A Terrier’s Life & Quiche Before the Concert

THURSDAY

Middle School Steel Pans Concert

Bacon, Shiitake & Shallot Quiche  |  Spinach Salad with Bosc Pears, Cranberries, Red Onion & Toasted Hazelnuts

Quiche Finished

Menu Trim

Okay, I know…the height of the finished crust turned out a bit uneven.  Not bad considering…but I will get back to that.

First, let me introduce you to our Hunt Terrier, “Tuffy”…he is NOT a morning dog.  This picture was taken at 9:00am this morning right before I needed to boot him from the bed so I could make it!  Tuffy sleeps with Mallory {every night} but when she gets up he trolls around for a warm bed to sneak into, hoping everyone will leave him alone at least until 10:00am when his day really begins…

Tuffy In My Bed

He was NOT happy when I scooped him out of his little nest…

As usual, today was filled with chores & errands {Christmas preparations…} and tonight we had Max & Mallory’s Steel Pans Concert.  Both of the children have a musical elective at school where they learn to play the steel pans…a funky, reggae-style instrument.  The teacher is amazing & you can tell, by watching him play with the kids, that he is having the best time!  All the kids love this elective & I look forward to this concert so much!!!  I do not have to go out and buy obscure red & green clothing to be used for one evening and the children do not have to endure hours of loathed Holiday Concert rehearsals for a show that will go on for  2-3 hours.  For this concert, the kids attend in their “real” clothes and play an instrument they all enjoy with a teacher they respect, immensely.  We, as an audience, were treated to the music of Bob Marley, Coldplay, one Direction, The Kinks & an amazing rendition of  the theme to “Skyfall” {the newly-released James Bond movie}.  Start to finish…we were done in 1 hour and the applause was deafening.

With the concert tonight, our schedule was really tight.  Max had basketball practice until 4:00pm, Maddie home at 5:00pm, Michael home at 6:00pm…be back at school by 6:45pm {6:30 departure from home}.  My goal was to have dinner staged and ready to go when Michael got home but, instead of rushing through supper, we waited until we got home.  So, as it turns out…we enjoyed quiche after the Concert.  I first posted this quiche on my Weekly Dinner Menu linked to a quiche recipe by Sara Moulton and found on Saveur.com, but I have adapted it so heavily that, I believe, it has become my own…

I returned home very late from my morning errands & realized I did not have enough time to make the quiche dough from scratch.  Pizza delivery or take-out tonight?  No way!  A box of La Boulange Puff Pastry Dough was tucked in the freezer poised for an emergency such as this.  But, can you make quiche with puff pastry dough?  Well, I was going to try…

First, preheat oven to 375°.  Then thaw the pastry dough for 15 – 30 minutes & then score with a fork…

Puff Pastry Dough Squares

As you can see, I scored the dough with a fork {all over} hoping that it would keep the dough “deflated” and not puff.  Next was to seal the holes, somewhat, so the egg mixture would not leak through the dough.  I did this by brushing a light coat of dijon mustard over the dough…

PP Dough Brushed with Dijonm

Then I trimmed the extra dough from the rim of the pan.  This is where I made my mistake.  Not accounting for “shrinkage” I cut along the rim of the pan…

PP Dough Trimmed

Looking at the finished quiche {first photo of this post}, you can see that the dough shrank at the edges.  Next time I will leave some overhang.  Nevertheless…this dough turned out to be one of the very best quiche crusts I have ever tasted!  By using prepared puff pastry crust I shaved 2 hours off dinner prep time {2 hours I just didn’t have today}!

As for the filling, I started by cooking the bacon {I only chopped up three pieces for the quiche, reserving the remaining slices in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for breakfast tomorrow morning}…

Bacon Sizzling

When done, let cool, chop & set aside.  Next I added 1 shallot, thinly sliced & a ½ pound of Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped, to the bacon drippings in the pan…

Mushroom & Onion Chopped

Mushroom & Onion Saute

Set the cooked bacon, mushroom & shallots aside to cool.  In the meantime, make the egg filling…

Gruyere for Quiche

In a mixing bowl, combine the following:

  • ¾ cup of grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste

Whisk all of the above to combine and then add the bacon, mushrooms & shallots.  Stir to combine and then pour into the prepared crust…

Quiche Pre Cook

Bake the quiche for 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set.   The finished quiche…

Quiche Finished

 

Now for the salad…Make the dressing first {note I have doubled the recipe here because we love this dressing so much, we will use for other salads}:

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Combine all of the above in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, cover and shake until combined.  Set aside.

The salad, itself, is easy…baby spinach, sliced Bosc Pears, thinly sliced red onions & dried cranberries…

Spinach Pear Cranberry Salad

Coming home to a home-cooked meal after the concert was perfect as the children all had plenty of homework {and it was so cold outside}!  Two slices of quiche left-over and three children…wonder how this will play out in the morning?

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