Carmelized Onion and Jalapeno Quiche

Give a man a quiche and you satisfy his need for quiche for a day. Teach a man to make quiche, and you give him quiches for life.” –New Half-Chinese Proverb

And teach him also that you don’t have to make it for breakfasts…
No doubt quiche was given a bad rap in the eighties. I guess people still think of it as one of the more fussy, frilly and feminine of the brunch species; but what man, really, doesn’t like quiche? My theory is that they just don’t know how to make it! So this recipe is dedicated to the late Mr. Bruce Feirstein… (Though I should probably be the last person to speak against his stereotype-enforcing book; the companion to Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche was Joyce Jillson’s Real Women Don’t Pump Gas–and I can’t pump gas!)

So it kind of looks more like a pizza than a quiche in this photo. But its inside, which I didn’t snap a photo of because I was too busy eating it, was so silken, creamy and custardy, I almost hated to see the other ingredients getting in the way. If I had to describe it in a single word, taste and texture-wise: butter.

Nothing does it like a good quiche every now and then. You know those weeknights when you end up making an omelette with leftover vegetable bits and still feel hungry? Investing a little more time, you could end up with a quiche. It makes an impressive presentation that you’ll still feel proud about the next day when you bring it in for lunch. Carmelized onion isn’t something I generally associate with a savory quiche, but its sweetness — and softness — gave it a very delicate appeal, while the occasional bite of crunchy hot pepper was a welcome wake-up call.

Finally, here’s to Eating Out Loud’s Food Fight challenge: eggs. Can’t wait to see what other recipes get scrambled up in the round-up.

Carmelized Onion and Jalapeno Quiche
(makes 1 9-inch quiche)

4 eggs
1 Tb butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
2 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
1/2 large onion, evenly sliced into rings
1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheese, such as cheddar, parmesan or gruyere
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (or less to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
for the crust
4 Tb butter, softened
1 cup flour
1-2 Tb water
1/2 tsp salt

Begin carmelizing the onions in a saucepan with 1 Tb butter on very low heat. Stir occasionally for about 20-30 minutes or until carmelized. To make the crust, cut butter into flour with pastry cutter or fingers until chunks are no larger than a pea. Add 1 Tb water, or more if necessary, until a stiff dough is formed. Work into a ball, cover and let chill 10 minutes or more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Work dough into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, either by pressing it evenly into the bottom, or by rolling and transferring into the pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, and remove from oven.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk, cream, salt, pepper, and cheese. Add crumbled bacon. Pour mixture into pan with pre-baked crust. Top with carmelized onions and jalapeno slices (they will sink a bit). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove, and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Cost Calculator
(for about 4 servings)

4 eggs (at $2.99/dozen): $1.00
1/2 cup heavy cream (at $2.19/pint): $0.55
2/3 cup milk: $0.50
2 slices bacon: $0.60
1/2 onion: $0.20
1 jalapeno: $0.30
1/2 cup grated cheddar: $0.60
Butter, flour, salt, pepper: $0.50

Total: $4.25

Health Factor

Eight brownie points: Oh well, it’s winter still, isn’t it? No? Darn… this quiche has got it all going on: cholesterol from the cream, eggs, bacon, and buttery crust. Omitting the bacon would do some help, or reducing it down to one strip, or even substituting it with, say, ham. Quiche is just decadent. It doesn’t get much better, any way you push or pull it. I have yet to see an egg white-skim milk quiche, and frankly, suppose there’s a reason for that.

7 Responses

  1. zoë jessica

    I am also a huge quiche fan (I posted a recipe a couple of days ago), but have never tried with jalapeno – sounds like a great idea, particularly as I live with a chili addict!

  2. Taylor

    I would recommend not softening the butter. Actually cutting it up into little pieces and then freezing it for 10 minutes is ideal. if you have too homogenous a mixture, the crust doesn’t flake up. It’s the air pockets created when micro-pieces of cold butter melt and spread out the dough with their micro-steam that you get that flaky stratification thing going on. So softened butter = awesome crust. Chilled butter = crumbly flaky amazing crust.

    Save some for me!

  3. Taylor

    Follow-up based on comments from real man Harry: chilled butter great but crumbly, so not recommended for tart pan use. Homogenous, more stable, softened butter crust better for use when you plan on using a removable bottom quiche pan, and the flaky cold butter great for if you have the added stability of a pie plate.

    Quiche on!

  4. cathy

    Taylor: what’s an ideal use for the chilled butter (=flaky crust) method–dessert pies? Most stuff?

    Thanks, Zoe Jessica (great blog!)

  5. Taylor

    In my experience, all pies and quiches benefit from the flakiness. It’s really a vessel question. Throw in some herbs or spices even for savory pies. I like my sweet pie crusts (by which i mean crusts for sweet pies) just a little bit salty.

    So yeah, most stuff, just helps the texture, i don’t think it affects the taste.

  6. Deborah Dowd

    This looks delicious and appropriately masculine to suit all tastes. When a co-worker told me once that “real men don’t eat quiche” I told him to think of it as pie, and real men do eat pie!”

  7. […] Carmelized Onion and Jalapeno Quiche by Cathy of Not Eating Out in New York (Brooklyn, New York […]

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