Quiche is an awesome, flexible dish that can be safely served as breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. Though it is a staple of French cuisine, quiche gets a bad rap here in America as being terribly unhealthy. While it does contain plenty of cholesterol and fat from the eggs and cream, one slice of your average quiche is nowhere near as bad for you as an omelet or even a couple of scrambled eggs, and if you try to compare it to something more typically American like steak, pizza, or a cheeseburger, there's just no contest which is worse for you. This extremely easy recipe calls for 5 large eggs and half a cup of heavy cream, which seems like a lot until you consider that it makes 6 servings, meaning that each slice contains less than 1 egg and only a tablespoon and a half of cream. Therefore, if you alter this recipe to include healthier fillings (I've seen quiche made with broccoli and mushrooms, for example), it could be surprisingly light. Still, my favorite quiche calls for lots of cheese, bacon, and ham, so there's no hiding the fact that this particular creation isn't exactly diet food. I use Gruyère and cheddar cheeses because I just love the subtle combination of sharp and swiss. Because of the Gruyère and bacon, this quiche is reminiscent of Quiche Lorraine, which uses swiss cheese, bacon, and/or carmelized onions. There are culinary battles being waged--mostly between French and American chefs--over which of these ingredients should go in a "real" Quiche Lorraine, but I have no interest in taking sides. This is why, instead of presenting a recipe for Quiche Lorraine, I present to you "Eric's Best Quiche."
Preheat oven to 425°. Then heat a large pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Cook bacon until it reaches the desired doneness, turning it over once. Turn off heat and set bacon on paper towels to cool.
Pour ham, both cheeses, and cooked bacon (chopped) into the pie shell. It should look nearly full, as though there isn't quite enough room for the eggs (there will be). Mix the fillings with your hand so that they are evenly distributed.
Beat together eggs, milk, cream, dill, and a heavy pinch of salt in a separate mixing bowl.
Pour egg mixture over pie fillings, shaking the pan as you go so that there are no bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes.
Without taking the quiche out of the oven, lower the heat to 350°. Continue to bake for 45 more minutes. Take the quiche out of the oven and let it rest for at least ten minutes before slicing into 6 pieces and serving.
-e. magill 6/8/2011
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