I do words.
I desperately want to say that at a dinner party. I want some complete strangers to be at the table. I want to say it with a straight face, with a casual tone, with the kind of intonation one would use when asking for another cup of coffee.
I do words.
Come on people. Wouldn’t it be grand?
The desire’s not an entirely original one. I stole it from a woman named Liz Thorpe – a cheese expert who takes great pride in saying, “I do cheese.”
She doesn’t look like she does cheese. She looks more like she does salads and running. Author of The Cheese Chronicles, she came to Seattle a few years back to promote the grand opening of Murray’s Cheese satellite counters at QFCs throughout the area.
The entire time she was talking about the creamy texture of La Fur and the wet stone aroma of a hearty blue, I couldn’t help but think, “Girl, please. Do you really eat cheese?”
But she does. I saw her. I saw her hold a firm Parmesan in her mouth and roll it around. She described it as having a hint of hazelnut and invited the group of bloggers assembled to see if they too could taste it.
From what I remember, we all nodded that we did. Isn’t that what you do when you’re in the presence of a woman who does cheese? You agree with her and lap up any and all samples. (Don’t hold this against me. They were exceptional samples.)
And then years later, when you take a break from doing words and grate some mozzarella, you think about the woman who does cheese.
This recipe is a “healthy” variation of my mother-in-law’s Bacon Quiche. It’s healthy, in that it includes ingredients other than cream, cheese, and bacon. There’s kale, sweet potatoes, and caramelized onions – just enough nutrient rich bits that you can convince yourself it’s totally okay to have a second (okay, third) slice.
Sweet Potato, Kale and Bacon Quiche
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch rounds
4 TBS olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 lb bacon
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped kale leaves
1 premade pie crust
¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan, shredded
1 cup cream
½ cup extra sharp cheddar, shredded
½ cup mozzarella, shredded
Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Toss sweet potatoes, 3 TBS olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in an even layer on the cookie sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until potatoes are tender.
In a medium fry pan, cook bacon in batches until crisp. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Strain the bacon fat through a fine mesh sieve. Wipe fry pan clean. Return 2 TBS of bacon fat to pan. (Additional fat can be reserved for a later use or discarded.) Add onion and sauté in bacon fat until translucent and just beginning to brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Turn stove up to high. Add remaining TBS olive oil. Add kale and sauté until just beginning to brown. Transfer kale to a large paper towel. Squeeze to remove any excess oil or water.
Once potatoes have finished cooking, unroll premade piecrust and lay it gently in a pie dish. Using the tines of a fork, gently dot the piecrust where it lays against the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the upper edges of the unbaked piecrust with foil. Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove crust from oven. Remove foil from crust. Sprinkle Panko breadcrumbs evenly across the bottom of the crust. Evenly spread Parmesan. Tear bacon into pieces and evenly sprinkle bacon.
In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes, onions and kale. Distribute mixture evenly over piecrust.
Whisk eggs and cream together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the quiche fillings. Top with cheddar and mozzarella. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until the custard is set in the center.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes (10 – 15 is preferable, but hard to manage). Slice and serve warm.