Quiche de Poireaux: Leek Quiche with Oysters and Smoked Salmon

Just a hint of spice is enough in this quiche that combines sautéed leeks, small oysters and smoked salmon.

When a friend recently bestowed upon us three large leeks, our thoughts converged on a family favorite: leek quiche. Craig Claiborne includes a recipe for this classic dish in his New York Times Cookbook. His Quiche de Poireaux includes ham, which, in our kitchen, had become bacon and more recently smoked salmon. One of the things we like best about quiche is its versatility, working equally well as a breakfast, lunch or dinner item.

When choosing oysters for this quiche, choose the smallest you can find. If fresh oysters aren’t available, canned oysters such as Pacific Pearl are an excellent substitute. Add spices sparingly so that the flavor of the sautéed leeks shines through. Accompanied by a lightly chilled glass of viognier, a morning with not much to do, and a crossword puzzle, this quiche makes an excellent breakfast or brunch entrée.

Ingredients:

  • 1 unbaked, standard-sized pie crust (or use one a bit deeper than usual)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large leeks, diced into thin circles
  • 6 oz extra small oysters (fresh or canned)
  • 3 oz smoked salmon, broken into chunks
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss, Gruyére or similar cheese
  • 2 healthy pinches ground smoked chipotle pepper
  • healthy pinch arbol or cayenne pepper
  • couple dashes paprika
  • 1/2 tsp teaspoon oregano
  • several grinds black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter

Directions:

  1. Shape pie dough to pan. Cover and refrigerate to keep cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add olive oil, butter and diced leeks. Stir occasionally, until leeks separate and are tender – about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs together till well-blended. Add seasonings, salt, pepper, milk and cream and stir together with a spoon. Stir in cheese and leeks. Last, gently stir in smoked salmon and oysters, taking care not to break them up.
  5. Remove pie shell from refrigerator and pour mixture into chilled shell. Place pie pan on baking sheet and put into preheated oven.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  7. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Cover exposed pie crust with foil or pie ring (to prevent crust from burning) and continue baking for 30 minutes, or until quiche is set. (The filling will no longer jiggle when gently shaken.)
  8. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with fresh fruit such as grapes, melon, sliced pears or other fresh fruit. Given the mildly spicy nature of this quiche, it would pair well with a viognier.

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