Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mushroom crust quiche, chez Liz, aka House of the Flying Substitutions

I've been mulling over the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, since that's the current cookbook bookclub selection, and finding little if anything to cook, largely because she's so annoying.  After I got past the title, since smitten is something that happens with ebola and measles, not food, I found her breathless oh, silly me, aren't I cute, style just, oh well.  Her pix are lovely, though.  Not that I get too serious and passionate about all this, noooooo..

However her assumptions are a bit more than I can deal with, when she talks about items without explaining what they are, in a lordly sort of I live in the Big City, we Have Things kind of way. Reminded me of a cook friend who years ago when I asked her what's pancetta, said, oh, you know, it's the Italian form of lardon!  unaware that I didn't know what that was either....So I'm sure the SK lady is not doing it to just annoy me, but one thing I did get out of it was an interest in shopping for mushrooms.

So around the periphery of the Asian store, great place for a mushroom hunt, I studied the many sorts of mushrooms and then checked my price range. I found a nice box of baby bellas which looked good, and hauled them home to see what I could do about them.

And ended up, after studying Moosewood and others, finding that my old tattered cookbook had an interesting recipe for Mushroom Crust Quiche.  I love quiche, and often can't be bothered to fix it, but this time I thought I would.

Here's where the substitutions came in, mainly because I was home before I studied the recipes and went with what I had: for cottage cheese, I used plain yogurt, for crushed crackers I used Panko, for paprika I used a bit of chili powder and red pepper flakes, for scallions I used diced yellow spanish onion.  And for the one kind of cheese I subbed the rest of a deli tray of mixed cheeses, Swiss, Pepper Jack, cheddar and one other not sure what.  But I did have mushrooms for the mushroom requirement.

And here's the process. Note the lovely butcher block style rolling island I got from the dumpster, here working sturdily away, and the various ingredients waiting their turn.

Long story short: it is wonderful!  the mushrooms you chop and cook in butter then stir in the panko or cracker crumbs.  

This is the crust which you sort of press into a pie pan. 

Then you cook the onions to soft, a little bit caramelized, not much, and they go on top of the crust.  

Cheese on top of all that, and the eggs and yogurt and pepper subs poured over.  Bake at 350 for officially 25 minutes, but this took ten minutes longer.  I had a moment of wondering, when it was still totally liquid after 25 minutes, but all was well in the end. And the ten minutes you wait after taking it out is vital for this one.

 And it was so worth making.  Amazing considering the number of changes I'd wrought on the ingredient list. The idea of using mushrooms as a crust is great, because it's a real depth of flavor, along with the various cheeses.  I think you do need an interesting mushroom rather than those little white buttons, though.  Bellas worked nicely.  Beat a pastry crust by a long chalk.

All in all, good stuff.  A bit fussy, but worth doing if you're in the mood. I'm going to try freezing helpings, too, and I'll let you know how that works.  Nice to have a quiche slice in the freezer for a day you don't feel like cooking it.


  1. I think you should be considering writing your OWN cookbook...this recipe, for one, is definitely an original.

  2. The miracle is, you got as far as you probably could get from the original recipe and it came out exactly to your taste.
    Brava, brava

  3. Ah that sounds very nice, I may try making mini ones in my muffin tin if I stumble across the ingredients on sale.


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