Monday, February 22, 2016

Quiche ala Luke: Real Men Make Quiche

gluten free dairy free sausage, onion and pepper quiche

Although quiche is now considered a classic dish from  French cuisine, quiche actually originated in Germany. The medieval kingdom of Lothringen was originally under German rule; after the French conquered the area, they renamed it Lorraine. The word quiche is derived from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake. The original ‘quiche Lorraine’ was an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard poured over smoked bacon. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that practice evolved into the use a short-crust or puff pastry crust. Later on, cheese was added to the quiche Lorraine, and this cheese-filled version persists into today’s cuisine. Another popular version, Quiche Alsacienne, is basically Quiche Lorraine plus onions, while Quiche Florentine adds spinach to the filling. Quiche can be served as an entrée any meal. It is a popular café lunch and light supper,  served at room temperature with a small green salad on the side.

Quiche became popular in the U.S. during the 1950's, especially at a ladies’ luncheon. It was simple to make, could be served at room temperature, and with its salad accompaniment, was considered a “light” meal. Over time, it became a way to fancy up another 1950s staple: the casserole. Today, one can find many varieties of quiche; while any coordinating meats and vegetables can be put into quiche, popular fillings are broccoli, mushrooms, ham and seafood (primarily shellfish). Because of it’s popularity at the ladies’ luncheons, it became considered a somehow ‘unmanly’ dish, and a popular phrase was coined - “real men don’t eat quiche.” However, real men not only eat quiche, but they also make quiche.

This is a hearty quiche, perfect for a real man (or lady). It returns to its bread dough roots with a gluten-free hand-pressed biscuit crust that gets pressed into a casserole dish - no fussy short crust to mess with. The dairy-free custard tops sausage, caramelized onions, and sauteed red peppers. Based on how many males there are in our house, and how fast the pan emptied, I would definitely say real men eat this quiche.

Quiche ala Luke


3/4 lbs. Italian sausage
1 medium onion, julienned
1 medium red pepper
olive oil, as necessary

8 eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk beverage (So Delicious)
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tsp basil
2 Tsp oregano

2 eggs
4 cups  biscuit mix  (Gluten Free Bisquick is what we used)
1 to 1 1/4 cups water
Approx 2 Tbsp cooking oil (to grease the pan; we used canola oil)

Phase 1: Preparing the filling 

1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside. As each ingredient for the filling is prepared, set them on the sheet for cooling (if you put hot ingredients in with the eggs, they will start to cook prematurely).

2. Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. While it is preheating, remove the sausage from its casing (skip this part if using bulk sausage).

3.  Add some olive oil to the pan, and add the onion.  Saute until the onion is soft and caramelized. Spread it onto the baking sheet to cool, and set aside.

4. Saute the red pepper (adding oil to the pan if necessary), until softened and charred. Add to baking sheet.

5. Saute the sausage, breaking it into small chunks as it browns. Add to baking sheet.

6. Once the onion, pepper, and sausages have cooled to room temperature, combine the eggs, milk, and spices into a blender and mix until smooth. Set this aside while you make the crust.

Phase 2: The Crust 

1. Grease a 9x13 pan with the oil. (I found this is accomplished easiest just using your hand to smear it around.)  Be sure to coat all the way up the side and in any corners, or else you will be chipping crust  off your pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and biscuit mix.  Add water until it forms a soft dough.  (You want it to be soft enough to press into the pan, but not so wet that it sticks to your hands.)

3. Press the dough into the greased pan, making sure to push it into the edges and up the sides.  While you want the crust thin, be sure that there are not any holes for the filling to seep into.

Phase 3: The Quiche

1. Add the cooled onion, red pepper, and sausage crust, spreading evenly.

2. Add the egg mixture in to fill up the remaining space. Fill it until it is just below the top of the crust edge.

4. Bake for 45-60 minutes in a 350ºF oven.  Check it at 45 minutes, and then every 5 minutes therafter.   A paring knife inserted into the center should come out moist by clean.

Allow the quiche to cool about 10-15 minutes before serving.  It should be warm, but not piping hot.  Serve by itself, or with a salad.  Leftovers can be placed in a warm oven until the chill has been taken off - about 5-8 minutes at 300°F.

Real men make and eat quiche! 


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