Post by Alison Hein.
It’s a great pleasure to visit with dear friends you haven’t seen in ages. It’s an even greater pleasure when you get them to make breakfast for you. Debra and her husband Barry spend part of their year in Washington state, in a quaint cabin perched on scenic Loon Lake. They have lovingly furnished their lakeside aerie with retro pieces rummaged in garage sales, estate sales and auctions. Enter, and be transported back to the 1940s.
Debra and I used to work together (uh, a long time ago). She was my boss and my mentor. She taught me everything I needed to know about my job, and then she taught me a few things about cooking. I still make her homemade candies during the holidays, not to mention Barry’s sinful Irish Cream.
My mouth watered at the thought of diving into one of Deb’s heavenly quiches. She makes many delicious kinds, but this seafood quiche was purely divine. Debra seasoned and poached the shrimp before baking, and added a lot of sharp cheddar cheese to the egg mixture (Deb recommends Oregon Tillamook if you can find it). The extra sprinkle of parmegiano reggiano added to the top adds a soft crispiness, lovely to poke through as you swoop your fork down and pop up the choice inner filling, rich and gumbo-like in flavor.
Debra pulled out an old crockery bowl, whisked the eggs with her grandma’s hand beater, and poured the mix into an old pie pan. 45 minutes later she grabbed a set of crocheted potholders and pulled a fragrant, mile-high quiche out of the oven. She placed the steaming dish on the antique kitchen table along with some homey nut bread and a melon ball salad. I looked around the funky, antique kitchen and thought – what a great place for spending time with lifelong friends. What a great place for enjoying a heavenly, timeless breakfast in bed!
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks with leaves (about ¾ cup), finely chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
½ pound cocktail shrimp, shelled, deveined, and poached until cooked through
½ pound fresh crabmeat
1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
2 cups cheddar cheese
¼ cup half & half
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
¼ cup grated parmegiano reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Place pie crust into glass or ceramic pie dish. Set aside.
Melt butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in shrimp and crab. Cool slightly, then add to prepared pie crust. Spread cheddar cheese evenly on top of seafood mixture.
Break eggs into large bowl. Add half & half and nutmeg. Whisk until frothy, about 2 minutes. Carefully pour egg mixture on top of seafood and cheese, filling to the top so that just the pie crust rim remains visible. Sprinkle grated parmegiano reggiano cheese on top.
Place quiche on cookie sheet and then in oven. Bake for around 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and quiche is puffed up and golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot, with fresh fruit or a salad on the side.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.