When ever I listen to Ned Rorem’s ” Early in the Morning”, I am instantly transported to a French Bistro in Paris. The lyrics of this song inspired me to make my own version of a French breakfast. I have always wanted to go to Paris but, the whole ” struggling artist” thing has left me with an empty wallet. So even though I may not be at a Bistro in Paris, at least my taste buds will be. For me a french breakfast consists of two things: fresh croissants( which I will get to in my next post) and Quiche. Quiche is an open tart filled with a savory egg and cheese custard, which vegetables, ham or bacon are often added. The classic French Quiche is Quiche Lorraine, which is eggs, cheese, leeks, and ham. Quiche Lorraine is delicious but, boy is it rich. So I decided to lighten up the recipe by using mostly egg whites and adding tons of veggies. The result… a delicious deep dish Quiche that you will want to eat anytime of day. Whether it be for an”Early in the Morning” breakfast, a mid-day brunch, or a late night snack, this recipe is bound to please.
*** Also keep this recipe in mind for Easter. It is right around the corner and this Quiche would be a great addition to your Easter Menu this year.
1 package store-bought pie crust
4 whole eggs
6 egg whites
1/2 cup of milk
1 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 cups Jarlsberg cheese or Gruyère
2 cups of zucchini chopped
3 roasted red pepper( jarred in water)
1 c shallots chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
Preheat the oven at 375º. For the thyme crust, place the two dough disks on top of each other. With a rolling pin, roll out the store bought dough until you have a nice large thick circle. Then sprinkle with 3 tbs of chopped thyme leaves. Take a rolling pin and gently press on the dough so the thyme leaves get into the dough. Take the thyme dough and place it into a spring form pan and make sure to press the dough up the sides of the pan.
Next we are going to blind bake the pie crust. You are probably wondering, what does ‘blind bake’ mean? Blind baking is baking an unfilled pie shell. You cover the dough with tin foil then fill the pie shell with weighted baking beads or dried beans or rice( I use rice). Blind baking the crust prevents the crust from becoming soggy from the custard filling.
While the pie shell is baking, prepare the ingredients for the custard filling. The first thing to do is cook the vegetables. Place a large pan over medium high heat, add 1 tbs of olive oil and one tbs of butter. When the butter is melted add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent. Next add the chopped zucchini and cook until slightly tender. They should still have a nice green color to them. Remember the vegetables will cook more in the oven so you don’t want to over cook them now. Off the heat add the roasted red peppers and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grate a cup of each of the cheeses and add it to the egg mixture. Now I know Jarlsburg Cheese is not a french cheese but, I prefer the taste better than Gruyère, but by all means if you like Gruyère use it.
Add the vegetables slowly to the egg mixture and stir together quickly so that the heat from the vegetables does not scramble the eggs. Next take you partially baked pie shell and pour the custard mixture into pie shell. Do not fill all the way up to the top leave about an inch of the crust exposed.
Place the Quiche on a baking sheet and pop it into a 350º oven for 50 -60 minuets until the eggs are nice and set. To prevent the crust from burning cover with tin foil. As always the last thing to do when the Quiche is finally done is, cut your self a big slice, dig in, and enjoy.