Let Me Quiche Your Face


Tonight's culinary adventure took me into the world of quiche and all things quiche-like.  Quiche is not regular fare at my house.  Mostly because I never think about making them.  Well that and they require a pie crust, which, until Steven moved in, needed to be bought because I don't bake like that.  Quick breads and cookies, cakes and brownies, I will rock, but if it requires ANY kneeding or rising, I'm out like a fat kid in dodgeball.  Not happening.  I just become frustrated and then it becomes more like why-am-I-doing-this work and less like fun therapy (similar to shoe shopping therapy or martini lunches with the girls therapy).  Anyway-I digress.  I had a few dozen eggs to use in addition to some garden bounty that was at the cook or compost stage.  Steven made some gorgeous pie crusts this morning and they were waiting for me when I came home.  I started with the quiche base in my favorite cookbook and then added my own ingredients.  I made two different ones with very different flavor notes.  Hindsight being what it is, there are some changes I will make next time and I'll list those below.  Overall, they were a great success. 

 The first was a roasted pepper and sweet onion and the second was a roasted portobello, garlic, shallot, and kale. I used Swiss cheese with the kale and mushroom one and cheddar and Edam with the roasted pepper one. The roasted peppers were just wonderful. I just harvested some purple bell peppers out of the garden and they were not at all what I expected. I thought they would be smokier, but were actually more acidic and after they were roasted were almost green again.  I also had some jalapenos that had been on the vine so long they turned red and they were wonderful and spicy hot.  With the banana peppers and sweet onions thrown in the mix, the flavors were bright and ready for anything.  I have always been a big fan of oven roasting veggies  but sometimes (especially in the heat of summer) forget about it in favor of sauteing or caramelizing them in the pan.  I tossed all of the veggies except the kale with olive oil and sea salt and pepper and put them in the oven at 400 for about 45 minutes.  They came out a lovely caramel color and so sweet.  The pie shells needed to be pre-baked for 20 minutes before I added anything to them so it gave the veggies time to cool down before adding them to the crusts.   

            The base is super easy. 

Quiche Base

2 Whole Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Whole Milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
Pinch of nutmeg

Whisk it all together. 

The pie crusts can be whatever you want, frozen or homemade, but they need to be covered with two sheets of foil and weighted with pie weights or pennies or beans, whatever you use, and pre baked at 375 for 20-25 minutes.  While the crust is still warm, add your ingredients of choice to the base of the pan and then top with the egg base. 

The Roasted Pepper one I added about 6 oz of shredded cheese (a mixture of sharp cheddar and Edam) to the crust, layered the veggies (about 1 cups total) on and added 1 Tbs fresh oregano, 1Tbs fresh chives, 1 Tbs fresh thyme and then topped with the egg base.  

The Mushroom and Kale one I added about 8 oz of Swiss.  I had slices of cheese, but next time I will stick with the block Gruyere and shred it myself.  The slices did not give it the height in the pan and thus absorb the flavors I wanted it to.  I then added 2 Tbs of fresh chopped basil, 1 Tbs fresh thyme and then the chopped kale (about 1 cup), roasted veggies (about 1 cup) and topped with the egg base.  

Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and a knife comes out clean.

Lessons Learned

After tasting them both, these were a couple of changes that could stand to be made.  The roasted pepper quiche was screaming for some ground chorizo in there.  The cheeses wanted to hold up more than just veggies.  Next time it will be an addition.  In the Mushroom and Kale one, I just added the kale uncooked.  I think it needed to be sauteed quickly and salted before adding it.  The custard of the quiche was slightly runny from the water content of the kale.  I didn't want to cook it longer and risk making the eggs tough, so next time, I'll cook the kale first.  Also, the sliced tomatoes we ate with it were so good and we even debated adding them to the veggies next time.  Something to think about.   

I am waiting on them to cool completely right now before slicing them and wrapping them in parchment and putting them in freezer bags to take out when I am looking for a quick meal.  I think the best thing about quiche is that it will hold whatever you want to add to it.  Good stuff and a productive night.  Tomorrow night is the pesto adventure!      

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