by John Ryan
Fennel and Blue Cheese Pie
Makes two 9-inch pies, each one serves 4
This recipe makes two pies: one for dinner and one for lunches.
Right out of the box I'll admit that this is quiche. I developed this recipe around the time the real-men-don't-eat-quiche thing was popular. So I took to calling them pies, which is what they are.
A couple ingredient notes. My wife, Margaret, makes an excellent crust. And she can usually make it in the time it takes me to sauté the onions and fennel. However, if I'm doing this solo, I'm more likely to use frozen pie shells. Sure, a good homemade crust is better, but frozen pie shells aren't the end of the world. Also, the blue cheese in this recipe is a seasoning. After you taste the pie you may want to use more, or use a stronger blue such as Roquefort.
Large skillet with a lid
2 pie plates or 2 frozen 9-inch pie shells—not deep dish
350-degree F oven
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large fennel bulb, chopped (plus or minus 4 cups)
2 frozen 9-inch pie shells, not deep dish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup cream
4 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
1) Turn the oven on to 350-degrees F. Cook the onions in butter until soft. Add the garlic and let it stew a couple minutes without browning. Then stir in the fennel and cover. Adjust your burner so the fennel steams itself but doesn't brown too much.
2) While the fennel is braising, thoroughly beat the eggs, salt and mustard in a bowl. Then stir in the cream.
3) When the fennel is soft, about 10 minutes, take the lid off and let ALL the moisture evaporate. Take the pan off the heat and crumble the blue cheese into the pan. Stir a bit and divide between the vegetables the pie shells while they're still frozen. Put the pie shells on a sturdy cookie sheet.
4) After you scrape the vegetables out of the pan, there's still lots of flavor in the pan, so pour the milk into the skillet and stir to dissolve stuck bits in the pan. Stir the milk into the egg mixture, then pour it over the fennel & onions in the pie shell.
5) Scatter the grated Swiss over the pies and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top in nicely browned. Let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Just Good Food
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created May 2001