What ended up being our dinner last night wasn't exactly on the menu. You see I had planned to make a big pot of soup so the boys and I went all over our side of town yesterday looking for one simple item - yellow split peas. They had to be yellow because you can't make my favorite French Canadian soup (Habitant) without yellow peas and I couldn't use green ones because then the soup wouldn't be "Habitant" plus the Big Guy won't eat it because he can't abide green peas.
As it turned out I couldn't find the darn things in the 5 stores we hit so I had to go to Plan B. A large chunk of ham, a dearth of eggs and a hunk of emmantal cheese ended up filling this giant quiche pan with rich, creamy goodness. I daresay we've had Ham and Cheese Quiche here before because after all we're about "everyday" food and there's been well over 1,000 every day's in this blog's lifetime but there hasn't been a quiche quite like this one.
You see, my smaller ceramic pan cracked right in half a while ago and what I'm left with is a giant Bodum dish that I bought to make a rather large berry pie when we were entertaining a group of very hungry students. Said students have long since moved on but the two of us are here with a foot wide pan which takes some ingenuity to fill. I love it though!
Anyway, it was no problem because this particular recipe will do the trick nicely and the combination of eggs, half and half and yogurt yields a filling that is incredibly light and fluffy. Of course the trick to making any quiche that way, other than having the right proportion of ingredients for the custard, is to partially cook the crust before adding the filling then adding the scrummy stuff like onion, ham and cheese in the right order and dicing the cheese instead of grating it, so as it cooks and melts it's surrounded by soft creamy custard instead of forming a layer of melted goo with custard on top. (Is that one heck of a run-on sentence or what?)
So there's your lesson for the day and I'm sure you're left wondering what on earth two people are going to do with all that leftover quiche. Well, first - you'd be amazed how much two people can eat when something's as good as this is, plus it is fabulous cold right out of the refrigerator or newked briefly till warm to make a super lunch. It also freezes rather well but we won't have to worry about that in this house because I have the Big Guy convinced it's not a quiche. Since real men don't eat quiche and he happened to enjoy two pieces last night then it has to be a pie. Female logic rules again!
A Giant Ham and Swiss Quiche an original from JBug’s Kitchen
Pastry for a 12 inch single crust pie
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 cups ham cut into quarter inch cubes
1/2 pound Emmantal cheese cut into quarter inch cubes
1-1/2 cups half and half
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 425. Arrange pastry in a large 12 inch ceramic pie dish, flute edges and prick all over bottom of pie shell with a fork. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375.
Melt butter in a sauté pan and cook onion until softened and slightly golden. Cool. Whisk together eggs, half and half, yogurt, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and Dijon mustard until well combined.
Arrange ham cubes in bottom of cooled crust. Top with cooled sautéed onion and cheese cubes, spreading out evenly. Pour custard over top and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.