Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chessy Onion Quiche

This recipe was a game changer.  I first had this when a great neighbor and fellow foodie brought some over.  The next week, I went out and bought the book he got the recipe from; Weber's Big Book of Grilling by Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae.  Not only could I make my own quiche now (it is the kind of recipe you get very specific and urgent cravings for), but many of the other recipes in it lead to a great kitchen evolution, especially as far as my spice cupboard was concerned.  A game changer!

For the Sauce
1 large red bell pepper
1/4 c. mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. crushed walnuts
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

For the Filling
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
1 c. finely chopped red onion
3 large eggs
3/4 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 c. grated Jarlsberg, Swiss or Gruyere cheese
3 Tbsp. finely chopped chives
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1 uncooked piecrust (9 inches)

The Method
Grill the bell pepper over direct medium heat until the skin is evenly charred on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes, turning every 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove the pepper from the grill and place in a paper bag; close tightly.  Let stand 10 to 15 minutes to steam off the skin.  Cut off the top and remove the seeds.  Coarsely chop the pepper and put in a food processor.  Add the remaining sauce ingredients and process until smooth.  Pour into a small serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.  In a small bowl whisk the eggs and cream together and add to the butter-onion mixture.  Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

Line a 9-inch metal pie tin with crust.  Pour the filling into the curst.  Grill over Direct Medium heat until the edges of the curst and the filling begin to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes, then continue cooking over Direct Low heat until the filling is no longer wet in the center, about 15 minutes more.  Remove from the grill and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve with the sauce.

Food for Thought
As expected, a grilling cook book actually directs you to prepare this on the grill.  Once you shut the lid, isn't a grill basically an oven.  Ideally, you have a built-in thermostat on your grill, then you can really do anything on it you could do in your oven.  I won't discuss direct and indirect heat here but give me a call or post an inquiry if you must know more.  I often do this just in the oven.  350 for 35 minutes +/- 5 does the trick, although I will usually jump start my piecrusts baking for 7-8 minutes sans filling first so that I don't end up with an undercooked pie crust, which can sometimes happen when dealing with a lot of wet ingredients in the filling, as in this recipe, or with other fillings like custards, fruit mixtures, etc.  Unless I'm doing a homemade apple pie, store bought piecrust works great for me (we like Marie Callendar's and Pilsbury).  This sauce if ridiculously good and could actually be eaten on a wide variety of savory concoctions.  Have fun with the leftovers (if you have any).