Monday, January 30, 2006

Sausage and Red Pepper Quiche with Rice Crust

Apologies for not recapping over the weekend. I had a lovely three day migraine, and while I did manage to cook the aforementioned quiche, I couldn't get it together enough to write about it.

I love quiche, but my standard offering is not the most healthful of dishes. It features mushrooms, shallots, handfuls of Gruyere, heavy cream and of course eggs. Once you pile those ingredients in a flakey pastry crust you have a pretty decadent little pie on your hands. So, when I read a recipe in Cooking Light magazine that featured a rice crust, I was immediately intrigued. I was not, however, impressed with the original recipe, which included "fat free cheese product" and "egg substitute". I have no problem with healthy cooking, and I think a lot of what I make would fall in the healthy category, but these ingredients do not qualify as real food for me, and you will never find them featured in my pantry.

So, I took the rice crust and my goal to lighten up my usual quiche and set to work. I had a red pepper that needed to be eaten, along with some keilbasa that needed a purpose. I diced up the pepper and sausage, and some celery and onion for good measure. From there, I came up with the following recipe:

Sausage and Red Pepper Quiche with Rice Crust
Serves 4-6

for the crust:

2 cups cooked white rice, cooled (for these purposes, boil-in-bag rice is perfect)
few dashes garlic powder
few dashes onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg
1/2 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat is okay, but no fat free!)

for the filling:

half an onion, finely chopped
2 medium stalks of celery, finely chopped
roughly half a cup of chopped red bell pepper
half of an 8 oz. link of keilbasa, diced*
half Tbsp butter
olive oil
1 large clove garlic, grated or minced
3 large eggs
large dollop plain yogurt
few glugs half and half, or whole milk
several dashes Tabasco
1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

*I think that nearly any sausage would be good here, particularly andouille or chorizo

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray, or grease with olive oil. To prepare crust, combine all crust ingredients and spread the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Try to get the crust spread evenly, with no visible holes.

To prepare filling, heat the remaining butter and a few dashes olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add vegetables, garlic, and sausage; saute 5-8 minutes. You want to soften the vegetables, sweat out any liquid in them, and brown the sausage nicely. Spoon the mixture evenly into the rice crust.

Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, half and half, and Tabasco, pour over the sausage and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the center is set and the top is browned. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

We had this with a green salad and my perfect vinaigrette (recipe posted above). It is also good leftover, either cold or reheated in the microwave. I think this would be a good brunch or lunch dish, and you could easily substitute ingredients depending on what you have. I am planning to try to use this recipe to make mini-quiches in a muffin pan, I will let you know how that turns out!

Mrs. C.

Edited to add: if you decide to try this without sausage, you may want to add salt to the egg mixture before pouring over.


amy corinne said...

Oh, that sounds really good. I had a small piece of red pepper & spinach quiche this morning, so I might try yours (minus sausage).

Marianne said...

The sausage is completely optional, but I bet it would be delicious with veggie sausage crumbles--I think Morningstar makes one? I've also seen veggie sausages of some sort. I really like the crust, it's worth giving a try.