Mary Anne here. When it comes to stocking the fridge with a cache of caramelized onions and mushrooms, Mariel and I are in complete agreement: this dynamic duo is an absolute must. Besides using a duxelle of ‘shrooms atop my luxurious Crabmeat Ravioli, this saucy combo steps in beautifully as a last minute dinner on top of a steaming bowl of pasta and freshly grated cheese.
We’ve also made Sunday morning omelettes as well as dinner-time frittatas with our onion-funghi duo, and at last this match made-in-heaven has graced the pastry of a homemade quiche. While Mariel and I, along with her husband, adore our caramelized onion and mushroom stash, who knew that my adorable 15 month grandson, dubbed “The Manster,” would be even MORE passionate for my cheesy, caramelized creation!
I first made this quiche a couple of weeks ago. I had prepared an easy-to-reheat dinner for a neighbor who had just come home from the hospital, and since creamy quiche is possibly the ultimate comfort food, I hoped this would be brighten her spirits. I didn’t have a whole lot of time so I bought a 2-pack of frozen 9-inch pie shells. The shells are shallow and so I divided what I felt was a single recipe between the 2 crusts, delivering one pie to my neighbor and the next day the leftovers of my own quiche to Mariel.
The plan was that she and I would share the 2 leftover dinner-size slices that night after lil Manster was abed and we could catch up with each other’s lives. But not so fast – The Manster was in his high chair awaiting his own dinner and we decided (misguidedly) to give him a taste. And then another taste, and another…and then I didn’t have any quiche because he ate my whole piece. For real!
This past weekend I worked on the recipe once again, this time with homemade pastry for a single pie. I dropped off the entire warm quiche to Mariel – just in time for Manster’s dinner. When he saw it he first shrieked with anticipation and then let out a low, rumbling, “yummmm.” I’m serious! 25 minutes later Mariel sent me a picture of the adult-size wedge the little guy downed, never once dropping a crumb of it on the floor or feeding the dogs his scraps. Never happens. That’s a fact. This dish is not only a home run in my Manster world, but a bona fide grand slam!
Quiche with Caramelized Onion, Mushrooms, and Ham
Serves 6 as an Entrée
Note: I cut back the amount of mushrooms and onion for the specifics of this recipe, but we highly recommend that you make a much larger batch of the duxelle of shrooms and onion for other dinners. I freeze single serving sizes and the mixture holds up beautifully. Any combo of funghi works well – I use portabello, domestic, fresh porcini when on sale, or any combination that strikes my fancy while in the market. I almost always use Vidalia onion, and a large one at that, but a handful of large shallots diced is also incredibly good. For this recipe I splashed the caramelized mixture with cooking sherry, but when making the duxelle on its own I use Balsamic vinegar towards the end of the caramelizing process. Your call, but however you stir this up I’m betting you’ll hit it out of the park!
2 Tablespoons olive oil – stock
¼ lb. Portabello or domestic mushrooms, coarsely chopped – $0.89
1 small Vidalia onion, diced – $0.69
2 cloves garlic, minced – stock
Splash of cooking sherry – stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cubed Jarsberg or Gruyere – $2.29
¼ lb. Westphalian or Virginia Ham, chopped – $2.39
¼ cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese – $1.25
4 eggs, lightly beaten – stock
1 cup light cream – $0.99
1 cup milk (I used 1% and it was fine!) – stock
¼ Teaspoon ground nutmeg – stock
Pastry for a 9-inch pie plate – stock
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $8.50
Total Per Serving: $1.42
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high flame. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to caramelize.
3. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste and continue cooking an additional 5 minutes.
4. Add a splash of sherry to the mix; increase the flame to high and sauté just until all of the liquid has absorbed. Remove from the heat.
5. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, cream, milk, and nutmeg. Set aside.
6. Line the pie plate with the prepared crust. Sprinkle both cheeses and the ham evenly over the bottom of the pastry followed by the mushroom/onion mixture.
7. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the mushroom, cheese, and ham mixture.
8. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted about 1 or so inches away from the edge of the crust comes out clean. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.