I'm not sure if it's an annoying habit for my friends and colleagues or an endearing one, but whenever we have any sort of potluck or event that involves bringing food from home, I pretty much always have to take it a little too seriously.
When I found out that my "Food and Medicinal Mushrooms" class was having a potluck, my mind soared with the possibilities. Originally, I'd asked Mom to make one of my favorite dishes: Huge black slimy mushrooms cooked in a hairlike fungus in a thick delicious broth. It might sound gross to you, but my adventurous class would have loved it. Unfortunately, the potluck snuck up on me a little too quickly to coordinate with Mom, so it was back to the drawing board for me.
First I thought about making Tom Ka Gai with enoki mushrooms. One of my classmates recently did a presentation on the beautiful and cancer-fighting enoki, and it sounded like a good way to showcase the delicious mushroom that many of our classmates apparently hadn't yet tried. But then we found out we wouldn't have access to a kitchen to warm up the soup, which led me to one of my mainstays: Quiche.
But since this is a mushroom class, I wanted to go beyond the more widely available cremini mushrooms I usually use, so I instead used a combination of oyster and shiitake mushrooms. (I used dried shiitake mushrooms, but I'm sure this quiche would be just as good if not better with fresh!) I also was forced to make my own crust since the Asian store that carries these fabulous mushrooms oddly doesn't carry pie crust, too. It turned out so good I included the recipe, but feel free to use any crust for this yummy quiche!
Shiitake and Oyster Mushroom Quiche with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Goat Cheese
Bacon Grease Crust
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bacon grease, chilled
1/4 cup shortening (or chilled unsalted butter)
2-4 tablespoons ice-cold water
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 large yellow onion, sliced in 1/8-inch half-moons
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces sliced oyster mushrooms
12 ounces sliced shitaake mushrooms (or 2 ounces dried, reconstituted)
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Combine flours, salt and fat in a mixer until coarse crumbles form. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix with your hands until dough forms. Do not overmix. Form into a flattened disk and refrigerate while you make the filling.
Cook the bacon until edges begin to brown in heavy-bottomed skillet. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Pour off (and save for your next pie crust!) all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease and add onions. Cook until caramelized, about 45 minutes, stirring when needed. When onions are soft and lightly browned, stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from skillet. Add butter to skillet; when melted, add mushrooms and cook until moisture is released then they begin to brown. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt then add to onions.
Meanwhile, combine eggs, cream, goat cheese, black pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons basil. Add bacon, onions and mushrooms and mix well.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove chilled dough from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it's big enough to hang about 1/4-inch over your pie pan all around. Gently place in the pie pan and crimp your edges so they stay up in the oven. (I did this ahead of time then put the crust back in the fridge for about a half-hour, which I would recommend if you have time.)
Gently pour filling into crust, then top with Parmesan cheese. Cook for about 40-50 minutes, until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon basil, and serve warm or room temperature.