Yesterday, I posted a quick little blurb on Twitter and Facebook:
To my surprise, several friends wanted to know about making the quiche. I know many folks who think making a quiche is a fancy, schmancy French thing that only Julia Child can concoct. So I thought I’d do a quick post for all of those who think making a quiche is hard work. It totally ISN’T – it’s one of my quick, back-up meals that I utilize almost monthly. (If not more often!)
Here’s what you need to know to make it quick and easy:
1) Keep some of the ingredients on hand. Quiches always (or almost always) have the following:
- Pie crust (some do not – those are actually called “frittatas”)
- Seasonings – this can range from just salt & pepper to just about anything you want to throw in.
I use the pre-made pie crusts that come 2 rolled up in a box. You can even freeze those too. So I made one quiche this week and put the other pie crust in the freezer for another time.
2) Add in the “good stuff.” For my main ingredients I use lots of different things. I rarely make the same quiche twice. It’s fun to mix it up and try out different combinations. As long as you’re not putting gummy bears in there you’ll be fine. Typically I use whatever I have on hand, but quiches tend to use the law of these three things:
Last night I had some sausage links in the freezer. I had onions on hand. And my husband bought two small containers of sliced portobello mushrooms at the grocery this week (we use them in a variety of dishes). We always have cheese on hand so that’s a no-brainer.
Saute up your onions in some olive oil, get the sausage going in there too and make sure it’s nice and done, then add your mushrooms and cook them down a bit. Done. Keep reading for how I use the cheese!
3) Be open to substitutions. For instance, if you didn’t have pie crust on hand (or the ingredients to make pie crust) (or just hate making pie crust like I do) then you could simply make a frittata. Here are a few more substitutions:
- Cream for milk – I used up some light cream I had on hand last night. Works just about the same. Sometimes with cream it’s a denser end product. I had light cream so it wasn’t much different as I typically use skim milk. You can use half milk and half cream too if you want.
- Egg beaters for eggs – this would make your end product a bit healthier, but I almost always have eggs on hand and never the beaters.
- Any kind of meat – last night I used plain sausage, but you can use bacon, bacon bits, ground beef, hot sausage, bratwursts, ham (great for leftover Easter or Christmas ham!) and even chicken. I have not made a chicken one yet, but I’m sure with the right combinations it would be good. (I would not use fish or tuna in a quiche… although shrimp work well!)
- Any kind of veggies – I used mushrooms last night and that’s our favorite, but spinach is another good one (if frozen, get most of the water out of it first though), and I’ve used asparagus cut into smaller pieces and sauteed up as above. Broccoli, onions, zucchini, kale, and other green vegetables would work well. Always saute them first and make sure any that have water get squeezed out a bit. You don’t want a watery quiche!
- Cheese – I use almost anything, but like to use the shredded stuff. It fills in the pan nicer. Here are a couple of suggestions: With ham use Swiss. Cheddar works well with almost any combos. Bleu cheese might be a bit too strong and make it funky. I add the cheese into the egg and milk mixture.
4) Know the following:
- Cooking times. Recipes tend to fluctuate with the amount of eggs used and that changes your cooking times. Normally, I use 5 eggs. This gives a nice thick piece of quiche, but you have to bake it longer. With 5 eggs and my meat/veggie filling, it just nicely fills my pie pan. I bake it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. If you use less eggs, you would maybe only need to bake it for about 30 mins. You’re just looking for the eggs to get solid and cooked. If you use less eggs, you’ll get a thinner piece and won’t need to bake the pie as long. Like this:
- The Process. I always saute my vegetables up first with the meat (if you’re using bacon, cook that separately) and when that’s all cooked I put it into the pie shell in the pan. Spread it around evenly and THEN add your egg/milk/cheese mixture to it (I whisk up the eggs a bit to mix and add a little air – creates a “fluffier” quiche.) The liquid mixture fills in all the spots around the meat and vegetables nicely. It’s easier than putting the heavy meats, etc. into a liquid base!
- Seasonings. I just use what I know goes well with the meats and veggies I’m using. If I don’t – I stick with salt and pepper. Last night I added a bit of sage, because that always goes with sausage. Thyme would be good and so would tarragon.
So now that you have the basics I hope you will give quiche a try. It’s truly a quick and simple dish that serves up to 6 people! Or is great for leftovers. I serve it usually with a nice green salad to add a bit of “something” to the meal (because sometimes just eating a slice of quiche doesn’t seem like you’re eating much.)
Here a few recipes to try if you’re not ready to just “wing it” yet, but after you’ve made this a few times, I’m sure you’ll be just throwing caution to the wind. If you do try something new – let me know your combos and how they turned out!