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Thursday, February 24, 2011

What to do when you don't know what to do

So, it's four o'clock.  Supper is soon.  No meat was extracted from the deep freeze for this meal that has clearly snuck up on you, out of nowhere.  Kids are home from school.  Chaos, not cuisine, is reigning supreme at your home(quick name that FoodNetwork show!).  What to do, what to do.

Do this.

Make a quiche.

Yikes!  Sounds scary!  How ever will I pull it off?  Where will I find the ingredients?  Isn't that a fancy shmancy French dish? What is the meaning to life?

Enough already.  Here we have life's problems solved with pie plate and a box of eggs.  Or, at least a really good start on it.

Remember the perfect pie crust?  Well, here is a perfectly good use for it.

Take your basic pie plate.  Anyone will do.  This little number is a honeymoon gift from Goose to me.  It came with four matching mini-pie plates.  Not that you actually need that information.  Nor do you need to know that we honeymooned 10 minutes down the road from where we now live.  True story.  Not a word of a lie.


Roll out your pie crust and fill your pie plate.  I love this particular pie plate because the edges are already fluted, thus giving the illusion that I actually know how to do something like that.

Then pop it back in the fridge to keep it cool  No need to cover it, it won't be in there that long.

OK, OK, if you don't have pie crust on hand (who are you?  Do I know you?) go ahead and use a frozen one.  I won't tell.

Fry up some bacon.  Here's an old family secret:  bake, don't fry.  Technically, it will be baking in its own grease, which probably means its still frying, but whatever. 
Second family secret: line it up on a foil covered rimmed baking sheet.  Clean up will be a breeze and the bacon pieces will come out nice and straight and even.  I bake at 350-400F until desired doneness.  My mother broils.  Depends on how much of a hurry you are in.  I like the baking method, as I like crisper bacon.

See - like this.  All crisp and beautiful

This makes it a snap to use later for sandwiches and general gnashing.  It also makes it much easier to chop up, if your recipe requires.  This will keep in your fridge a considerable length of time.  As in, a week or more.  Not that it ever lasts that long around here.

So, you take some eggs.  For a deep dish pie plate like the one I used, I'd suggest something in the neighbourhood of half a dozen eggs.  Finely chop up some onion and toss it in there.

Next comes some grated cheese.  The sharper the better.  Again, it's to taste, but I'd recommend something in the 3/4 cup range.

Next - zee seeecret ingreediant! Salsa!  If you have a juicy salsa, I'd recommend draining it.  Too  much moisture just doesn't work here.  I'd say about 1/2 to a full cup.  Crumble in as much bacon as you'd like.

**Helpful hint - you can also use the pre-cooked, pre-crumbled bacon, but I don't find it has quite as much flavour.  Or, if you need to make it for those vegetarian weirdos, omit it all together.

Next, give it a good wisk about.  A wisk really is the weapon of choice here.  We are dealing with eggs after all.  Then add some milk, enough to reasonably fill the pie plate you are working with.  For me, that was up to the 6 cup mark.
Then, pop it into your chilled pie crust.  Note that the quiche mixture doesn't go all the way to the top of the pie plate.  Egg pouf and need room to work.  And hey, nobody likes to be crowded in a hot space.  Just leads to bad endings.

Then, pop it in the oven at 350 F for at least an hour.  It is done when it not longer violently jiggles in the middle and begins to crack around the outside edges.  Don't worry if you stick your knife in the middle and it is still a little juicy looking in the middle. The eggs will continue to cook after they are out of the oven.

Then - let it sit.  Five to ten minutes.  Don't tend it or you will end up with soggy crust.  You will also note that my crust shrank here.  I did not chill my pie crust - a big no no.  Sorry Martha.

Then slice into that baby.  This one was cut a little too warm and the filling didn't have time to entirely set up.

This is a little better.  Serve with a dollop of nice, cool sour cream and a side salad.  Shazam! Dinner is served!
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