Are you looking for a dinner idea that is fast, simple and easy? Then you should think about quiche.
Quiche requires very little preparation; almost any filling will work, so the varieties and possibilities are endless. It’s also fast; oven time only takes about 40 to 45 minutes, which is just enough time to put together a side salad and get the table set.
Quiche is a classic French dish made with eggs, milk and/or cream and cooked in a pastry crust. It is basically an omelet pie.
This wonderful dish can be prepared for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And, room temperature hors d’oeuvre-sized quiches are always a hit at parties.
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Like a casserole, a quiche can include almost all of your nutritional requirements.
You can fill your quiche with just about anything such as meat, chicken, ham, seafood, vegetables and cheese. Most vegetables and meats need to be pre-cooked before adding them which means all those leftover items sitting in your refrigerator are perfect. Make sure you drain all vegetables extremely well, so that water does not leak into the filling and interfere with the setting of eggs. If you are watching your calorie and fat intake, you can make your quiche without a crust, which is really more of a frittata than a quiche. Traditional quiches exclude cheese, but I always add cheese to mine.
I have four secrets to a great quiche. As always, additions to your quiche are a matter of taste and preference so, start with the basic recipe, add your own personal choices and let your creativity be your guide.
Secret No. 1: The correct ratio of eggs to dairy. For the custard filling, I use 1/2 cup of dairy for each large egg.
My basic quiche recipe calls for four eggs with two cups of milk, cream or half-and-half. The custard relies on the coagulation of the proteins in the eggs to “set” or firm the filling. If too much dairy is added to the eggs, there will not be enough proteins to set the mixture and the result will be a very soft, almost runny quiche.
Secret No. 2: Baking the quiche until it is just right. There are a couple ways to test for doneness. The knife method: Insert the blade of a knife halfway between the side and center of the filling. If it comes out clean, the quiche is done. The thermometer method: Insert the thermometer in the center of the quiche half way through the filling. When the temperature reaches 170 degrees remove it from the oven. The quiche will be soft set, but will continue to cook as it stands. Always let the quiche cool for about 10 minutes, before serving.
Secret No. 3: Avoid burning the crust. The secret is to protect the crust. I use an aluminum pie-crust shield; this large, flat shaped ring conveniently fits over the edge of the crust and keeps it from over browning. Another alternative is to use aluminum foil folded around the edges of the crust. Both reflect the heat but, I find that the foil seems to either fall off or bakes into the filling.
Secret No. 4: Adding the right amount of cheese and meat/vegetable filling. For a four-egg quiche, I usually use one cup of grated cheese (1/4 cup for each egg) and about one cup of meat and/or vegetables. I also toss one tablespoon of all-purpose flour with the cup of shredded cheese before adding it to the quiche.
Most quiche recipes don’t call for flour but, this is something I have always done when making a quiche. Remember, these amounts are not set in stone; add more or use less.
Here are some of my favorite quiche additions: Ham, bacon, sausage, seafood, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and all types of cheeses.
Basic quiche recipe
q 1 unbaked deep dish 9-inch pie crust
q 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
q 2 cups milk, cream, or half and half (sometimes I use evaporated milk)
q 1 cup vegetables, cooked and drained and/or meat, chopped
q 1 cup cheese, shredded (your favorite)
q 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)
q 1/4 teaspoon salt
q 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
q 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
n Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Form the crust in a 9-inch pie pan, preferably a silver or light colored pan or use a frozen unbaked deep dish crust.
n Whisk together the eggs and dairy product, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
n Toss the flour with the cheese, then sprinkle on the bottom of the crust.
n Layer the meat and/or vegetables on top of the cheese.
n Pour the egg filling into the unbaked pie shell.
n Bake the quiche about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is set.
n Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Broccoli and cheddar quiche
q 1 cup sliced mushrooms
q 1 cup each: chopped onions and broccoli
q 5 eggs
q 1/3 cup Miracle Whip dressing
q 1/3 cup milk
q 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
q 1 frozen deep-dish 9-inch pie crust
n Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
n Place the vegetables in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray; cook on medium heat 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
n Beat the eggs, dressing and milk in a medium bowl with a wire whisk until well blended.
n Stir in the vegetable mixture and cheese; pour into the pie shell.
n Place the filled pie shell on a baking sheet. Bake on the baking sheet for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center of the quiche is set and the top is golden brown.
n Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into slices to serve.
n Note: For extra color, add 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers to filling before pouring into the pie shell.
n Source: Kraft
Garden vegetable quiche
q 1 frozen pie crust (9-inch), thawed
q No-stick cooking spray
q 2/3 cup chopped onion
q 2/3 cup thinly sliced zucchini
q 1/2 cup finely chopped green or red bell pepper
q 1 cup diced leftover baked potato
q 1 cup Egg Beaters Original
q 1 cup fat free milk
q 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
q 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
q Freshly ground black pepper, optional
n Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
n Lightly prick side of piecrust with a fork. Bake 5 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside.
n Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
n Spray medium skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add onion, zucchini and bell pepper; cook and stir 5 to 8 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain; pat dry with paper towel. Add potato to vegetables; spoon vegetable mixture into crust.
n Combine Egg Beaters, milk, oregano and basil. Season with black pepper, if desired. Pour over vegetable mixture. Cover edge of crust with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 6 slices.
n Note: One small red skin potato may be used in place of leftover baked potato. Scrub and pierce potato. Microwave in center of microwave on HIGH about 35 to 45 seconds or until tender. Let stand 1 minute; cut into small cubes.
n Source: Eggbeaters
Crustless spinach quiche
q 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces), divided
q 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
q 1/3 cup pesto
q 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain
q 5 eggs, lightly beaten
q 1 cup chunky spaghetti sauce
n Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
n Spray a quiche dish, 9x1-1/2 inches, with nonstick cooking spray.
n Mix 1-1/2 cups of the cheese, the whipping cream, pesto, spinach, and eggs until well blended; pour into the quiche dish. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
n Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
n Meanwhile, heat the spaghetti sauce in a small saucepan until hot; keep warm. To serve, cut the quiche into wedges. Serve with spaghetti sauce.
n Source: Betty Crocker