bacon drippings, and grated cheese, preferably Swiss or Gruyere. If you make the pie dough the night before, you can make the filling and get it in the oven within 15 minutes in the morning. That means you can have a piping hot, fresh quiche ready to go an hour into the first morning of 2019, or you could have an overachieving early bird do it for you and sleep in (the best way to start the new year).

1 Recipe Pie Crust Dough
8 oz Bacon
1 Small Onion, Chopped
2 Sprigs Thyme
5 Eggs
1 Cup Half and Half
1 Cup Shredded Cheese (Preferably Swiss or Gruyere)
Pinch Nutmeg

Heat oven to 400F.

Roll the pie dough out to fit a 9" pie plate. Crimp the edges and chill until cold.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove and chop coarsely.

Drain all but 2T bacon drippings from the skillet. Add the onion and thyme and cook for 4 minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the eggs, half and half, cheese, onions, and bacon together. Season with salt and pepper and the nutmeg. Pour into the prepared crust and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden and just set, covering the edges as necessary to prevent over-browning.

Pie Crust:
Pulse 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt in the bowl of a food processor to combine. Add 1 stick of chilled and cubed butter (and 1/2 cup shredded hard cheese, if desired) and pulse until small lumps remain, then drizzle in cold water until it clumps together.
Pie Crust Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6-8.

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