Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quiche Florentine

So "Florentine" is funny chef-speak for "with spinach." Fancy restaurants probably use it because people are afraid of spinach - overcooked, gray, or slimy, it is easy to do wrong. However, it is not hard to do right either. My trick is to add at the end of cooking, so it can't get overcooked.

  • 4 ounces bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 5 ounces frozen spinach (1/2 of a package), thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (a couple of pinches)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 9-inch pie shell, homemade or frozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until crispy. Remove bacon (leave the drippings in the pan) and cook the onions and mushrooms until the mushrooms are brown and onions are caramelized. Add the garlic and spinach and cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Mix the bacon back in.

Whisk half-and-half and eggs together in a large measuring cup. Mix in salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Put the bacon/mushroom mixture into the pie shell. Add just enough of the egg mixture to cover the filling (the eggs will expand as they cook - you don't want to overflow the pie). Bake for 45 minutes, or until the eggs are just barely set (do not overcook - it will continue to firm up as it cools). Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

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