Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Quiche

It's been a tradition for the last 14 years or so that I make a quiche for Christmas breakfast. Usually, I make the classic Quiche Lorraine with bacon and swiss, but I've been known to throw in a curveball every now and then with a quick quiche (using Bisquick in the filling) or a hash brown quiche. This year, Kara has specifically requested Lorraine, but since we've got a lot of ham left from a few days ago I figured I'd also make a ham and cheese quiche too.

Here are the recipes I plan to use, both culled from AllRecipes.com, one of my favorite idea spots.

Ingredients
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Place bacon in a large skillet, and fry over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then chop coarsely. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion into pastry shell.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Allow quiche to sit 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.


Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup canned mushrooms
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can ham, flaked
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Beat together flour, salt, half-and-half and eggs in a medium bowl.

Place Swiss cheese flat in the pie crust. Arrange spinach evenly over Swiss cheese, then cover with mushrooms. Pour the flour and egg mixture over mushrooms. Cover with flaked ham and top with Cheddar cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven 45 to 55 minutes, until surface is golden brown.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Baked Bacon

I love bacon; I mean, who in their right mind doesn't? But it's such a mess to cook! There's avoiding hot popping grease, cleaning up splatters, smoking oil, and the burnt-on bits left in the pan.... The remedy? Baked bacon.

Blasphemy, you say? No, it's bliss. Here's why: no popping messes, no cooking in batches, no flipping, no scrubbing pans afterwards, no muss, no fuss. Oh, and all the bacon is done at the same time!

Baked Bacon

Ingredients
1 lb of bacon

Directions
Place a rack on a large cookie sheet (do not attempt this with a "rimless" cookie sheet unless you want a horrible mess in your oven! Bacon grease will spill out all over everywhere! If you don't have a rack, use aluminum foil that has been crinkled and then mostly smoothed out. If you don't crinkle the foil you'll have sticking issues. Even if you do have racks, you might want to put foil under the rack (between the rack and the sheet, not between the rack and the bacon) to prevent grease from burning onto the pan.

Lay out your bacon on the rack in a single layer. I had to use two sheets and two racks to fit one pound of bacon. Slide the bacon into a cool oven.

Set the oven to 400F and cook bacon for 17-20 minutes. Check for doneness--you might go as long as 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the bacon and the speed at which your oven heats up. Be careful not to overcook; there's a fine line between crispy bacon and dried hunks of meat-that-was-formerly-bacon.