Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine

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This Hearty Winter Quiche is the perfect dish to serve at a holiday wine party or festive brunch. With a crust made with grits and a sweet potato, sausage, collard greens filling, this quiche can be made in advance. Looking for wines to pair with this hearty entree? The Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Pinot Noir and the Cutrer Chardonnay sip smoothly and offer variety for a crowd, too.

Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine

The holidays are almost upon us, friends.

Who’s excited? Who’s a little anxious? Who’s downright stressed?

To be honest, I’m more anxious about traveling for Thanksgiving than I am hosting Christmas. And if that doesn’t say something about me, I don’t know what will.

Here’s the thing, though: That Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has me thinking about the holidays. With its gorgeous ruby red color, how could I not?

Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine

To me, the holidays are about gathering the people I love in one place and spending time together. Preferably with food and drink because hey, I’m a food blogger, and y’all know that’s my jam.

Holidays have always been a big deal in my family—and we hosted a fair share of festivities throughout the years growing up—but it wasn’t until college that I got a taste of being a host on a regular basis, even though the stakes were significantly lower and the gatherings were for non-holidays.

Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine

My final year of college, a few friends and I had something we called our Sunday Night Dinner Family. We all worked together at the student newspaper, and Sundays were workdays. We spent a portion of the day laying out and producing the Monday paper. Once our work was sent off to press, we came together for a communal meal at one of our houses.

The idea was simple: Every Sunday night, one of us would make a meal for the whole “family,” serving a favorite recipe paired with wine and good conversation.

Since we were college students, we didn’t know much about wine, nor were we gourmet chefs (though I will attest that our cooking was ALWAYS delicious!), but we had fun, and every Sunday night was an adventure.

And ten years later, I’d like to think that this Hearty Holiday Quiche, paired with Sonoma-Cutrer wines, would have made a fabulous Sunday Night Dinner.

Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine

Ever since we visited Napa last September, Winston and I have enjoyed discovering new wines. Last month, we got the chance to try some Sonoma-Cutrer wines at an event at a local park. And today, I’m thrilled to collaborate with Sonoma-Cutrer on this holiday-centric wine party!

Their Cutrer Chardonnay brings creaminess and bright acidity to the table. It’s not heavily oaked, which is a plus since a lot of oak equals a headache for me these days. With aromas of caramel, roasted nuts, honey, nectarine and honeydew and flavors of peach, apple and crème brulee and light touches of vanilla and oak spice, this chardonnay drinks easily and pairs beautifully with a our hearty quiche.

Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine

The Russian River Pinot Noir looks the part of a holiday wine, a gorgeous red. With blackberry and vanilla scents, this pinot noir has a rich texture, balance and brightness with its flavors of cherry, tobacco and spice. When our families visited last weekend, they were so impressed by this pinot noir’s balance and flavor.

Needless to say, both the pinot noir and chardonnay pair well with the Hearty Holiday Quiche and offer different flavors to guests at the party. And you can order your own through the Sonoma-Cutrer website. With easy ordering and quick delivery, my wine was on my doorstep within a week of placing my order! ALSO, you can visit Sonoma-Cutrer in Sonoma County for Tours/Tastings at the winery if you happen to be in the area or be visiting!

Now, it’s time for a quiche confession: the crust was a happy accident.

Initially, I planned to make a cornmeal crust—a nod to cornbread dressing—but when I opened my cornmeal… let’s just say that it wasn’t going to work. So I did some quick thinking (because I had to make and chill the crust ASAP if it was going to be ready to bake for that evening) and found grits in my pantry.

And as a Southern girl, y’all know I love me some grits, though I’ve never used them in baking. So I used them in place of the cornmeal, saying a quick prayer as I mixed the crust together. I tossed it into the fridge with fingers crossed, hoping against hope that the grits would turn out to be a positive addition.

It wasn’t until the final product came out of the oven that I realized that the grits were BRILLIANT. They add an interesting texture AND flavor to the crust, and it crisped up nicely in the pan, too!

When paired with the sweet potato-homemade pork sausage-collard green filling of the quiche, the crust makes a statement while also complimenting the other flavors of this quiche.

And personally, I think it’s going to be a hit at the holidays because this Hearty Holiday Quiche is SO versatile! (I mean, who doesn’t love a quiche?!?)

It can be served and paired with wine for a mid-day brunch get-together or an evening party. It can be served as a meal by itself or a finger food. It can be made vegetarian by omitting the sausage. Heck, you could even serve it (sans wine) for breakfast. Because quiches are good for breakfast, too!

Basically, this recipe is a holiday behemoth, and I think we should all add it to our menus.

Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine

Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine

Festive Brunch: Hearty Winter Quiche and Wine
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
This Hearty Winter Quiche is the perfect dish to serve at a holiday wine party or festive brunch. With a crust made with grits and a sweet potato, sausage, collard greens filling, this quiche can be made in advance. Looking for wines to pair with this hearty entree? The Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Pinot Noir and the Cutrer Chardonnay sip smoothly and offer variety for a crowd, too.
Author:
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Brunch
Serves: 2 12” rectangular quiches
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 cup stone ground yellow grits
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter , frozen
  • 8 tablespoons ice cold water (may be more or less; keep an eye on your dough as you’re mixing it)
Filling
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb. 90/10 ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet potato , diced in ½” cubes
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 4 garlic cloves , finely minced
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
Crust
  1. With a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter. When the entire stick has been grated, transfer the butter back to the freezer to stay cool.
  2. Pour water into a small glass. Add ice cubes.
  3. In a large glass bowl, combine the stone ground yellow grits and unbleached all-purpose flour. Season with the salt, and whisk until combined.
  4. Add the frozen, grated unsalted butter, and stir in using a rubber spatula.
  5. Using a dough blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter appears to be the size of peas and the texture of wet sand.
  6. Drizzle half of the water on top of the flour-butter mixture. Using a plastic spatula, lightly fold the flour over the liquid. (Do not stir!)
  7. Add another tablespoon of water and repeat. When ready, the dough should just hold together when pressed, and you should be able to see flecks of butter in the crust. If necessary, add additional cold water until you reach the desired consistency.
  8. Form the dough into a two logs (if using a rectangular tart pan) or two rounds (if using a round tart pan) and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  9. Refrigerate at least one hour.
Bake the Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray the tart pan(s) with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. On a well-floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a similar shape as the tart pan.
  3. Roll the dough over the rolling pin and carefully place into the tart pan. Trim down the edges and press into place using gentle hands.
  4. Poke holes in the sides and bottom using a fork.
  5. Repeat, if necessary, to make a second quiche.
  6. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake 20-25 minutes, or until the crust has turned a golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, and let cool as the filling is made.
Make the Filling + the Quiche
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. In a large glass bowl, combine the ground pork with the sage, salt, fennel seed, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Using a rubber spatula, stir until combined.
  4. When the oil in the pan has heated, add the sausage mixture.
  5. Cook, breaking up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon, until golden brown.
  6. When the meat has cooked through, remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
  7. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil.
  8. Add the cubed sweet potato and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Cook over medium-high heat, occasionally moving the cubes around the pan so they don’t get too brown.
  10. When the sweet potatoes have softened and are a light brown color, remove from the heat. Add to the same bowl with the pork, and set aside.
  11. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil.
  12. As the oil warms, remove the stems from the collard greens. Roll the leaves and slice into thin rounds.
  13. Add the collards to the heated pan, cooking quickly. Add the garlic cloves as the greens are wilting.
  14. When the greens have wilted completely, remove from the pan, and add to the same bowl with the pork and sweet potatoes. Set aside.
  15. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together 5 large eggs with pepper and salt.
  16. Sprinkle the pork-sweet potato-collard mixture into the tart pan(s), then drizzle the egg mixture on top.
  17. Transfer the quiche into the preheated oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the eggs have cooked through and the top of the quiche is beginning to brown.
  18. Let cool. Serve warm (or cool!), pair with Sonoma-Cutrer wine, and enjoy!
Notes
Recipe adapted from my Rainbow Chard and Scallion Frittata.

This recipe makes TWO rectangular quiches. If you only want one quiche, I suggest using a larger pan or cutting the recipe in half.

Please note that the cook time is written as 45 minutes. That includes the baking of the crust PLUS the baking of the quiche. Please follow the instructions displayed above and don’t bake the quiche for a total of 45 minutes without the crust pre-baking.

 


Erin Parker

Erin is a professional photographer who has a penchant for baking and cooking. She discovered her love of all things in the kitchen during her collegiate years. On her blog, The Speckled Palate, she shares tried and true seasonal recipes from her kitchen with a side of Southern flair.

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