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Wild Rice and Mushroom Quiche
I call this a quiche. Even though it has no crust, it is made very much like traditional quiches. If you want to call it a casserole, you might get more men to eat it. On the other hand, after you've tried it, you may not want to share it anyway! You'll want to start this well ahead (like the day before) because it must be assembled cool.
Prepare wild rice ahead of time according to directions on package, but remove from heat about 10 minutes before cooking time is up (usually around 45 minutes). Drain excess water and set aside to cool. Cook bacon crisp and also set aside to cool.
Place 3 Tablespoons bacon drippings in large skillet or chicken pan (high sides help) and add chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, and garlic. Saute until mushrooms have given up their water and most of it has evaporated or been re-absorbed. Mushrooms should retain their shape and some light color. Combine wild rice, crumbled bacon, stuffing mix, and mushroom mixture in probably the largest bowl you've got. Tossing occasionally, allow to cool to room temperature.
Grind nutmeg (or use pre-ground) and sprinkle over cooled wild rice and mushroom mixture. Stir to distribute throughout mixture. Add cheese and mix thoroughly. (Note: may be prepared ahead and refrigerated at this point. As a matter of fact, I always do so to this day so I won't have to get up in the middle of the night to start this one.)
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the desired number of 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins on a cookie sheet and coat heavily with non-stick spray. Fill each cup almost to the top with wild rice and mushroom mixture. For each cup, place 1 egg and 1 ounce of heavy cream in a mixing bowl; whisk to combine. Fill cups to cover wild rice and mushroom mixture.
Place on middle rack and cook 1 hour. Depending on how evenly your oven cooks, you may want to rotate the cookie sheet about 3/4 of the way through. The quiches are done when they are puffy and not wet at the center. When done, let stand about 15 minutes in the cups, then turn out on plates. Set right side up and cover half with White Pepper Cream Sauce. Garnish with diced tomatoes and parsley.
Variation: You can make a vegetarian Wild Rice and Mushroom Quiche by leaving out the bacon and substituting a good quality olive oil for the bacon drippings.
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