Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quiche - Gluten Free/Vegetarian and Wonderful

I enjoy a good quiche. It is a light and savory dish that offers lots of delicious options for a filling that complements a light crust –possibly a meal in a dish when vegetables are included.  Since I became gluten free I have mourned my loss - crustless quiche recepieces don't have the requisit carb component.  Recently I saw an intriguing quiche recipe with a crust made with cooked rice but the filling was uninspiring.  Then I found a recipe for a butternut squash filling that sounded good but it called for pureeing the squash - not the texture that I was looking for. Since  I was not totally satisfied with the two recipes I continued investigating quiche recipes.  I knew that I wanted a rice crust but then I found a recipe for a mushroom crust (using the usual flour dough) I found some inspiration.  The original butternut squash recipe called for roasting the squash before pureeing it with Fontina cheese, goat cheese, eggs and cream.  I decided to cube the squash, bake it so that it caramelized slightly and add the chunks with some other ingredients including the cheeses.  I cobbled together a bunch of ingredients – ideas pulled from here and there and made a vegetarian, gluten-free quiche which I brought to a potluck supper.  It received rave reviews.  Here is the recipe. 
1 cup long grain rice
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp salt
½ lb Gruyere or Fontina cheese, finely grated (divided)
4 oz soft goat cheese
½ lb mushrooms, sliced and then roughly chopped
~2 TBSP olive oil (divided)
4 eggs
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 cups or more)
1 red bell pepper
1 large yellow onion, diced into ½ inch dice
¼ grated nutmeg
½ cup cream

Before starting the crust, put the squash into a rimmed pan, drizzle 1 TBSP oil on squash and stir to cover all sides.  Bake squash for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  Turn cubes after 20 minutes.  Roast another 10 minutes and turn oven off.  Allow squash to cool in the oven.

In a 2 quart sauce pan bring rice and water to a rapid boil over high heat.  Cover pot and reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender (about 20 minutes).  Fluff grains and allow to cool. 
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat with 1 tsp oil.  Add chopped mushrooms and sauté until golden and all the liquid has evaporated.  Toss into a medium sized bowl and allow to cool.  Do not rinse the skillet.

Once the rice and mushrooms have cooled to about room temperature, mix them with 2/3 cup of the grated cheese and 1 egg that has been beaten to blend the yolk with the white.  Once the mixture is combined press it into an oiled 10 inch pan with removable sides ( note – keep your fingers moist to avoid having the rice mixture stick to your hands).  Press the mixture about 1 ½ inches up the sides and firmly along the bottom of the pan.  Set aside.

Cut red bell pepper in half, remove stem and seeds.  Place cut sides down on a greased pan and place under a broiler (I use my toaster oven for this) for about 15 minutes or until the skin of the pepper is blackened.  Wrap the 2 halves in wet paper towels until cool enough to handle.  Remove skin and dice into ½ inch squares.  Set aside.
In the skillet used for the mushrooms, add 2 tsp oil and the diced onions.  Sauté until onions are a rich golden-brown but not blackened.  Set aside with the red bell pepper.  Add the cooled squash with the other veggies. 
When the vegetables have cooled add all the rest of the grated cheese except for 1/3 cup.  Dot the mixture with bits of the goat cheese and stir it all together with nutmeg.  In a separate bowel mix 3 eggs and ½ cup cream.  Combine egg mixture with vegetable mixture and pour into prepared rice crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.  Vegetables and rice crust can be prepared a day in advance of combining with the egg and cream.

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