Monday, February 21, 2011

Asparagus and Bacon Quiche

If you've never had quiche, I strongly encourage you to try it. This is my go-to recipe for quiche that I came up with a couple years ago, and I actually make it fairly regularly. The great thing about quiche is that it really is SO versatile!! While I absolutely love asparagus and bacon, other people might prefer spinach and ham, and that is perfectly fine! Although, if you are going to use spinach, I would recommend preparing the spinach in advance as it has a high water content. In order to do this, simply trim the stems and steam the leaves of the spinach; once the spinach has wilted, remove it from the cooking vessel to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the spinach in the towel to get most of the liquid out. If you don't do this, you'll end up with a very watery quiche, which is not conducive to yummy breakfast times...
Another great thing about quiche is that you can change it even more, making the crust out of different things and thereby making them healthier, if you so choose. Or, you can do away with a crust entirely, if you so choose. However, then this becomes a frittata instead of a quiche... If you are the kind of person who likes to make what is commonly referred to as an "egg bake", then you are essentially making a quiche or frittata, depending if you use hash browns as a crust or not. Quiche and frittata merely sound fancier! ;-)
The first thing you'll probably notice is that this quiche is much thicker than most, that it's more substantial. Well, that's because I happen to be under the impression that more filling is a good thing, especially if it tastes good. If this is all you're going to eat for breakfast, then I think it stands to reason that it should probably be as filling as possible. And like every other recipe, feel free to make this your own! Add a seasoning like basil and mix it with some fresh tomatoes, provolone cheese, and browned prosciutto for an Italian kind of dish. Make it healthier by substituting egg whites for half of the eggs. You are only limited by your own imagination and taste buds!

1 unbaked pie crust (9 in.)
8 large eggs
1 c. milk
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (2.8 oz.) jar real bacon bits
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°.
Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; poke a few holes with a fork at the bottom of the dough and flute pie crust as desired. Place another small pan inside to help set the sides while baking, or place a sheet of foil in the shell and fill with beans, rice or pie weights. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until the pie shell begins to feel firm.
Mix together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium size bowl. Cover the edges of pie crust with foil; pour ⅓ of the egg mixture into the partially baked quiche crust. Bake mixture until the filling begins to set; about 8 minutes. Place the asparagus and bacon on top of the partially cooked eggs already in the pie plate (or mix it into the remaining egg mixture). Pour the rest of the egg mixture over the asparagus; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, with foil still in place around pie crust edges, for about 30 minutes, until puffed and brown. Serve hot or at room temperature. Yield: 8 servings.

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