Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weeknight Meal: Quiche

When you say the word "quiche," it usually conjures up an image of a fancy French patisserie or worse yet, that awful pie they use to make in the college dining hall that always seemed to contain bits from last night's dinner service.

Either way, I think people are averse to or even scared of the dish and few venture to make it at home. And that's a shame, since it's really a quick, easy, and healthy weeknight meal. Plus, it does help you use up veggies and meat from previous dinners.

Quiche is just a fancy term for an omelet baked in a pastry pie shell. If you can scramble eggs and buy a pre-made pastry crust, you can make a quiche. It's really THAT easy.

They beauty of the quiche is its flexibility and "clean out the leftovers" power. Pretty much anything can go into a quiche, but I recommend you choose only one kind of meat and fill the rest in with veggies. Some ideas:
  • Carrots, Onions, even small diced potatoes.
  • Green beans, broccoli, or spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Leafy Greens (Swiss Chard, etc.)
  • Crumbled bulk sausage, sauteed hamburg, or shredded chicken
Here's my basic quiche recipe. You can, of course, make your own pastry crust, but pre-made crust really helps make this a possibility for a weeknight meal for most folks and it tastes just as good.

Quiche Basic Recipe
Serves 4-6 People

1 store-bought refrigerated pastry crust or a frozen, pre-formed pastry crust
6 whole eggs
2/3 cup of milk or half&half
2 to 3 veggies of choice
1 meat of choice
3/4 cup of shredded cheese (any kind)
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and defrost the pastry at room temperature or in the fridge if necessary, following the package directions.
  2. Form pastry into a pie plate and either flute the edges or press them with the tines of a fork to form an edge crust. Place the pie plate on top of the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Pre-cook any vegetables and meats using the microwave or by gently sauteing them in a skillet with some oil or butter. Or, use leftovers!
  4. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper with a wire whisk until well blended.
  5. Scatter the veggies and meat evenly in the pie shell, making sure that it's no more than half full. Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of the veggies.
  6. Gently pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the pie shell.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the eggs. Some of it will sink-in. That's okay!
  8. Move the entire sheet pan into the oven and let bake until the quiche just barely jiggles in the center when you move the pan or when a knife inserted into the center comes out with no liquid on it. This should take about 15-20 minutes or so.
  9. Cut and serve. We love to serve it with sour cream on the side.

Note: The quiche photo above was shamelessly "borrowed" from the web as I didn't take a photo of my own quiche the other night. If this is your photo, simply ask and I'll take it down.

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