Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Baby On Board

OK, before you jump to conclusions, let me just say right out of the gate that there is no baby on board this body. But there's clearly something in the water as I have 3 friends welcoming babies within a 2 week window this month, with 3 more due in June.

My dear friend Ronda was first up, delivering her second child, Thatcher, last Monday. The only hitch was that Ronda and her husband were convinced they were having a girl, even though they wanted the sex of the baby to be a surprise. Well, I think it's safe to say they definitely were surprised. And it's also clear they don't know how to read ultrasounds after all. They're completely over the moon with their handsome new bundle of joy, although it did take a few days for their toddler daughter to understand she actually had a baby brother when all she's been hearing about for 9 months is her sister on the way.

I finally got to meet Thatcher on Sunday. He is one of the cutest babies I've seen — even in the chic pink floral number he was sporting.

Yes, the poor guy had no manly clothes to call his own since they thought he was going to be a she. In addition to the boy-themed clothes I brought over [Thatcher, you owe me one!], I delivered a ridiculously rich quiche filled with caramelized onions and roasted cauliflower.

It's a recipe I found here and have been looking for a reason to bake it. It's hard to justify making and eating a double-cream, triple-cheese quiche by yourself. I once made a caramelized onion and brie pizza which I am pretty sure put me on the short list for a stent, but after one bite I could care less if I had to have open-heart surgery. It was just oozing decadence. I imagine it was a little bit like crack because after your first bite you knew there was no chance of stopping regardless of the repercussions. I had a feeling this quiche would be just like that — fork-dropping good. The Dijon-kissed crust; the melt-in-your-mouth sweet onions; the rich, nutty cauliflower . . . . I mean come on! One is powerless to resist it, unless you're Kate Moss who recently said, "Nothing tastes as good as being skinny." Clearly she hasn't tried this.

The real tragegy was I hadn't tried it either! I was dying to, but, try as I might, I couldn't find a way to steal a piece — or even a bite — undetected. Ronda was nice enough to take a picture of a slice for my blog though.

I'm already looking for an excuse to make this again. But next time, I'm having a slice. So I'm apologizing to Marina in advance, who welcomed her beautiful baby Leila yesterday, for soon delivering this quiche with a missing slice.

Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Quiche
By Smitten Kitchen

1 head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch flowerets
3 1/2 Tsbp olive oil
1 Tbsp truffle oil
1 frozen 9-inch pie crust (or go with a homemade one if you have the desire)
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 large eggs
1 8-ounce container of mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp pepper (black or white)
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (Swiss or Comte are great swaps)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat over to 425 degrees. Toss cauliflower with 2 Tbsp olive oil in a bowl. Spread on rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast 15 minutes before turning flowerets and roasting another 10-15 minutes. Cool enough to handle and thinly slice.
Reduce over temperature to 350 degrees. If using a store bought frozen pie crust, line crust with foil, fill with pie weights or uncooked beans, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights and then bake until crust is golden, about 5 addition minutes. Press crust back with the bak of a fork if bubbles form. Cool crust slightly and maintain oven temperature. [Note: If using homemade pie crust, you don't have to par-bake it.]
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until onion is a deep, golden brown, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 minutes.
Use a knife or brush and spread the bottom and sides of crust with mustard. Spread onion over crust and then arrange the cauliflower over the onion. Set the quiche on a rimmed baking sheet (to protect against leaks). Whisk eggs, mascarpone, cream, pepper and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir in Gruyere. Pour mixture over the filling in the pie shell and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until golden and center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 15 minutes before serving. Yields: 8 servings.

Note: The onions can be caramelized, dough can be par-baked, and cauliflower roasted a day in advance. Cauliflower and onion should be kept in separate containers and refrigerated. The par-baked crust can be stored at room-temperature. The whole quiche can be made and baked a day in advance, reheated in a low oven setting before serving.


  1. As soon as Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe, it went in my "good grief, I've got to make this NOW!" recipe file. Isn't it delightful (aka sinful)?!

  2. Thatcher thanks you and so does his parents for the non-pink clothes :)

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