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The Honolulu Advertiser


By J.M. HIRSCH
Associated Press Food Editor

Posted on: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

TASTE
Easy quiche brings on happiness

 • Beef, au naturel

With Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, bacon and puff pastry, this quiche sounds like a diet killer. But with 242 calories per serving, it actually isn't all that bad. And all those ingredients are so happiness-inducing, it's worth every calorie anyway.

The recipe starts from a basic quiche equation a mess of eggs whisked with heavy cream, salt and pepper. But rather than a traditional pastry crust, I went with a lighter and delightfully fattier puff pastry.

To up the savoriness, I added cooked bacon and grated Parmesan. What you do after that depends on your inspiration. You could use a bit of bacon fat to saute onions and mushrooms, then add those. Thin-sliced scallions also would be good.

If you do add mushrooms, be sure to cook them until the moisture they release (this happens after several minutes of sauteing) has simmered off. You don't want a watery quiche.

This quiche comes together in about 45 minutes. It also can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Serve warm or at room temperature.

BACON AND PARMESAN CHEESE QUICHE

• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions (each 17.3-ounce package contains 2 sheets)

• 4 eggs

• 1/4 cup heavy cream

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

• 8 strips bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled

• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oven to 375 F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until it forms about a 12-by-12-inch square. Carefully fit the pastry into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the pastry into the edges, then pass a rolling pin over the top to trim off any excess dough.

Top the pastry with a sheet of parchment paper, then place a second (slightly smaller) tart or pie pan into the tart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the tart shell from the oven, leaving the top pan in the tart, and set aside to cool slightly. Increase oven temperature to 400.

While the quiche shell bakes, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme. Stir in the bacon and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Carefully transfer the egg mixture to the cooled tart shell, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over it.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until the eggs and cheese are lightly browned and puffed. Cool slightly before serving.

Serves 6.

Nutrition information per serving: 242 calories; 169 calories from fat; 19 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 166 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 0 g fiber; 670 mg sodium