Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shrimp and Leek Quiche

It's hard to beat the creamy custard of a quiche.  Like an omelette, you can put practically anything in them and they will taste great.

Making it with fresh jumbo shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico makes it even better.  During a recent trip to Corpus my dearest friend Karen turned me on to her source for fresh seafood in Corpus.  Lorenzo Diaz, also known as The Shrimp Pimp, provides free delivery of the freshest brought-in-on-the-boat-that morning, seafood.  These 10-12 count shrimp were beautiful and only cost $7.50 per pound.  I brought plenty home with me.

That sounded like a paid advertisement.

The first order of business was to get the pie crust ready and in the pan.  I rolled the dough out for a 9" deep dish pie pan.  I then placed it in the refrigerator until I was ready to fill it.

I grated the Gruyere, chopped the leaks and prepared the shrimp by peeling, de-veining and cutting into bite-size pieces.  Lorenzo, the Shrimp Pimp was happy to pull the heads off for me.  Note:  If you are not traveling with your shrimp, take the heads!!!  You can make some great stock with them.

I sauteed the leeks in a little butter - olive oil mixture.

This is the olive oil I used.  Whenever possible, Lovey and I support products made in Texas.  Lovey picked this up at the Farmer's Market in Dallas.

As the leeks begin to soften, add the shrimp and toss quickly for one minute only.  You don't want the shrimp to cook through; just give them a little flavor.  Pull the leeks and shrimp off the heat and set aside to cool off a bit.

Preheat the oven to 375F°.  Sprinkle the cheese across the bottom of the pie shell.

 Beat your egg with the salt, a little cayenne to make it interesting and a light grating of nutmeg.

Heat the milk to the point that it has bubbles all around the edges of the pan.  Add a small amount of the hot milk to the bowl of beaten egg yolk and whisk them together.  Add small amounts of the hot milk a couple more times to temper the egg yolks, or get them warm so they won't curdle or scramble when you pour them into the milk mixture.

Stir the custard until it begins to thicken and coat the back of a spoon

Grate a little more nutmeg on top and give it a swirl.

Spread the leeks and shrimp on top of the cheese.

Gently pour the egg/milk mixture into the pie plate.  Top with the extra cheese.  Place in the middle of a preheated oven.

After baking in a 375° oven for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden, remove the quiche from the oven.

The advantage of making your quiche with the custard method (in lieu of pouring your cold egg/milk mixture over your fillings and popping it into the oven) is that you don't really have to let the quiche rest after it comes out of the oven.  It's ready to eat right then, hot and creamy.

Slice her up and enjoy!  I would suggest with a nice green tossed salad.

Quiche with Shrimp and Leeks
Adapted from a basic recipe for quiche in Bouquet de France - An Epicurean Tour of the French Provinces edited by Gourmet 1966.
Serves 8

Note that the ingredients below are for a deep dish pie.  If you wish to make this quiche in a regular 9" pie plate it is easily halved.

1 9-inch pie crust of your choice
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large leek
1 pound shrimp
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, divided
6 whole eggs
3 cups milk, preferably whole

Mise en Place:
  • pre-heat oven to 375°
  • roll out dough and place in pie plate.  Set prepared pie plate in refrigerator until needed
  • grate cheese and divide leaving a little cheese to top the quiche with
  • clean and chop the leek (while and pale green only)
  • shell, de-vein, and slice shrimp into bite sized pieces
  • crack eggs into bowl; measure salt and grate nutmeg
  • measure milk into heavy sauce pan
In medium sauté pan, heat oil and saute leeks until just turning soft.  Add the shrimp and constantly stir quickly for 1 minute only.  Remove from heat.

Pull the pie crust out of the refrigerator and spread the majority of the cheese in the bottom of the shell; saving some for the top.

Arrange the leeks and shrimp pieces on top of the cheese.

Crack the eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined and light yellow.  Set aside.

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until almost boiling.  You'll see bubbles all around the sides of the pan.

With a 1/4 cup measuring cup slowly begin to add the hot milk mixture, in a stream, to the egg mixture, whisking as you go.  Do this about two more times.  What you are wanting to accomplish here is warming the egg yolks enough to be able to add them back to the milk mixture without the eggs scrambling.  Once the eggs are tempered slowly add them to the milk mixture whisking constantly until the milk/egg mixture comes to a boil.

Continue to beat the custard mixture until it starts to become thick.  When the mixture coats the back of a spoon it is ready.

Slowly pour the custard into the pie shell.  Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake in the 375° oven for about 30 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is golden.

Serve hot, directly from the pan.