April 12, 2011

Quiche a la Gabe

 DSC_5449 Quiche is one of the easiest things to make.  Don’t be startled by the long list of steps that I’ve included below because none of them take very long.  I only go into more detail to give those of you who are just starting out cooking more information on basic techniques.  Stick with a simple recipe of a plain cheese quiche, use the veggies from  your garden, or make this meal as a way to use up some of the leftovers in your fridge.  With hens laying more eggs in the spring, now is the season for quiches! 

When I was working full time I would have a cooking day once a month.  I would make 4 or 6 quiches at a time and have them in the freezer whenever we needed a simple meal or I had to bring something for a potluck.  Give it a try and see what you think!

Ingredients

2 deep dish nine inch pie crusts (store bought or homemade—I cheated and used store bought)
Meat and veggies of your choice (see below)
5 eggs, room temperature, whisked
3 T. all purpose flour
3 T. butter
2 c. whole milk or cream
2 cups shredded cheese (you pick the type, I tend to use cheddar most often)
Tony’s 

Directions

1.  Blind bake 2 deep dish nine inch pie crusts.  This means to pre-cook lightly to keep quiche from being too mushy. Take parchment paper and put in bottom of pie crust, enough to cover the bottom and sides. Add on top of the paper either pie weights or raw pinto beans. Cook 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Take out and cool. Either discard the beans or cool and save for next time as pie weights. Do not ever eat these—Yucky!)

2.  Prepare the Veggie/meat mixture.  Below are some examples of ingredients, but feel free to play around with what you have on hand.  You want the finished amount of veggie and meat mixture to be approximately 2/3 cup for each pie, but you can use a little more or a little less if needed. 

  • Bacon, 2-3 slices
  • Spinach (frozen or fresh)
  • Broccoli (frozen or fresh)
  • Crab meat
  • Chopped ham or turkey
  • Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms, chopped
  • Green or regular onions, chopped
  • Leeks or garlic scapes

In a large skillet, cook bacon and set aside.  Use the rendered fat to sauté the vegetables and meats.  If not using bacon, add a few teaspoons of olive oil to the pan instead.  Drain mixture and put back into warm skillet on eye of stove—turn off heat. (This will keep it warm without it burning.)  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Whisk 5 eggs and set aside.  If your eggs are small, you can use 6.  If using jumbo eggs, use 4.  This recipe is hard to mess up so don’t sweat there not being exact measurements.

4.  Prepare the cream mixture.  Note, you are basically making a white sauce here:

  • Make a blond roux—3 T. all purpose flour and 3 T. butter, in a saucepan, whisked together over low to medium low heat. Cook until golden yellow—think the color of hollandaise sauce. (This is the base of many French gravies and sauces. If you continued to cook the roux until dark and added file’ then it would be the base of gumbo. By cooking the flour like this, it gets rid of some of the flour taste and deepens the flavor. I use this as the base of many of my gravies and creamed soups)
  • Add 2 c. whole milk or heavy cream to the roux and whisk until thickened. Do not bring to a boil, but rather cook slowly at a medium to low setting until the mixture is slightly thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take a while—about 10 minutes.

5.  Put it all together and pop it in the oven. In a LARGE bowl, put vegetable/meat mixture, add about 2 cups shredded cheese.   Temper the eggs by adding a little of the milk mixture to them a few tablespoons at a time.  Once those are mixed, you can add them to the cheese and veggie bowl.  Pour into pie crusts and dash with Tony’s on top for color and flavor. Bake 350 degrees until it is set (does not jiggle when moved). This will take approx 20 minutes.  Eat now or refrigerate for 2-4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. If you choose to freeze, defrost overnight and heat in oven, toaster, or microwave for serving.

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