The Presidential debates were on TV this week and instead of paying attention, I headed to the kitchen and made six pie crusts. I've become obsessed with stocking my freezer with pastry, and if you were to open it up this morning you'd see a towering stack of frozen dough waiting to be used.
It's not that I plan on making an abundance of pies, although, I don't think there would be anything wrong with that if I did. It's just that it's as easy to make six pie crusts as it is two, and if I'm going to go to the effort, then I may as well make a lot of them. Fortunately, at the same time I was also staring down some shaggy Swiss chard in the bottom of the fridge, a few extra eggs and some pancetta that was barely enough to feed one person, let alone four. Clearly the Universe was telling me to make quiche, and that's exactly what I did.
Here's the thing about Swiss chard. A lot of people think they don't like it, but to be honest, when it's chopped and sautéed in a pan that's laced with rendered pancetta fat, it's pretty difficult for it to taste terrible. In fact, it almost looks exactly like spinach, so if that's what people - like the young ones in your house - want to call it, just go with it. But if you really aren't a fan feel free to swap it with the greens that you know will be met with approval.
Swiss Chard, Pancetta and Aged Cheddar Quiche
- 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and chopped
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups diced pancetta
- 1 cup grated aged cheddar cheese
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups light cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 pie crust (enough for 9" round pie)
1. Press the pie crust into a pie plate and crimp the edges. Pop the dough back in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet set over medium heat, cook the pancetta until it's crispy and most of the fat has been rendered. Transfer it to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and add the Swiss chard, shallots and garlic. Toss to combine and cook until the greens are wilted and the shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pancetta back to the pan and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and nutmeg.
4. Spread the Swiss chard mixture over the dough and cover with the shredded cheese. Pour the egg mixture over top, filling the pie to just below the crimped edges of the dough.
5. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.