Shallot-Mushroom Quiche (Or my pie plate is slightly too small)

Shallot-Mushroom Quiche

It's hard to tell from this photo, but my filling overflowed my crust very slightly...

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but my filling overflowed my crust very slightly…

First of all, I’d like to take the opportunity to say that fontina is a truly tasty cheese.  I don’t know that I’ve ever really bought it before, so while I was grating it I decided to do a quick taste test.  And then another.  And another.  It took a lot longer to grate the necessary amount because I pretty much ate half of what I was grating. It’s good people.  Get some.

Secondly, this quiche is packed with goodness.  It was pretty much impossible to get any bite of just egg without some mushroom or shallot.  It was really satisfying.  It was also pretty rich.  You use 3/4 cup heavy cream so that’s a lot of decadence to a meatless dish.

I really enjoyed it.  Although I wish I had made it when I had company.  Because it was so dense with mushrooms and shallots it was really filling.  I could only eat one piece in a sitting and the same for the bear.  So that was 4 meals of quiche… which is a little much.

I served it with a small side salad of leafy greens and a lemon vinaigrette to cut the richness slightly.

Make this, but make it for guests.

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So many sides!

The October 2003 issue has so many incredible sides.  This is a summary of the ones I enjoyed the most.

I love mushrooms!

I love mushrooms!

The first I want to discuss is this mushroom ragout.  I cannot even begin to describe how delicious this was!  The shallots and thyme are perfect in it.  When making the recipe I did run into one slight mishap… I had bought all the ingredients but failed to notice that it called for a dry red or white wine.  I was fresh out.  What I did have was dry vermouth!  G and I were both unsure about the substitution until I found this extremely helpful discussion on the subject by Smitten Kitchen (she’s so good!).   The vermouth tasted so incredible that I don’t think I’ll even bother with wine the next time I make this and yes, I will be making this again.

Next, I want to tell you about the beauty of braised leeks.

Can you see how silky and luscious that sauce is?

Can you see how silky and luscious that sauce is?

I love leeks, but I have never braised them.  They are incredible as the base of a chicken (along with some carrots) and they are awesome in a Vichyssoise soup (potato leek soup for those of you without the Joy of Cooking).  This dish almost combined the two flavors.  You use chicken stock as the braising liquid so it reduces and gets super flavorful.  You add butter at the end so it brings in the richness of the Vichyssoise.  I was literally ready to lick my plate the sauce was so delicious!

Luckily, I served the braised leeks with twice-baked potatoes, so I just used the starchy goodness of my potato to soak it up instead.

A plate full of happy!

A plate full of happy!

It was my first time making twice-baked potatoes so I wouldn’t say the outcome was perfect.  They were a little lumpy and not fluffy and light like the ones I’ve eaten before.  I think I should have used a mixer to do the mashing instead of a potato masher to get the perfect texture.  The flavor, however, was without fault.  Yum!

And finally, that brings me to roasted pears and sweet potatoes.

Going in for the close up!

Going in for the close up!

I cannot say enough good things about the spice mixture on these.  First of all, it’s super simple.  Just ground mustard, ginger, and cayenne.  But it works so wonderfully together and really complements the sweetness of the potatoes and the pears.  This makes a pretty big batch, but we finished the entire thing that night.  We couldn’t keep our hands off it.  If we hadn’t been using forks, I would say it was finger lickin’ good.  Well done, EF!  Well done!