Spinach Bacon and Mushroom Quiche
I had my first quiche back in the late 70’s. It was the trendy thing to eat…at least it felt like that to me. Then in 1982 someone penned a book entitled, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”, and quiche became a cliché and passé. I hated that book for that, but I never gave up on quiche. I have to admit however that it is not on my list or regulars even though I am very fond of it. It is easy to throw together and I often have what I need for it on hand. Somewhere along the way I found a recipe in a magazine that worked for me and I have more or less stuck with it over the years. Quiche is one of those recipes that is very amenable to interpretation and improvisation. After starting with the basics of eggs, cream and cheese, you can add, create, and invent all sorts of delicious combinations. Spinach, bacon and mushrooms are my favorite default combination. For years I used the frozen pie crusts that come in foil pie tins; they worked out fine, and it was convenient keeping a couple in the freezer. Then one day I came across some deep French tart tins at a garage sale and the quality of my quiches improved dramatically. I still haven’t learned how to master a homemade pie crust, so I just stick with Miss Pillsbury (the kind you unfurl and drop into the pan). My original recipe called for Swiss cheese, but I like to use pepper jack cheese instead of Swiss for a little extra kick. I also like to sauté my onions in the rendered bacon grease, but you may opt for a healthy option and sauté them in some olive oil. Whatever you decide to put in yours, I hope you enjoy this blast from the not so distant past.
- 8 oz. Applewood smoked bacon
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- One half of a 9 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 12 oz. cheese (Swiss or pepper jack), grated
- 1-9 inch pie crust
- Begin by browning your bacon until crisp (Tip: cutting it into small pieces facilitates this step, since you are going to crumble it anyway). Pour off all but a tablespoon of the rendered fat and add onions to pan and sauté. After a minute or so, add the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté until tender and browned. Thaw the frozen spinach and squeeze out as much water as you can. Give it a rough chop and add it to the onions and mushrooms. Cook for another minute or so then add the crumbled bacon to the pan. When it is all incorporated and combined, remove from heat and set aside to cool. Roll out your pie crust and line a lightly greased nine inch pie plate or tart tin and set aside.
- Break the eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly. Whisk in the cream and then the grated cheese. Stir in the bacon, spinach, mushrooms and onion mixture. Pour this into prepared quiche shell and bake in a 375° oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top is evenly browned and the center is “set”. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
- Note on seasoning: You may notice that I did not add seasoning or salt to this quiche. I think the bacon is salty enough, and I like pepper jack cheese which has all the flavor I need. If you are using Swiss cheese, you may want to add a pinch of nutmeg and a little black pepper. Top with sour cream if you are anything like me.
Sounds and looks delicious! Not “humble pie”, for sure… I wouldn’t worry too much about whether using the rendered fat of bacon is healthy or not. A couple of guys I knew used to make a wickedly irresistible pie filled with loads of bacon, eggs, cream and whatnot. I never ate it without feeling very guilty…