The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Classic Quiche Lorraine

It’s easy to forget the pleasures of something as simple as a good quiche.  Just a basic pie, full of goodness, and easy to prepare, but delicious and decadent all the same.  Cary Grant as John Robie in To Catch a Thief serves it at his French villa, perhaps thoroughly proving that real men do eat quiche.  Hey, if it’s good enough for Cary Grant, it’s good enough for me.  I recently put this classic back into rotation, after my niece and I made quiche in preparation for the family trip to France, as part of our “traditional French dinner” which also included vichysoisse and salad with vinaigrette.  We told my younger nephew that it was cheese pie and he ate it up, getting very excited when he discovered there was bacon in it.

Obviously, you can very your fillings to taste.  Blue cheese and bacon, roasted vegetables, mushrooms and herbs – get creative!

Quiche Lorraine

I use a purchase rolled pastry crust for this, but feel free to make your own.

1 (9-inch) pasrty crust

9 strips of center cut bacon

4 green onions (scallions)

6 eggs

1 cup of heavy cream

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 ¾ cups grated Swiss cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Fit the pastry crust into a 9 – inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.  Dock the crust with the tines of a fork, line it with parchment paper, fill it with beans or baking weights and blind bake for 12 minutes, until beginning to brown.  Remove from the oven and discard the paper and weights.  Set the crust aside.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon strips into small pieces and cook in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy.  Stir the bacon pieces during cooking to make sure they are separated and cook evenly.  Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain cool a little.  While the bacon is cooking, finely chop the white and some of the light green parts of the green onions.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the cream until thoroughly blended.  Whisk in the nutmeg and the salt, then stir in the bacon, green onions, and 1 ½ cups grated cheese.  Pour this filling into the prepared crust, spreading out the ingredients so they are evenly distributed.  Sprinkle over the remaining ¼ cup cheese and carefully transfer the quiche to the oven and bake until golden brown and puffed in the center, about 25 – 30 minutes.  The quiche should not jiggle in center.

The quiche is best eaten slightly warm, not just hot out of the oven, but can also be eaten at room temperature or even cold.

Serves 8

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