Breakfast for a crowd can be something of a nightmare.
It is not that I dislike having people over – far from it – but when it is breakfast we are talking about it can get a little tense, especially if eggs are involved. Cooking eggs in a manner that appeals to everyone is a tricky thing. Some like their eggs fried with a soft yolk, others like scrambled eggs so hard they resemble rubber. I have found only one way to prepare eggs that is universally loved and devoured, and that is in quiche form.
Quiche has been the butt of many jokes (real men don’t eat quiche, anyone?), but when it comes down to it I have met very few people who will turn down a slice. For this version I took a little trip to the bayou and added some spicy boudin sausage and fresh green peppers. For those uninitiated in the joy that is boudin, it is a pork and rice sausage that tastes a lot like dirty rice – only better. Bacon and cheddar cheese round out the flavors and it is baked in my favorite butter and lard pastry crust (a photo tutorial on making it is here). Serve this with some strong coffee, and some fresh fruit, and you will have a crowd pleasing breakfast that will not drive you crazy!
Boudin and Green Pepper Quiche Serves 8
For the crust:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and cold
4 tablespoons lard
3-4 tablespoons ice cold water
For the filling:
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 ounces boudin sausage, chopped
2 strips bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix well, then add the lard and rub it completely into the flour. Next, add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture until it is in pea sized pieces. Add the cold water, starting with three tablespoons and adding the fourth if needed, and knead about ten times. Form into a disk, cover with plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Once chilled, roll out the dough on a well floured surface. Line the inside of a 9″ pie pan with the dough, making sure not to pull or stretch the dough in the pan. Trim off any excess leaving a 1″ border of dough hanging over the outside of the pie pan. Gently tuck the dough under, making the edge of the dough even with the edge of the pie pan, then flute the dough with your fingers. Chill the prepared crust, wrapped in plastic, for ten minutes or up to two days.
Heat the oven to 375 F.
Line the crust with foil, or heavy parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake the crust with the weights for 12 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and bake for 10 minutes more, or until the crust is golden brown all over. Allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
In a medium skillet over medium heat melt the butter until it foams. Add the green peppers and onions and cook until they begin to soften, about three minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl combine the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until the yolks are broken. Add the milk, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined.
In the bottom of the prepared crust place the chopped boudin and bacon. Top with the shredded cheese and the green pepper mixture. Carefully pour over the egg mixture.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the center of the quiche is set and the cheese is starting to turn golden. Allow stand for twenty minutes before serving.
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