Cooking, Food and Drink

Quiche Me Once, and Quiche Me Twice….

I’ve always liked quiche as the focal point of a meal, and ever since I acquired, through various nefarious means, a small flock of chickens, and–even in the winter–a seemingly endless supply of eggs, it’s become an even more useful staple of my culinary art.

My basic recipe starts with something called the Keto Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Quiche. Although I love the filling, and regularly make it to spec, TBPC, I’m not at all about the “keto.”  My crust is a standard pastry crust, whether one I’ve made (something of which I’m quite capable), or the Pillsbury roll-up kind.  I have a friend who layers filo dough in the pie pan and calls it a “quiche crust.”  That works too, and is quite delicious.  Whatever floats your boat.  Have at it.

On my own part though, and for preliminaries, I preheat the oven to 425F, put the standard pastry crust–whether home-made or store bought, in a 9″ pie pan, put in a piece of parchment paper that I keep on hand for the purpose, and fill it with the contents of a bag I have labeled “pie rice,” because that’s all I use it for:

Bake for 10 minutes.  This will set the crust and prevent it from shrinking absurdly, which it will do if you bake it “blind” (which is what this process is called) without something to weight it down.

Then, lift the parchment paper (and the rice) out of the crust, and return the crust to the oven for a further five minutes.  After the rice has cooled, put it back in the specially-marked bag for next time, because there will be one!

(The purpose of the above, as well as ensuring the crust doesn’t shrink, is to ensure a well-cooked and unsoggy crust when your quiche is finished.)

With any luck, your crust will now look something like this:

Then, prepare your filling.  (Either follow the recipe linked to above, or freelance; very little in the culinary world is as forgiving as quiche when it comes to added ingredients.  As long as you get the cream/eggs proportions about right, almost nothing can go wrong!)

I call the quiche pictured here “Mustgo Quiche.”  “Mustgo” is a term I learned from a friend who said that his mum used it to describe meals from his childhood made from refrigerated leftovers that needed to be used up ASAP.  Although I expect he’d like his family to be credited for the term–“Mary Ann’s Mustgo Quiche”–a quick Internet search reveals that it’s been a well-known informal name for such meals. for quite some time, even outside Southeast Missouri.  That’s the trouble with the Internet.  Hard to find anything new under the sun.  Hard to establish almost anything you thought was unique, actually is.

(Reminds me of some dear friends of ours who were quite good at finding new things under the sun.  B, and his wife A, developed a family mythology that went; “On Labor Day we paint our elbows green,” not only because it’s a perfect example of iambic pentameter, but because they thought it would be a fun thing to do.  Thus, for years, as their daughters were growing up, they enjoyed “green elbow” parties to signal the end of summer.  One of their daughters, C, went to college in another state and was dismayed–and rather embarrassed–to find out that when others mentioned Labor Day and she said, “oh, yeah, that’s when everyone paints their elbows green,” that no-one knew what the hell she was talking about.  Soon, though, she and her fellow students were having “green elbow” parties, too.  LOL.  There are followers.  And then there are leaders.  There are original thinkers.  And then there are the rest of us, muddling through together, as best we can, trying not to steal credit from each other or assume credit we don’t deserve.)

My “Mustgo Quiche” for today (because it will be different every time) includes what’s left of the Christmas charcuterie (three or four different sorts of meat), some red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, onions, some broccoli that’s about to give up the ghost, a thinly-sliced tomato that was about to bolt, and some sliced onion.

I also incorporated four different kinds of cheese (total weight six ounces) from the remains if the Sam’s Club cheese plate (gouda, cheddar, emmenthal, and gruyere).

As you can see, veering quite spectacularly from the recipe.

Still, here we are at Step 2 of the filling, and this is where we get back on track:  Fill the crust (I usually don’t bother to cool it any more than it already has) with the mustgo filling, and 1/2 of the cheese.

Then whisk together your six eggs (I know you’re not all as lucky as I am, in that your eggs aren’t laid lovingly for you by your own chickens, but it’ll be OK, I promise); the heavy cream, and salt and pepper and then pour it over your filling.  A couple of words of caution:  Depending on whether or not I include meat, and the amount of salt in that included meat, I may reduce or eliminate the salt.  For example, bacon has plenty of salt.  The charcuterie, has plenty of salt.  So I didn’t include salt this time.  Also, if you use an electric mixer, set it to the slowest speed.  You’re not making a soufflé, a meringue, or a tiramisu.  And once the mixture has assumed a uniform color, stop mixing!

Once you’ve poured it into the crust, sprinkle (if your cheese is grated), or lay on top (if it’s in squares) the rest of the cheese.

(I had a bit of a challenge to get all my egg/cream mixture into the pastry shell, because I’d rather over-done things on the filling front.  Still, by dint of using a fork to lift up the filling and open up new channels into the shell, I managed it with only minimal drippage.  I could probably have gotten away with five eggs; my ladies produce them in sizes somewhere between “large” and “enormous.” Still, it’s probably a good idea to put your pie pan on a baking sheet to catch the overflow.

Reduce the heat to 325F, and bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the filling is only just set in the center.  Remove, and wait 15 minutes before serving.

It’s delicious.  Adjust to suit your dietary preferences; about the only requirements are the egg and (for the proper texture) the cheese. And serve by itself, with a cup of soup, a side-salad, or whatever you like.

Bon Appetit!


Leave a Reply