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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Leek, Lemon, and Feta Quiche

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Have you heard that Quiche is making a comeback? What's next, cupcakes? Ha ha, anyway I love this combo of flavors and it has a cheater's crust: commercial puff pastry. Obviously, you can use a traditional rolled-out pastry crust or even a nut crust.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 pound leeks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup half-and-half
3 eggs
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Ouzo
2-1/2 ounces feta cheese, cut into 4 (approx 1/2-inch) slices

Preheat oven to 375F. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. Rinse off any visible dirt from the leeks and slice the roots from the end. Remove the dark green tops, leaving a couple inches of light green with the white portion of the leeks. Halve the leeks lengthwise, then cut crosswise in 1/2-inch slices. Dump the slices in a colander or salad spinner and rinse thoroughly. Let the leeks drain well, or spin dry. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the leeks and cook until they are wilted; don’t cook them so much that they give off liquid. Turn off the heat and let sit. In a mixing bowl using a whisk or fork, beat together the half-and-half, eggs, lemon zest, salt and pepper and add the Ouzo. Prepare the pastry crusts. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the thawed puff pastry to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Line a shallow pie plate with the pastry. Press the pastry up the sides to make a nice edge. Fill the quiche. Distribute the leeks evenly across the bottom of the dish. Pour the milk mixture over the leeks. Top the quiche with the crumbled feta. Bake 30-40 minutes. The center should be solid and the crust and top nicely browned. Let the quiche cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Quiches taste great hot, room temperature, even cold.