Well, it finally happened! Nico and I domesticated! I keep having to explain this to everyone. What is a Domestic Union? Well, it’s not quite marriage, but its official! Nico and I decided we wanted to share our health insurance and be able to visit each other in the hospital, but weren’t quite ready to figure out how to do our taxes together. And we get to throw ourselves a party, but don’t have to worry about any crazy ceremony.
Today, I want to share with you my recipe for Quiche Lorraine, a dish that has cropped up for dinners, brunches, and everywhere in between on my menus for years. I have been eating a lot of quiche of late. I love it because it is so easy to take leftovers for lunch the next day. My students have been smelling my lunches and asking what it is. None of them know what quiche is, the best explanation I can come up with is “magical omelet in a pie crust”.
Quiche Lorraine is one of the quintessential quiches. The combination of leek and bacon is perfect. I have seen versions with onion or green onion, but the buttery sweetness of leek, I think, is unbeatable in conversation with egg, bacon, and Gruyere. Gruyere is the best cheese to use, but a freshly grated Swiss cheese will make a beautiful pastry as well. For this meal, I poured my filling into tart crusts instead of pie crusts to create a different filling to crust ration and we all loved it!
Everything we do here at Chez Nous is about bringing people together and building a community, last Sunday, we brought people together to celebrate our union, it was great! To commemorate our love of food and each other, we decided to cook French and Russian food, to reflect our heritage. We didn’t want to worry about courses and serving our 50 guests, so everything went on the table at the same time, an epic buffet, as if from those old Russian royal fairytale feast illustrations from my Communist-era books.
We served a lovely cheese array (Check out our Cheese Plate Guide here), and made a variety of pates including our our Baked Camembert with Porcini Mushrooms and Fig Jam, Duck Terrine with Shallot Jam, Olive and Almond Tapenade, and Sardine Riclettes. We served these beauties with some Olive Crisps and French Baguette.
We continued our celebration into the dessert course! We served our favorite Cannelés Bordelais, a traditional Russian Smetannik, our favorite Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting, and two extra large Crème Brûlées!
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 1 heaping cup (250 mL) sour cream
- pinch nutmeg
- 6 ounces (170 g) bacon
- 3/4 cup (85 g) grated Swiss or Gruyère cheese
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups pastry flour
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons or so cold water
- pinch of salt
- Mix softened butter and flour together, by hand.
Always make crusts by hand, a mixer will overwork your dough.
Add salt and a bit of water to bring it together into a ball.
Add as little water as possible, and mix as little as possible. Pieces of butter in the dough is OK.
Divide into two balls. Cover in plastic.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out one crust to fill your pie dish. It helps to roll on top of a sheet of plastic and then transfer into your dish with its help.
Roll out second sheet and slice into 3/4 inch (2 cm) strips.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Chop bacon and cook until crisp. Set aside.
- Drain out most of oil. Use a bit of oil to sauté the leeks and onion, 30 minutes.
- Mix eggs, cream, sour cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper in separate bowl.
- Spread leek mixture over one uncooked crust.
Sprinkle bacon on top.
Use fork to mix around a bit.
- Sprinkle with cheese and cover with egg mixture.
- Bake 25-35 minutes, can be baked at the same time as the Tarte aux Courgettes.