Friday, February 14, 2014

Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche

Last Year's Post:  Wild Mushroom & Wild Rice Chicken Soup
Two Years Ago:   Turnovers

Quiche is very versatile in terms of working well for brunch, lunch or dinner.  The only issue with quiche is getting it out of the dish neatly, even after it rests for a while. (And those of you who know me know I am ALL about neatness.) I have two suggestions for how to get around that issue.  The first is to make individual little quiches, which was my solution for years.  It does, however, require a little more work and some specialized pans that are available in gourmet kitchen stores.

Although I called that a solution, it's really more an avoidance of the original problem.  There is basically only one solution for neatly cutting a whole quiche - make it in advance and refrigerate it, then cut and reheat. If you've ever wondered how restaurants serve such nice neat slices, that's their secret. (The same thing works for pies and lasagna.)

Here's the difference between cutting a slice after the quiche rests for 30 minutes out of the oven (top) and the next day (bottom).

If you don't care whether your slices are perfect or you can't wait because your wild mushroom quiche smells that good or you really like the gooey cheesiness of it all, by all means dig in.  If you're having company for brunch and want it to look really pretty, make it in advance.  The other bonus is that you won't have to worry about any extra liquid in the dish.

OK, so enough about technique.  I chose this particular quiche because I really like the starring role the wild mushrooms play with nutty Gruyere cheese as the perfect complement.  They're left in chunks and browned until they're deeply flavorful and earthy, and there's lots of them.  I used oyster mushrooms, creminis, and shiitakes but you can use all of one or two types if you want.

After cleaning and trimming the stems, cut them into chunks and saute (the mushrooms shrink quite a bit as they lose their liquid). Sauteing until browned is the secret to great flavor.

The mushrooms have such deeply earthy flavor that the quiche makes a very satisfying dinner paired with a fresh green salad and crusty bread.  One other note - the recipe calls for a 9" deep dish pie pan, but a regular 9" pan will also work as long as your crust didn't slip down the side when it was first baked.  Just make sure the pan isn't full to the very top of the crust before baking or it may leak a bit as it bakes and puffs.

printable recipe
Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche
Serves 6-8

 Note:  For the most perfect slices, bake the quiche a day in advance and refrigerate.  Cut slices and reheat.

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2/3 cups chopped shallot (about 3 medium)
12 to 14 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (such as shiitake, oyster, cremini)
1 homemade or refrigerated pie crust
3 large eggs
2/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 ½ cups (packed) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (about 5 ounces), divided

Wipe mushrooms with a clean damp cloth to remove dirt.  Remove shiitake stems completely and slice the ends off the stems of other mushrooms.  Cut mushrooms in half or quarters depending on their size and shape to create pieces of ½ - ¾” in size. 

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shallots; sauté until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until mushrooms have released their liquid, are tender and beginning to brown, about 9-10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 450d.  Press the pie crust firmly onto the bottom and sides of a 9” deep-dish glass pie plate.  Bake until light golden brown, pressing on sides of crust with back of spoon if crust begins to slide down sides of dish, about 12-13 minutes.  Remove to cool slightly.  Reduce oven temperature to 325d.

Whisk eggs, half and half, milk, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and thyme in a large bowl to blen.  Stir in 1 cup of grated Gruyere.  Place the sautéed mushrooms in the pie crust and pour the filling over the mushrooms.  Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese over the top.

Bake until the quiche is puffed, golden brown, and just set in the center, about 45 minutes.  Cool 30 minutes before serving.

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