Mini Bacon and Leek Quiche
From Fine Cooking
Christmas is over, and that’s sad. But it’s a lot less sad than usual this year for the HMK because it means we’ve arrived in Florida for a THREE WEEK(!!!) vacay!!! Well, not a full on vacation really – I’m studying for my registration exam to become a Registered Dietitian and John will be working remotely a little, but it’s 80 degrees, I’m currently 10 feet from a pool and I don’t have any reason to put on nice clothes, so in my book, that’s a vacation!
But first things first – the one remaining holiday this year – New Year’s Eve! As much as I want to dive into fish recipes now that we’re here (and made a decadent version of shrimp and grits last night), I wanted to post these great mini quiches that I made last week for my book club before the end of the year. If you’ve been tasked with bringing an appetizer to your New Year’s Eve party, these would be a great choice. And, since they’re quiches after all, they’d be great for a New Year’s Day brunch too! They’re awesome served warm, but very good at room temperature too. I was a little intimidated by the puff pastry at first – somehow I’ve made it this far and never touched the stuff – but it turned out to be really easy to use.
So however you’re ringing in the new year, I wish you a delicious evening, and can’t wait to see you back in the kitchen in 2013!
- 1/3 lb bacon, diced (I would recommend a thinly sliced bacon – we used thick cut and it tasted more like ham than bacon, and was chewier than I’d have liked)
- 1 1/2 cups leeks (about 3), white and light green parts sliced
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp half-and-half
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- cooking spray
- 1 (1.1 lb) box frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions (overnight in the fridge or 30 minutes on the counter)
- flour, for cutting out the dough
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Pour most of the bacon grease out of the skillet, leaving just a small layer. Reduce heat to medium and add leeks to pan. Saute, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- While leeks cool, combine half-and-half, cheese, eggs, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add leeks and bacon once they are not piping-hot anymore. Stir to combine.
- Lightly spray two mini muffin pans with cooking spray (for 24 quiches total). Lightly flour your counter and unroll the puff pastry onto it. Use a cookie cutter (or improvise – in my case I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup) to stamp out 24 circles of puff pastry.
- Press the pastry into the muffin cups. Divide the filling across the 24 cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. The darker the metal of your muffin tin, the less time they’ll need to bake for (learned from experience and the fact that my two tins are different).
Makes 24 mini quiches.
*Note: I didn’t try it, but the original recipe says that you can freeze them, uncooked, in their muffin tins. Once frozen, remove from tins and store in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to bake, pop them back in the tins and increase the cooking time to 30-35 minutes.