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Archive for February, 2011

Dairy-Free Crustless Quiche

Quiche is a fine French staple food, which is delightful for any meal. Most recipes however call for copious amounts of dairy in the form of milk, cream, and cheese, not to mention a crust involving wheat or other grains. So what is a dairy-free, mostly grain-free gal to do? I headed to the kitchen to experiment.

Eliminating the crust altogether still left me with my favorite part of the quiche and fewer steps in the cooking process. Then with a bit more experimentation, I uncovered two tricks to keeping a dairy-free quiche custardy rich and savory:

  • replace the milk and cream in the custard with coconut milk (the custard created is nearly indistinguishable from a regular dairy-based one)
  • add a savory, intensely flavored meat such as bacon or sausage to add richness in place of cheese

I often use precooked chicken and pork sausages from the store, sliced up and browned a bit in a pan. If you like a spicy quiche, try andouille sausage for some extra heat. Baked in a muffin pan these mini quiches become portable snacks or a breakfast on the go. Lots of different vegetable combinations can be used, as long as they are sautéed before adding to the quiche batter. Some of my favorites are mushrooms, leeks, spinach, kale, onions, shallots, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. The recipe below is the one I make most often since the magic of bacon and greens is one I can’t seem to resist.

Photo by Carly & Art

DAIRY-FREE CRUSTLESS QUICHE: BACON AND KALE

  • 4-5 eggs ( beyond 5 will create a less custardy and more frittata like texture)
  • 1 can (15oz) coconut milk (not the lite version)
  • 3-5 pieces of bacon (or at least 1/3 lb  sausage)
  • tallow, bacon grease, or other fat for sauteing
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 half bunch of kale or spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup white wine, or 2 tablespoons water (optional)
  • salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Warm eggs and coconut milk to room temperature (a 15 minute bath in warm water can speed up this process).

2. Cook up your bacon or sausage while your oven, eggs, and coconut milk are warming up. Set the meat aside on a plate.

3. Then saute the vegetables on medium heat. Bacon grease or beef tallow are excellent sauteing fats for this recipe. Start with the onions and add the kale once the onions are starting to brown. Next, is the optional step of  braising the vegetable mixture with wine or water until the liquid has evaporated. Once the vegetables are done, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

4. Grease an 8×8 glass dish or pie pan (coconut oil is my favorite).

5. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs and coconut milk. Add the meat and vegetables. Whisk until these new additions are well suspended in the egg mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, ~1/4 tsp of salt.

6. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, until the center has solidified.

This dish will keep for several days in the fridge.

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