Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bacon, Leek and Roasted Tomato Quiche with Polenta Crust

I am unable to say enough good things about this quiche.  Just trust me that you have to drop whatever it is that you are doing (well, just finish reading my blog first) and make it.  Make it right now, for dinner (what I did) or for breakfast (I've been bringing a slice to work!)

Maybe you think you aren't a quiche person (for example, like most of my family including Mark and both sisters).  Maybe you aren't totally sure what polenta is and don't want a crust made out of it.  Maybe you aren't amused by leeks.  I have no idea what your excuse is.  But you need to just believe that this will be the best quiche you've ever made.  In fact, this quiche is so good that I accidentally left it out on the counter overnight and I refused to throw it out.  I have since eaten it twice and lived to tell the tale.  That's how good it is.

So, what's so good about it?  I am not sure, to be honest.  Part of the amazing-ness is the crust.  Polenta is a mixture of cornmeal cooked in chicken broth, with a little butter added in to made it creamy.  You pack it into the pie plate and bake that, and let me tell you, I don't think I ever want to eat a regular pie crust again.  Okay, maybe in a regular pie, but this is definitely a great alternative for quiches or savory pies.  Plus it's definitely more healthy, and gluten free, and easier than pie crust.  Win.

Then there's the filling.  You roast some bacon and tomatoes together in the oven and chop them up, and toss them into the egg and milk filling, along with some sautéed leeks.  Top with a cheese of your choice (I used gouda because we had it), and bake.  Are you drooling yet?

I'm not joking that I risked my life and my gastrointestinal tract eating this even after it sat on the counter overnight, because it is just so delicious that I could not bare to throw it out.  I have now proven that overnight quiche is edible.  And thank god, because I will continue to eat this every morning until it's gone.


bacon, leek and roasted tomato quiche with polenta crust
from Daring Gourmet
serves 4-6

for the polenta crust:
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup medium- or coarsely-ground cornmeal
1 tablespoon butter

for the quiche filling:
2 - 3 slices thickly cut bacon
3 large Roma tomatoes, cut in half
1 large leek, sliced, washed and drained
1 tablespoon butter
3 eggs
1 cup half and half or milk (or a combination of the 2)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flavorful cheese, such as Swiss or gouda, grated


1) To roast the tomatoes: preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the tomatoes cut side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Pay the bacon next to the tomatoes.  Roast the tomatoes and bacon for 17 - 20 minutes, or until the skins of the tomatoes have collapsed and are just barely starting to brown and the bacon is crispy.  Let sit until cool enough to handle, and then chop the onions and break the bacon up into small pieces.  Set aside.

2) In the meantime, to make the polenta crust: in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil.  Add the cornmeal in a  gradual stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  Add the butter. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, whisking frequently, for about 15 - 20 minutes until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan into a firm, sticky mass (it took me far less than 15 minutes for this!)

3) Grease a quiche pan and press the polenta mixture into it and up the sides.  In a preheated oven at 400 degrees, bake the polenta crust for 15 - 20 minutes until slightly crispy on the edges. Allow the crust to cool.

4) For the quiche filling: melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat, add the leek and sauté until tender, about 5 - 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

5) Combine the half and half or milk, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.

6) Place the leek, chopped roasted tomatoes, and bacon over the polenta crust.  Pour the half and half/egg mixture over it and sprinkle the cheese over it.

7) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and the middle of the quiche is firm.

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