Monday, July 16, 2012

Robiola & Garden Herb Quiche

I made this dish last night and it was such a hit with the grown-ups and our young boys, I wanted to share it as soon as possible!  I had feared the "green stuff" would be a problem but we talked about what herbs are and they were willing to explore.  :) 

I highly recommend the whole wheat crust.  It gives it a great crunch which really adds to the comforting creaminess of the quiche.  You don't have to use robiola - I actually had planned to use chevre until I realized I didn't have any, and robiola was my closest substitute!  Any mild cheese would work well.  If it's a hard cheese, grate it.

This recipe makes 2 quiches - you can easily cut it in half if you prefer.  I just find that it's as easy to make 2 and then I have 1 to take to in-laws, a friend who just had a baby, or our freezer for pulling out on a busy night.  Quiches are fast and easy to make, with the notable exception of the time it takes to make a crust.  There's not a lot of hands-on time in making the crust, but you have to plan ahead for the chilling time.  Since this needs a pre-baked crust, you could even make it at any point in the days prior to the actual quiche, and just refrigerate or freeze it until you're ready for it.  And of course, there's always pre-made crusts from the store.

serves 6 to 10 (makes two 9-inch quiches)

The Crust

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 pound chilled butter
1/4 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
1/3 cup ice water

Sometimes I use my food processor for this, sometimes I use my pastry cutter.  Either in the food processor bowl or a medium-sized bowl, mix the flours, sugar, and salt.  Get the butter out of the fridge and chop it into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces, dropping it over the flour.  Spin the food processor blade or chop with the pastry cutter until the texture is somewhat granulated looking.  Get the shortening out of the fridge and do the same thing with it.

Now drizzle the cold water over the top and pulse with the food processor blade or mix with a spatula or large serving spoon.  The dough should start sticking together - pull out a black walnut sized piece and see if it sticks together when you squeeze it.  If not, add a bit more water, carefully - you don't want to add so much that it is sticky, just enough to hold together. 

Separate the dough into 2 hamburger patty shaped, wrap individually in saran wrap, and pop into the fridge to chill a bit, at least an hour or so.  (You can also freeze it at this point but do thaw it before you try to roll it out!)  This could be a good time to select and clean the herbs you will use, plant some of those 50% off annuals, or think about what you'll make for dessert!

Pull the dough out of the fridge.  Get out your rolling pin and 2 pie pans, and select a surface to roll out your pie dough; scatter flour on it, rub some on your rolling pin.  Put one dough patty in the middle and scatter a bit of flour on the top if it seems on the sticky side. 

Roll your dough out and put them on the pie pans, folding excess dough back in to give you something to work with if you want to pattern the lip of the pie.  I usually do a thumbprint version, just using my thumb to indent around the edges.  In the picture above I did a pat-in-the-pan crust.

Chill the pie crusts for at least 30 minutes.  After that's done, preheat the oven to 400.

If you have pie weights, yay!  (I don't have any but want some!)  Put down some tin foil, shiny side down and enough to cover the edges and put the pie weights on top in the middle.  You can also use rice or beans.  I am revealing possibly a personal problem here that I don't do that anymore as it does alter the rice and beans and I can't stand wasting them.  (I used to use the rice for home-made dog food but I actually buy store-bought dog food now!)  Anyway, I haven't found it to be a big problem. 

Bake for 20 minutes, and if you are not using some type of pie weight, check every once in a while to prick holes in the bottom with a fork if bubbles are forming.  Pull it out of the oven and let it cool while you assemble the quiche ingredients, or if you've already prepped the filling, lower the oven temp to 350, pour the filling in and bake for about 30 minutes until center seems set.

The Filling & The Whole Quiche(s!)

4 tblspn butter
1/2 to 1 cup assorted cleaned, chopped herbs
8 ounces Robiola or chevre
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper
8 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 goat milk parmesan or cheddar type cheese, or any grating cheese (optional)

Suggestions for the herbs:  chives, oregano, flat-leaf and curly parsley, tarragon, any type basil, thyme, small amount rosemary.  Most importantly, use lots of what you have available fresh and sounds good to you!  I used chives, flat-leaf parsley, oregano, tarragon, & a little rosemary.

Preheat the oven to 350 if it's not already easily there from baking the pie crusts.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the herbs, sauteing until tender.  In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and grated cheese if using.  Over the bowl, break the robiola or chevre into small chunks or pieces and beat with a whisk, don't worry about beating too smooth.  Mix in the soft buttered herbs and pour the quiche mixture into the two crusts.

Bake the quiches in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes.  You're watching for the center to be somewhat set.  I don't bake mine until it is completely set tho as I find it continues to cook even after it's out of the oven.  So if I catch it when it's just almost there, it's perfect by the time it is served.