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bacon and leek mini quiches

thanksgiving is just over a week away, and i think i’ve found my contribution to the big meal.

these are one of those appetizers that never make it to the guests outside of the kitchen – people will wrestle each other to the ground for a good mini quiche. the only possible rival to the mini quiche is the pig in a blanket (another specialty of mine). why leeks? besides being an amazing fall crop, when the weather gets chillier, i get cravings for the nostalgic flavors of potato and leek soup. why bacon? honestly, i can’t think of a single dish that can’t be improved with bacon (including potato and leek soup).

quiches were actually invented by the germans – the word “quiche” comes from “kuchen,” german for cake. it has since been adapted by the french and has become a blank slate for any kind of meat or veggie you can think of. originally, german chefs used an actual cake as a base, but in it’s modern form, quiches usually have some kind of puff pastry. i’ve provided a very simple butter/flour/cream cheese crust recipe, but store-bought puff pastry certainly works just as well (they happened to be out of it when i went to the store).

at the rate i’ve been eating these quiches,  i’ll need to make a new batch every other day or so. if you’re looking for a quick and easy thanksgiving appetizer, look no farther. you might want to make a secret batch just for yourself so you actually get to have a few.

bacon and leek quiches
makes 12 regular-size or 24 mini-cupcake-size cups

1/2 cup butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup flour

quiche filling
3 eggs
1 cup half and half
2 large leeks
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small onion, diced
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1. make the crust: soften the butter and cream cheese in the microwave. mix in the flour and form into a ball. refrigerate for 1 hour while you make the filling.

2. clean, peel and dice up the leeks. saute in on medium heat with the diced onion with a little splash of olive oil until the leeks soften.

3. whisk the eggs and cream in a large bowl. add the leek mixture, crumbled bacon, cheese and salt and pepper. mix to coat everything in egg.

4. divide the chilled dough into 12 equal pieces (24 if using mini-cupcake tins). butter and flour the cupcake tins and press the dough into them to cover the bottom and sides. pour in the quiche mixture to fill each cup. bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes.