Thank goodness my onion hating brother doesn’t read my blog. He’s had an aversion to onions since….well, forever. I did, too – when I was a kid. But I grew out of it; my brother didn’t. My sister-in-law and I just roll our eyes at this because he actually DOES like onions – he just doesn’t know it. If he sees them in food, he won’t eat it. But if he doesn’t know they’re there, he gobbles down the dish. (Of course, I don’t mean an actual DISH.)
So my brother and his wife came to dinner the other night and I planned on making dolma for him, since it’s his favorite. I decided to make my ‘Bacon’-Onion-Cheese Quiche for the rest of us. There were plenty of sides dishes, as well: mushy peas (see my post – Mushy Peas: A Super-Food Disguised As A Side Dish), steamed broccoli, seasoned roasted potatoes, and a green salad. Two desserts were upcoming, as well. (Two desserts for 4 people? Oh, yeah – cause that’s how I roll!) There was no dearth of food.
I never actually named the type of quiche – I wasn’t hiding anything…I was just busy. Food was being passed and consumed, compliments were forthcoming (if I do say so myself), and at least two conversations were going on at once. This was a family dinner, after all. Then I hear my brother say, ‘This is really good quiche.’ If you know me at all by now, you’ll know I’m rarely at a loss for words. But I was then because I censored myself in the nick of time from saying, ‘It’s an ONION quiche. It’s full of ONIONS! Why are you eating that? I made dolma just for you!’ I stared at him for several seconds as I was deleting those words, before filling in said deletion with a brief, ‘Thanks’ and changed the subject quickly before anyone could ask what was in it. Knowledge may be power, but in this case ignorance was bliss. If my brother found out about the onions, he would have re-thought his compliment and stopped eating the quiche. Not to mention that the bacon topping was fake bacon. Vegetarian food is of no interest to him.
You may or may not know, but I have an online video cooking show called, VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR CARNIVORES. Yes, it’s the same name as this blog – but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (Or maybe I’m just too lazy to come up with another name.) I actually have an instructional video about making ‘Bacon’-Onion-Cheese Quiche which you can view at: ‘Bacon’-Onion’Cheese Quiche. I even show you how to make the pie crust. To see the entire list of my videos, complete with links, go to my website at VegCookingForCarnivores.com and click on the Episode Guide in the toolbar.
But here’s the written recipe, for those of you who prefer to read it:
- 1¼ cups flour (I used organic all-purpose)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ½ cup shortening (I used Crisco)
- 4 T ice water
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 3 T butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried dill
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 5 strips fake bacon (I used Morningstar brand)
- 1 cup plain yogurt, drained
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk (I used nonfat – use what you have)
- 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
While you can’t assemble this quiche ahead of time, you can do many of the steps early (even the day before) and assemble it when you’re ready to bake it. I love recipes like that. Dinner time always seems to catch me by surprise. Then I’m like a mad woman – flying around the kitchen. Don’t even think about getting in my way!
It’s really best to make the pie crust early – that way it’s nice and cold when you roll it out. ‘Roll out the crust?’ you say. ‘ Can’t I just buy pre-made?’ Yes. Yes, you can. But compare the cost of pre-made to the meager ingredients in making your own. AND, look at the ingredients list on the pre-made. I suspect there are words you don’t understand and can’t pronounce. (If you get nervous, watch my video.)
Into a medium sized bowl put the flour and salt – briefly mix these with a pastry cutter (or fork). Add in the shortening and, using your pastry cutter, mix everything together until the consistency of the dough becomes like little peas. Sprinkle in the ice water. Then using a fork, gently blend the water into the dough. DON’T OVER MIX! And DON’T USE YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR! Over working dough leads to a tough crust. Been there, done that! Gather the dough into a tight ball, lay it back in the bowl, and refrigerate.
Drain the yogurt in a sieve lined with a coffee filter. It takes at least an hour. BTW, save the drained whey – that’s the liquid – to use in place of water in various recipes. Google it! Remember, I hate waste. (Cheap!)
Fry the onions in butter until they’re golden brown. Caramelizing onions (that’s what you’re doing) makes them sweet and SOOOO good! Stir often, especially once they start to brown. (A flat headed wooden stirrer works really well for this.) Stir in the salt, pepper, and dill. Let sit until room temperature.
Bake the ‘bacon’. Follow package directions. For Morningstar, bake at 375ºF for a total of 15 minutes, turning once. Let cool completely so the ‘bacon’ gets nice and crispy.
All of those steps can be done ahead of time, if you want.
To assemble the quiche, first roll out the pie crust. On a well floured FLAT surface (I use Tupperware’s pastry sheet), and with well floured hands, take your chilled dough ball and start to flatten it with the palm of one hand, while pushing in the raggedy edges with the other. You want a smooth perimeter. Now take your well floured rolling pin and start rolling back and forth one way, then 90º the other way. Push in the edges again, as needed. Continue to flour the rolling pin, and roll in all directions to keep the circle round. Once it’s big enough to line the bottom and sides of your 10″ quiche pan (with a little extra for crimping), fold the dough circle in half. CAREFULLY, lift up the dough and let it dangle over one hand. With the other hand brush off the excess flour. Set the folded edge along the center of the quiche pan. Unfold the dough. Go around and crimp the edges by rolling it towards the center and pinching it. Crimping give the crust a finished touch.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Do this now – the oven will be ready when you’ve assembled the quiche.
In a medium bowl beat the eggs with a fork. Beat in the milk and yogurt.
Layer the onions on the crust, then sprinkle on the cheese, pour on the egg mixture, and crumble on the ‘bacon’. It’s going to look like you don’t have enough egg mixture, but don’t worry – it puffs up while baking. Bake for 45-50 minutes – until the top is golden brown. Remove carefully from the oven (don’t jiggle it) and let set for at least 15 minutes before slicing. It will be a mushy mess if you try to cut it sooner – it needs time to firm up.
You can bet I’ll be serving this quiche to my brother again. However, I’m going to have to come up with another name for it so he doesn’t know what’s in it. Any ideas? I’d love to hear them!