Monday, January 5, 2015

Agatha’s Spinach Quiche

I am an M.C. Beaton fan. Beaton (one of the pen names of writer Marion Chesney) is the creator of two fun, diametrically opposed, mystery series, Agatha Raisin, and Hamish MacBeth, both of which I enjoy immensely.

I discovered Agatha Raisin quite by accident. While browsing through a bookstore (remember those?), looking for the latest culinary cozy (a sub-genre that, as a foodie, I have come to embrace), I picked up a book called Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death.  Unbeknownst to me, it was the first in what has turned out to be a long and delightful series. A culinary mystery it was not (Agatha has been referred to as the queen of the microwave), but cozy it was, situated in what surely what must be the coziest place on earth, the English Cotswolds. And while not a culinary cozy, by definition, it was a book that left me hungry for more. Flash forward 22 years and we, at long last, have Agatha on the small screen (in England, anyway) in SkyTV's version of this fun book. While Ashley Jensen is too young, too thin, and too blonde to be the real Agatha, in watching the trailer it appears that she does a rather fine job in the role. 

This quiche in is honor of Agatha and her creator. It is a spinach quiche, like the one in the book, only far less deadly.  I added mushrooms - a dodgy vegetable, perfect for the mystery genre, particularly if you tend to gather your own, as one never really knows about mushrooms, does one?  I also swapped out the usual quiche cheese, Gruyere, for Smoked Gouda because it reminds me more of the cigarette smoking Agatha. The end result was quite delicious and certainly worthy of a win in any village competition.

Agatha’s Spinach Quiche

6 slices bacon
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups light cream
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 of a 10-ounce pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks (white part only)
2 cups shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese
1 9-inch deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Hydrate porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water for 30-45 minutes.  Strain through a wire mesh sieve into which you have placed a double thickness of cheesecloth, or failing that, paper towels.  Save the liquid to use in other recipes, such as this one.  Rough chop porcinis.

While mushrooms are hydrating, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove to a paper towel-covered plate and drain.  Crumble and set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and sauté the sliced leeks until opaque.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-covered plate and drain.

In a large bowl, whip together eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in bacon, spinach, mushrooms, leeks, and cheese. Place pie crust onto a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet (to prevent any drips from burning) and carefully pour mixture into pie crust.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 45-55 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

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Raquel said...

I have read several of her stories - she is hilarious! This sounds really yummy!

Linda said...

Pattie that looks so good I'm considering it for our dinner tonight!

I love all things UK and loved your use of "dodgy". The Cotswolds in the south and The Dales in the north are on my bucket list. I just added your book recommendation to my Kindle Wishlist. :)

Crochet Hooks said...

Oh yes this sounds pretty yummy! Adding this recipe and the book to my list of to dos!

Gentle Joy said...

It has been so long since we had homemade quiche... and yours looks wonderful. :) Thank you for sharing it.

NewMrsAdventures said...

I love a good quiche and this one looks perfect! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Patti,
What a wonderful quiche, it looks delicious. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Lisa Boyle said...

This looks wonderful! Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I hope you can join us again this week.