07 November 2011

crab mushroom quiche

One of my mother’s standout Sunday or special holiday breakfast dishes was what she called “Quiche Lorraine.” She probably read the name in some trashy romance novel, wherein the heroine is served breakfast in bed in a Paris hotel after spending the night with a handsome, mysterious guy she met less than 24 hours before.

Although my mom did read some of what would be considered proper, fine literature, her real thrill was reading cheap paperbacks in the Danielle Steel genre. She was usually reading at least 4 books concurrently. Her library was stashed in the bathroom cupboard, behind the spare toilet paper.

My mother’s version of quiche was actually a crust-less, mostly all egg concoction that included finely chopped ham, green peppers and onions. I grew up thinking that all quiches were made this way. Only in later life did I discover the wide variation of fillings and the more common style of serving a quiche in a pie-like pastry, as either a lunch or dinner menu item.

This recipe makes enough for two full quiches — one to eat tonight, and one to freeze and save for your own special Sunday morning-after.

12 oz (or more) crab meat: I used combination of 9 oz fresh lump crab meat and (1) 6 oz can crab meat
5 large eggs
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 leek
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill (or use dried dill)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon (or more) Old Bay seafood seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 oz (1 cup) coarsely grated cheese: “Tex Mex” blend, or Monterey Jack/Swiss blend cheese
2 pre-baked deep dish pie shells (buy frozen, then thaw)

Cut leek’s white portion into small slices. Half the slices then sauté in butter on slow heat until the leeks start to caramelize. Add mushrooms and sauté another few minutes, seasoning with favorite herb mixture (Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning or herbes de provence). Allow to cool.

Whisk together eggs, cream, herbs, seafood seasoning, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then stir in cheeses and crabmeat. Add in leek and mushroom mixture.

Pour into prebaked pie shells and bake until filling puffs and is no longer wobbly in center when quiche is gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pie plate on rack 15 minutes.

Serve with simple salad of baby greens in French vinaigrette. For an even more authentic French meal, serve with a few cornichons — tiny French gherkins pickles — available at Trader Joe's.

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