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Friday, January 27, 2006

Quiche Lion House


If you are Mormon and you get married you are almost certain to receive at least one copy of the Lion House Recipes cookbook. The Lion House was once Mormon prophet and pioneer Brigham Young's home and now houses a cafe specializing in gluten. Afraid of flavor? This is the place.

To be fair, the Lion House is an excellent repository of middle-American home cooking, especially for baked foods. We use the banana bread and pumpkin bread recipes all the time.

I turned to the Lion House today because I wanted to make quiche with a graham cracker crust. Why would I want to do such a thing?
1. Because over the summer I bought a box of do-gooder, low-sugar graham crackers, most of which remained uneaten until now.
2. Because I didn't feel like going to the Coop again for groceries.
3. Because I did happen to have eggs and cream.
4. And finally, because though I do have some lard I did not feel like making a pie crust from scratch.

I found both a graham cracker crust recipe and a recipe for Quiche Lorraine in the Lion House. I altered both, first the crust by omitting the sugar. For that I combined 1 1/2 cups crushed crackers with 6 tablespoons of butter and pressed the mixture into a pie pan.

From what I've read the French (and many Francophile Americans) are continually appalled at what we try to pass off as quiche Lorraine. Non! It does not contain the likes of broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, or even spinach. It does not, as the Lion House would like you to think, contain green onions and green bell peppers, either. In fact, it does not even contain cheese.

But we all know this blog is not about authenticity, so here's how I made mine. I fried four slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped them up fine, and scattered them over the bottom of the prepared (but unbaked) crust. Then I grated about a cup of parmesean. In a bowl I mixed three eggs, one cup of cream, about a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and a couple dashes of salt. I whisked this together and filled the crust, then topped it with fresh ground pepper and a small handful of slivered almonds. I baked the dish for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.

And it worked. The graham cracker crust with the almonds gave it some crunch and the filling was just rich, savory fun. I also liked the change of using parmesean instead of what you usually get in American quiche, Swiss cheese. If I could it again, though, I'd double the filling and use a springform pan to get a deeper custard.

In other news, Lane happened upon this disturbing list today. Kind of makes me embarrassed for the exact moment when I said "Hey, I know, I'll start a food blog!" But thanks to the list I found my doppelganger Down Under.

Also, an update on Jasper's sleep schedule: we're back on track! Today he got up at 8:30, practically with the chickens for us. It's so exciting to be awake with the rest of the world. So this is what the sun feels like as it shines upon our faces. And look, other children all around. My, what a world we find in the daytime.

Thanks, everyone, for your onion wisdom. Golly, onions... Who knew that would prove such an attractive subject!

3 comments:

shaunamama said...

I'm definitely making this one! I'm glad for your revisions, as my hubby can't stand bland food. I think I might be the only person in this state that doesn't own a copy of that book! This sounds simply wonderful...thanks so much!

janeannechovy said...

If it makes you feel better, Shauna, I don't have it either, and I have about 5-6 feet of cookbooks.

I make quiche relatively often (though not since I've been off dairy), and I've tried lots of variations, including a really yummy one with cubes of fresh salmon, chopped asparagus and gruyere (obviously an early-spring kind of recipe), but most often with sauteed greens and onions and some blend of cheeses (but never Swiss, which I don't like). I have never, though, tried it with a graham-cracker crust. Sounds intriguing but not wholly appetizing to me, actually.

A, did you bake it in a regular pie dish or a deep one? I usually use a deep one (the Pyrex one with the fluted edges and the little bitty handle thingies), and I can't imagine having it much deeper (a la springform pan) and still getting the custard set before some other part got overcooked. I guess it's possible that you made it in a tart pan or something else even shallower than a pie pan, in which case I can totally understand your craving for more custard!

One last quiche note: I can't decide if I like my cheese really finely grated so it melts completely into the custard, or more coarsely so you get pockets of cheesy goodness. Mmmmm.

julie said...

THis is interesting. I did not know there was a Lion House cookbook. Do you happen to have any recipes from the restaurant at the old Hotel Utah? I remember a lot of gals getting engaged at that restaurant, and me smirking behind my hand. (Oh, I was just jealous, I guess.)