... outstanding veggie quiche, among other things. My quiche, as always, was spectacular ... the blueberry focaccia? Not so much. I followed the recipe exactly, save for replacing some of the white flour with whole wheat, and the finished bread was very dry. Tasty to be sure, but the texture was all wrong. I plan on reworking the recipe and improving it over the next few weeks and will post my finished rendition once its perfected.
For now, let's talk quiche! Right off the bat I'm going to admit that I used a frozen pie crust. The horror, the horror! Can I make crust? Yes. Do I? Never. I just don't see the point. I've found a brand I like and, let's be honest, making crust is a pain in the ass. So much quicker to simply reach into the freezer and get on with it. That's how I roll.
Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I don't really use a recipe or measure anything when I make quiche. I will do my best to offer specific amounts for you here, but feel free to play around it. In this incarnation, I used a mix of orange bell peppers, asparagus, onions and chives. Use any veggies you prefer. Onions are a must, mushrooms would be most welcome, and you can never go wrong with any kind of cheese. Mix and match to your heart's content!
Basic Veggie Quiche:
- one frozen, deep-dish pie crust
- 1/2 of a small to medium onion, minced
- 1 small orange, yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 8 large asparagus stalks, stems peeled, cut into small rounds
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk*
- salt and pepper
- grated fresh nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. (or more) chopped fresh chives
- some grated Gruyere, Cheddar or Swiss cheese
Once the oven has heated, bake your crust blind (using pie weights or similar) for approximately 6 to 7 minutes, until it just firms up and becomes opaque. Remove from oven and reserve.
Heat 2 tsp. of olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet until it shimmers. Add the onions, peppers, asparagus, a bit of salt and pepper and saute until just beginning to brown and the veggies are crisp-tender. Remove from heat and pour the veggies into the bottom of the pie crust, smoothing out to form an even layer. Top the veggies with some grated Gruyere, Cheddar or Swiss as desired. Place the filled pie crust on a large baking sheet and reserve.
Heat 1 1/4 cups of milk in a small sauce pan over medium-high to high heat. Scald the milk, but do not boil. Watch it carefully. You want it to be hot, not burnt, so as to hasten the cooking process. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
As the milk cools, whisk 4 large eggs in large mixing bowl and to the beaten eggs add a pinch of salt, a generous grating of fresh black pepper, a pinch of paprika and a generous grating of fresh nutmeg. Whisk to combine. Temper the egg mixture by adding a bit of the scalded milk, while whisking. Continue to whisk while slowly adding the milk until the mixture is light and frothy. Add the chopped chives, stir to combine and pour into the pie crust.
Carefully transfer the quiche, baking sheet and all, to the oven. Bake in the middle of a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes ... depending on the speed of your oven. The quiche is done when lightly browned and the middle has just set and is just firm to the touch. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes before cutting.
Serve and enjoy! As written, this recipe will serve 6.
*About that milk ... if I'm being super fancy, I'll opt for the whole milk. If I'm feeling fat-phobic, I will use skim or reduced fat. Both work, though undoubtedly, the whole milk yields a richer, creamier version. Do as you see fit. In either case, I often will not use the full 1 1/2 cups. I just use my eye and stop adding the milk when I think the custard looks right. I have no way to tell you what "right" is, you just have to know. The custard needs at least a full cup of milk, and a bit more. If this is your first time making a quiche, opt for the full 1 1/2 cups and see how you like the results. You can always scale it back the next time if you find you'd prefer an "eggy-er" version.
Making quiche is fun! Its a quick, easy and versatile meal. Add whatever combination of veggies, meats and cheese you like, spice them up to your heart's content and bake away. Add a big, fresh salad and call it dinner. I do ... often.
So, what's in your quiche? Hungry Diva wants to know.