Hoboken's St. Patrick's Day is always celebrated on the first Saturday in March each year. This year, my roommate Kimmy and I decided to host the "morning party". (Read: We don't want drunk random people spilling beer in our apartment and falling through our doors in the afternoon.) Of course, to hold a proper breakfast party you have to have bacon and eggs. Of course. So what did Kimmy and I do? We went out and purchased 4 dozen eggs and several packages of bacon for the event. I mean, who's going to resist all these goodies first thing in the morning?
Hmmmm....let's cut to approximately 1 hour before herding everyone to the 1pm Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade. (Read: "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.") For some reason, we STILL have 2 dozen eggs left over and no one seems interested in eating anymore. This may have had something to do with the "liquid diet" that most people seemed to be sticking to.
OK fine. The point of this story is: we had ~2 dozen eggs left over from our party and I really really hate throwing food away. This only means one thing: Quiche! I love quiches. I guess because I grew up eating quiches as a kid (mostly Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese). Coincidentally, they are also a great way to use up a stash of eggs that you have lying around the apartment.
My friend Anjelika started a blog in January and one of her first cooking-related posts was a Leek & Goat Cheese Quiche. That was the post that made me recall the good old days of quiche dinners.
Only this time, the quiche is Leek & Goat Cheese. I already know that I love goat cheese. I don't think I've met a cheese I haven't liked yet. Note that this is not a challenge...only an observation! But I'd never tasted a leek before. I knew that it was somehow, remotely, or not-so-remotely related to an onion. And ta-da, that's it. That's the extent of what I knew about leeks.
Ironically, after making this quiche, I still don't know much more about them. Except that they taste fabulous! This may also have something to do with them being smothered in goat cheese, but I'm not complaining.
Leek Goat Cheese Quiche
very slightly adapted from my friend Anjelika's blog
makes 1 9-10" quiche
- 1 pie crust (homemade or store bought - I opted for store bought)
- 3 leeks (2 leeks will be fine if they are large)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, approximately
- 1 tbsp butter, approximately
- 4 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp habanero/hot sauce (optional)
First thing: Blind bake the crust. Well. This made me stop and think for a few minutes. I'd never blind baked anything before, so I did a little research on the interweb to figure out how to do it. Since everyone seems that have their own idea as to how to blind bake a pie crust, I finally broke down and called Anjelika. Fortunately, she lives in California and didn't mind that I was calling at 10:30pm EST. So here's how to blind bake a pie crust:
Blind Bake the Pie Crust:
1) Use a fork to prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust.
2) Line the bottom of the pie crust with parchment paper and fill with baking beans or raw rice to keep the crust weighted down. I won't ever have baking beans or raw rice handy so I made this step optional. If you don't use any weights and the crust puffs up on the oven (mine didn't) just push it back down gently while still warm. No one will ever see it.
3) Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Easy as pie! Get it? OK, the cheesy jokes end right here.
Cut & Clean the Leeks:
1) Discard the thick, dark green, tough parts. You can save/freeze these to make vegetable stock later.
2) Cut the leek cylinders in half, then cut the leeks into half moons.
3) Place leeks in a colander and stick under running water. Swish them around to get rid of the dirt and grime in between the layers.
Assemble the Quiche:
1) Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan.
2) Add the leeks. You can add approximately 2-4 tbsp of water at this point if desired. I didn't because my leeks were pretty well coated by the oil and butter.
3) Add approximately 2 tsp salt.
4) Saute the leeks at low-medium heat until soft, approximately 10 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk the softened goat cheese, eggs, milk, approximately 2 tsp salt, and the habanero sauce.
6) Mix until blended. The goat cheese will likely be in small bits.
7) Fill the pie crust with leeks, then pour the egg-cheese mixture on top.
8) Grind fresh pepper on top.
9) Bake in a 350 degree oven until the egg has set and the top is golden brown, approximately 30-45 minutes.
I know, I know. Could I have taken any more pictures of this quiche? What can I say? I got very excited about making it and went picture-wild. I wish someone would teach me how to make photo collages...I tried before but, as evidenced by this post, it was kind of a failure. I wish someone would teach me how to make photo collages...If I say it enough times, maybe it'll come true. But I'm digressing again. I hate it when that happens.
Back to the Leek Goat Cheese Quiche.
Amazing! Like I said earlier, I had never tasted leeks before, but I will definitely try to incorporate them into future meals. The leeks tasted like a more fibrous version of an onion. The leeks were already softened from the sautee-ing and they became even softer after the baking process was done. The combination of the leeks with the eggs and goat cheese made for a creamy, tangy consistency. Even though it seems that a lot of the goat cheese stays on top of the quiche, quite a bit of it also dissolves into the egg mixture and ends up throughout the quiche. I'll be keeping this recipe for future use. Since we still have 2 dozen minus 4 eggs in the refrigerator, maybe I'll whip up another one!