Thursday, September 03, 2009

Quiche Me

One of our very favorite meals is quiche. At any meal-breakfast, lunch or supper- quiche is delicious, versatile and can be quite economical. Because it can be eaten warm or cold, it's perfect to pack in a lunch box or picnic basket.

One of the great things about quiche is that almost any combination of meats and veggies can be used. Therefore, quiche is a wonderful use for leftover bits and pieces of whatever is left in the fridge.

Tomato Quiche

To make quiche, there is a formula involved rather than a specific recipe. I use the formula provided in Mollie Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

There are four elements needed to make a quiche which are as follows:

1) Crust- Use either your favorite homemade recipe or use a store-bought crust. Crusts made from mashed potatoes or rice can also be used. Place unbaked pie crust in a greased pie plate or quiche pan.

2)Cheese- This is the first layer which is put directly onto the crust. I typically use cheddar cheese as I usually keep it on hand. Swiss cheese is delicious, too! Use 1/4 to 1/3 pound depending on whether it is diced or grated and the size of your pan. I often reduce this amount and just make sure the bottom is well-covered as the cheese forms a barrier between the filling and the crust and keeps the crust flaky and crisp.

3)Filling- Place this layer over the cheese. This is where you can get creative and use whatever you have on hand. Think about the combination of meats and veggies that your family enjoys and use that as a guide.

Our favorite combinations include:
--spinach(squeeze all liquid out)and mushroom, a dash of nutmeg, bacon or ham
--fresh tomato(round slices), dill, basil
--grated zucchini and sausage
--ham and swiss

The possibilities are endless! You will want to saute many veggies, such as fresh spinach, broccoli, mushrooms and onions. Add any salt or spices to taste. My sister's family loves quiche or "meat and potato pie" as they call it, made with ground beef and hash brown potatoes.

4)Custard- The last step in putting together a great quiche is to add eggs and milk. Beat together 3 eggs and 1 cup milk and pour over the filling. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until firm. (My oven usually takes about 45 minutes to bake.)Cool for a few minutes before slicing and serve warm or cold.
Spinach Quiche-our favorite!

I have frozen already-baked quiches successfully. Just thaw and warm in oven and it's ready to serve! I've also read that quiches can be frozen unbaked but haven't tried that yet. If you've done this, leave a comment as to how it turned out for you!

I like to have homemade unbaked pie crusts ready in the freezer to pull out whenever we get a hankering for a quiche. However, I am not always that efficient and sometimes I need to make something quick! This is when I make a crustless quiche. This is incredibly fast to put together. Again, it is more of a formula than a recipe. Trust me, it's hard to mess a quiche up!

Crustless Quiche

1) Combine quiche fillings and spread in greased pan- shredded cheese, leftover cooked potatoes, fresh or cooked veggies, cooked meat, etc.

2)Beat eggs with a little milk or cream and seasonings to taste (6 eggs for 8 x 8 pan; 10-12 eggs for 9 x 13 pan.)

3)Pour egg mixture over fillings, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until set in the middle. Check after 45 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.

**See more favorite recipes at Life as Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap!


thehomespunheart said...

Mmmmm ~ I love quiche! Unfortunately, my family does not - so I save it for having other girl friends over or when we go out to lunch at our favorite tea room! Yum!

Bevy said...

I love quiche and should serve it more often. I do have a quick easy recipe for crust that you mix up and (doesn't roll out well) and just sort of form it into a pan. It's from one of those GREAT Mennonite Cookbooks (Basics and More). I love it! It's made with 1cup veg.oil, 1/2 cup water, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp salt and 3 cups of flour. Mix water & oil, first. Then add the flour, salt & baking powder. Mix together & roll (but I don't think it rolls well). Yield: 3 crusts

Anyway. You mentioned about sometimes being in a crunch for time and have no crusts out of the freezer (in time). I have used this one and we like it. Definately a different consistancy then the typical pie crust. Let me know what you think if you give it a try.

You made me laugh when you said you like to play the Mennonite Game. I do too. It drives my hubby crazy (he is so not a menno.) Funny thing you have to have been a menno. to know what the game is we're talking about. Sure, Let's email. I would love to chatt it up with you...

Kathryn said...

Yes, we do love our "pies", because real men don't eat quiche!! lol The hash brown crush seems to be a little more substantial for the guys!

I've been experimenting with quiches and egg casseroles, and have successfully frozen them unbaked. Normally though,I just make it up to the custard part and freeze it then. Thaw in the fridge, and then pour the egg mixture over it and bake.

Kathryn said...

Thats crust, not coffee yet this morning.

Mary Ann said...

Monica- How can someone not like quiche?!!:-) I know I'm fortunate to have a husband who likes it-many men do not.

Bevy- Thanks for the recipe. It has to be from a Mennonite cookbook if it makes 3 crusts! LOL!!! I'll be in touch with you; it'll be fun! My husband doesn't quite understand the game either. :-)

Kathryn-That's a good idea to just mix the custard part when you're ready to bake. I thought you'd get a kick out of me mentioning your "meat pies".

Holly said...

Yum, both of those look awesome, I love spinach too! :)

Debbie J said...

Hi Mary Ann, I think I remember reading this post, but didn't try to make a quiche at the time. I'm glad to have this post for a reference!!! My dh loved the 2 I have made so far and so this will definitely be a staple from now on. I'm glad to see that you list different ways to make it and I like the part about adding bits and pieces of what ever you have on hand. Quiche is definitely a great thing to make, frugal and good for you too.

Debbie J.

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