Unleash quiche in your kitchen

June 13, 1999|By Annette Gooch | Annette Gooch,Universal Press Syndicate

From elitist French fare to kitsch cuisine to standard deli food, quiche seems finally to have found a permanent niche on the U.S. culinary scene.

In its most ancient form, quiche (from "kuchen," German for "little cake") was a savory pie with a bread base. Contemporary quiches have shells of pastry or phyllo (some are crustless) and imaginative fillings with cheese, vegetables, seafood or vegetarian combinations.

Butter-braised leeks and a hint of mustard flavor this cheese quiche.

Leek-Gruyere Quiche

Serves 6

3 large leeks, trimmed and cleaned

2 tablespoons butter

Egg Pastry for Quiche, unbaked (recipe below)

1 1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese

3 eggs

1 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch each: white pepper and ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice leeks about / inch thick. In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sliced leeks; cook, stirring often, until leeks are limp and color brightens (6 to 8 minutes). Distribute leeks evenly in bottom of 9 1/2 -inch quiche shell. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese.

Beat eggs with half-and-half, mustard, salt, white pepper and nutmeg; pour over cheese.

Bake quiche for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle quiche evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese, then bake until crust is nicely browned and filling is just set in center (5 to 10 minutes more).

Let cool at least 3 minutes before cutting in wedges to serve.

Egg Pastry for Quiche

Makes one 9 1/2 -inch quiche crust

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1 egg, slightly beaten

In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter and shortening until mixture is crumbly.

Gradually add egg to flour mixture, stirring until dough is evenly moistened and begins to cling together. Shape into a flattened ball.

Roll out on a floured board or pastry cloth to about a 12-inch circle. Ease pastry into a 9 1/2 -by-1-inch quiche pan. Trim edge to about a 1/2 -inch overhang, then fold pastry under, even with top of dish.

Pub Date: 06/13/99

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