Thursday, July 25, 2013

Smoked Almond Quiche Lorraine

I like to imagine Julia Child reading this recipe and protesting (in her trademark flutey tones), "Quiche Lorraine without eggs? Without cream? Without butter or cheese? Without bacon?" just before downing an entire bottle of a good Sauvignon Blanc and passing out on the floor. And in truth this recipe is really an homage to that classic savory pie, rather than a facsimile of The Thing Itself. In place of the original's traditional combination of cholesterol and cruelty, my version uses smoked almonds and black salt for that bacony and eggy something, adds mushrooms for textural interest, and packs the mighty nutritional punch of nuts, tofu, and a generous dose of nooch. The finished product was declared an unqualified success ("the best quiche yet," quoth my middle son), and was equally good served hot, room temperature, or cold; both pies disappeared in under 48 hours, so this is a definite make-again. The weather here has been extremely hot, so I served our quiche with a simple green salad, but I think that steamed asparagus and new potatoes tossed with tarragon and olive oil would add the perfect dash of French Chef savoir faire.

Smoked Almond Quiche Lorraine
~ 2 single pie crusts (homemade or store bought)
~ 1.5 cup smoked almonds
~ 14 oz. firm tofu, drained and pressed
~ 12 oz. firm silken tofu
~ 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
~ 1 tbsp. cornstarch
~ 1 tsp. each: onion powder, black salt 
~ 1/2 tsp. white pepper
~ Dash of nutmeg
~ 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ Juice of half a lemon

~ Combine the almonds and silken tofu in a food processor and blend until smooth. With the processor running, gradually feed in the remaining ingredients and process to a smooth paste.
~ Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside while you make...

The Vegetables
~ 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance
~ 1 large onion, diced

~ Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat until browned and ever so slightly crispy. Remove to a plate and set aside.
~ Add the Earth Balance to the skillet and sauté the onions over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until quite soft but not brown.

The Assembly
~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
~ Add the cooked mushrooms and onions to the quiche filling and combine thoroughly.
~ Divide the filling evenly between two pie crusts, smoothing with a spatula; top with a grind or two of black pepper and a sprinkle of salt.
~ Set the pies on a large baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes.
~ Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is set.
~ Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.

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