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October 17, 2006

Simple Quiche

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Cooking Made Easy

There are several techniques in cooking that I call foundation cooking. One of those is the quiche. There is nothing complicated or difficult about making a quiche.

Fresh eggs for makeing a quiche DancingSpoon.comDid I just hear, “Oh yeah, how about the piecrust? That’s not quick or simple!” But it is quick and simple. Here’s my foolproof piecrust recipe: Go to Whole Foods Market and buy their really delicious (made with good ingredients) frozen piecrusts. You just fill the crust (still frozen) and pop it in the oven. The crust’s flaky, tender, and tasty. So we’ve got the crust out of the way, now to the filling.

Ever made a cheese omelet?

A quiche is pretty much the same thing.

Here’s what to do: Preheat the oven to 375º. Put the frozen piecrust on a baking sheet to make it easy to move. Line the bottom of the piecrust with some cheese. I’ve used cheddar, goat, Gruyère, and just about any cheese, or bits of cheese, I’ve found in the fridge. (Or, use no cheese at all. The traditional Quiche Lorraine has no cheese!)

Next add some bacon, or sautéed onions, or shrimp, or sliced tomatoes, or leftover Chinese food. Whatever you’d put in an omelet is great in a quiche. Put enough of these goodies in the crust to make it interesting, but not so much that they’re falling over the edges. (To add a little surprise kick, spread some good grainy mustard on the bottom of the piecrust first.)

Now beat enough milk, cream, or half and half, into four eggs until the mixture turns a nice buttery hue. (You’ve just made a custard, by the way.)

Season the custard with salt and pepper; maybe some freshly ground nutmeg, chopped parsley, chives, rosemary, whatever’s a match for your goodies. Carefully pour the custard over the filing until it almost reaches the edge of the piecrust. (The custard will grow a bit: overflow is not the goal.)

Put the baking sheet with the quiche into the oven. Set your timer (you really should have a timer: buy one if you don’t) to 25 minutes. Ding. Check the quiche. If it’s still jiggle-y when you shake the baking sheet, reset the timer for another 5-7 minutes. The piecrust gets a bit brown at about the same time the quiche is cooked.

If there’s no jiggling, and the crust is starting to brown, take the baking sheet out of the oven. Insert a knife into the center; if the knife comes out clean, the quiche is done. If the knife comes out with bits on it, then cook for another 5-7 minutes.

When the quiche is cooked, let it cool for a while before slicing it. Garnish with chopped parsley, or chives, or whatever herbs are inside.

Really simple stuff.

The Details

Temp: 375º
Time: 25-35 minutes

  • 1 good quality frozen piecrust
  • 4 eggs
  • Cheese
  • Goodies for the filing
  • Herbs
  • S&P

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