Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hugs and Quiches

For a while now I’ve been meaning to post some recipes for quick and easy meal options. I don’t generally have a whole lot of time for cooking (what with Andrew pulling at my pant leg wanting all the attention on him), so I like things that are fast in prep time. I also like things that I can prepare well in advance of supper time. Like just now, while Andrew is napping, I got a quiche prepared and put in the oven for tonight’s supper. It will be easy to reheat a few minutes before James gets home, and I like it because it’s something Andrew will enjoy too. So I’ll start my recipe posting with a basic quiche recipe. (Followed by some comments about adjustments I’ve made).

Basic Quiche
(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

3 eggs
1 ½ - 2 cups cream or Half and Half
½ tsp salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Gruyere cheese – about ¼ cup grated


Beat eggs, cream, and seasonings in a mixing bowl till well blended. If making vegetable quiche, seasonings can be adjusted. Thyme is excellent with vegetables and ¼ tsp will do wonders. Parboil the vegetables, especially harder ones. Drain thoroughly. If using spinach, cut very fine and squeeze out all excess water. Mix veggies with egg mixture, and when ready to bake, pour into pastry shell and put in oven. If not baking for a while, do not put into shell and let sit – this will sog the crust. Precaution against soggy pastry – pre-cook empty shell till set but not brown before putting quiche in oven. Always use the nutmeg, no matter the filling!

(Cooking times will vary depending on your oven - I cook mine on the center rack for about 35-40 minutes)

This recipe was given to me by my f-i-l’s partner, and she makes amazing quiches. This was just off the top of her head, not from a recipe book or anything - to give me the basic idea of how to make a quiche.

I have sort of taken from the recipe and made it my own. For example, while Gruyere cheese DOES taste AMAZING in a quiche, it’s a tad pricey and I only buy it once in a blue moon. I find grated cheddar (I usually use half a cup or a bit more) works just fine. When they’re on sale I’ll buy those bag o’ grated cheese, sometimes with a mixture of different cheeses, and that’s great also. But definitely the cheapest option (without compromising taste) is cheddar. I also never buy cream-o these days so I use 2% milk and it works just fine.

I have a quiche dish that I use but you can also get the tin foil type of throw away ones for cheap. I usually put some butter on the bottom to grease it, but PAM spray or whatever you have would work fine too.

Oh and while sometimes I make pastry (‘cheating’ by buying a kit where you just add water!), we actually prefer crumbled up crackers as a crust instead of actual pie crust. Toppables brand is our favourite, but whatever you have on hand will work. As I was making the quiche I remembered that we don’t have very many crackers right now, so this time it’s a mixture of cheese Ritz and Vintas! Should be tasty!

Right now I’m making a broccoli and cauliflower quiche with cheddar cheese. I also love spinach quiche (and I sauté onions usually to go in it – don’t forget to sauté them first though or they’ll stay crunchy and it’s not as good that way). I prefer getting the bag o’ spinach and just cooking it down (and remember to get as much of the water out as possible before adding it to the egg mixture!) rather than having to deal with the frozen spinach, but it’s personal preference.

There are endless possibilities for types of quiche, from plain cheese, to all varieties of veg, to even a taco quiche! I recently made one with a tortilla chip crust (although I admit it wasn’t the greatest crust ever) and used Mexican veggie ground round and salsa and cheese and onions (this is an exception where it would have been better to NOT sauté the onions, since in tacos they aren’t generally cooked) – it was really tasty! I also added a little spinach (not much) since I had some on hand and wanted something green in place of lettuce. Green pepper would have been another good addition.

It’s super easy to make quiche – Just now it took me no more than 10 minutes to fully prepare the meal and get it in the oven. You can serve it warm or cold, and it goes well with a side of salad, steamed or roasted veggies, or even Tater Tots or French Fries, whatever you feel like!

Enjoy!

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