Saturday, January 26, 2008

quiche

Once again I have challenged the recipe section of “Martha Stewart Living” and emerged triumphant.

I used to be really intimidated by the recipes in the magazine, especially after I made this really good pasta pie that took hours and was so labor intensive that I swore never to make it again even though I saved the recipe. I realize now that part of the problem was my uncertainty, but most of the problem was my old kitchen. For starters, it didn’t have counters. It also only had three burners, only one of which was full sized, on the stove, and the oven was so small I had to buy pans and baking dishes because normal ones wouldn’t fit in it. Now that I’ve moved here and have counters, a full sized oven, a refrigerator in the same room (in my old apartment the refrigerator was in the room next door because it didn’t fit in the room where the kitchen was), and a dishwasher, I’m having a lot more fun cooking.

It was almost as fun buying food after work on Friday, because Food City has a display in the front where they’ve built a stadium out of twelve-pack boxes and are playing out a Superbowl:

Super Bottle Bowl!

It looks like beer is about to run in a touchdown against vitamin water, but there’s still a chance for the water to turn it around.

Anyway, fully outfitted at the grocery store, I set to work this afternoon by getting out everything I would need:

ingredients

See, right there, that’s where having kitchen counters is wonderful. In my old kitchen I had to run back and forth to the fridge and the pantry, or else get everything out and set it down on the floor. Also, to the right of the TV tray, you can see I got that knife set I wanted for Christmas, which is also wonderful.

Anyway, the first part of making the quiche was baking the crust, which I kind of cheated on. The recipe had long, complicated directions for making dough and chilling it and blind baking it filled with dried beans and doing all the other things Martha Stewart berates an assistant into doing, but I figured crust is crust and bought premade refrigerated pie crust dough.

cheating

I pressed it into the springform pan I got at an estate sale (I’m going to get back into going to those this summer), generously pricked the bottom with a fork until it was pretty much perforated, and baked it.

baked crust

The top got a little brown, but overall it seemed fine. I didn’t know if the quiche filling would rise during baking, so I made the crust fairly tall. After that, I had to make the bacon, which has long been a challenge to me. I like super crispy bacon, so I always made it in the microwave, and never really learned how to make it on the stovetop. Every time I try I end up with tiny, badly burned scraps of carbon that used to be meat, but this time I followed advice from my friend MegaBigEye (obviously not his real name) and started with a cold pan, cold bacon, and low heat:

bacon

It came out perfect. Once the bacon was down, I had to simmer the onions until translucent in the bacon drippings and some olive oil:

onions

Once I cooked the hell out of the onions, I added the maple syrup:

maple

I used real maple syrup from home, a stocking stuffer from my mom that I brought back in my suitcase. The maple and onion only cooked together for a minute, and then I removed it from the heat and mixed up the eggs, cream, and spices for the rest of the filling:

filling

After that I had to mix everything together, pour it into the crust, and sprinkle it with the crumbled bacon.

ready for baking

It’s really hard to crumble bacon without eating any. When I make this again, I’ll have to make extra bacon to nibble while I put the quiche together. As it was, I licked my fingers about fifty times while crumbling the bacon. (Don’t worry, whoever’s reading. If I make this for you I will refrain from licking any of the food.) Anyway, I baked it, where the absurd height of the crust became even more apparent:

done!

After it cooled, I sliced it up:

quiche

Oh my God, it was good. The bacon was salty, and there was just a hint of onion, and the maple was almost like an undertone. The whole thing together was delicious, and I continue to not be nearly as scared of Martha as I used to be. I only say that, of course, without her present. In person I’m sure she’s intimidating as hell.

3 comments:

Dabs said...

:slobber:

JMBower said...

NY maple syrup?

NICE. We have a hard time getting that here. I was half tempted to go spike all our trees one year.

I really don't want to like Martha Stewart, but she makes nice food. And, now, I assume, a heck of a festive shank. and that's good thing.

Benny said...

how about a suggestion for the bacon? try cooking it in the oven.