We have some dear friends who are avid walkers, and take a long walk almost every day. The husband often teasing his wife by saying “she never met a shortcut she didn’t like,” because she likes to cut the occasional corner. Well, I’m with her…I love a good shortcut! Today, I’m sharing my simple quiche recipe with a couple of shortcuts that make it something you can make on a moments notice. It might even make a lovely dish to treat someone for Mother’s Day!
But, first a little backstory on my experience with quiche. Back in the early 80’s, my sister Loralee moved to Seattle for a management job with Frederick and Nelson. Remember them? Amazing shopping experience, originator of Frango’s, and an all-round lovely store. At the first opportunity, I took my three small children over from the Tri Cities to see her new apartment and visit. For dinner that night, she served us a quiche. As if I didn’t think she was already so sophisticated living in the “big city,” then she makes quiche, something I had never eaten before. Obviously, I had led a somewhat sheltered life:) The quiche was delicious served alongside a salad, and the kids loved it, too. Shortly after, Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, by Bruce Feirstein, came out; a tongue-in-cheek book satirizing the stereotypes of masculinity. It sold over 1.6 million copies, and after that, pretty much everyone had heard of quiche!
For many years, I made my quiche with the short cut of store-bought refrigerated pie crust that you rolled out and put in a pie dish. It was easy to keep on hand, could be frozen if needed, and allowed me to make quiche whenever I wanted. This went on for years. Then a few months ago, I was looking for puff pastry in the freezer section and I spotted the two-pack of deep dish, ready-made pie crusts in the foil tins. *The music you hear right now is the Allejuia Chorus! * These pie shells looked better than the ones I had been using, so at a minimum, it was worth a try!
Armed with my newest shortcut, I made a quiche. For this recipe, I used mushrooms, asparagus, ham and cheese. Another great shortcut for quiche is using precut diced or minced ham. They are readily available in the meat case at the grocery store, and my favorite brand is Smithfield, out of Virginia. To prepare the quiche, begin by rinsing and preparing your vegetables. After they are sautee’d, set aside to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, take the frozen pie crust out of the freezer and prepare your cheese(s). For the egg mixture, the deep dish pie plate holds about 7 eggs, depending on how many ingredients you place in the bottom of the crust. I over-shot this one by one egg and used 8, with a messy result on my cookie sheet, so learn from my mistake and use 7! When I whisk the eggs, I add 1/8 cup of milk, some parsley, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I add seasoning salt, or an herb that pairs well with the items, such as rosemary or thyme.
Next, pour the somewhat cooled veggies and ham into the bottom of the frozen pie crust. Top with the egg mixture, then the grated cheese and cream cheese, if desired. Bake on top of a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until golden and a knife comes out clean when inserted. If not completely firm, it is fine, as it continues to cook some after you remove from the oven and let it set. One note about the frozen deep dish pie crust is that they are about as good as anything I can make. They are thick and stay flaky, even after a couple of days in the refrigerator. For a shortcut, I give them an A+. Another benefit of the disposable aspect of the frozen crusts is that if you make the quiche to take to a potluck or to someone who is ill, there isn’t a dish to return.
Often, I will make a quiche the evening before, but then refrigerate and save until the next day, to have ready for a quick re-heat for breakfast. It lasts great for several days, and makes about 6-8 servings, depending on what you serve with it. On occasion, we have quiche for dinner, served with a salad or fruit. Quiche also makes a great option when you have houseguests or are serving brunch. It can be made the night before, and tailored to meet almost any dietary restrictions.
While for this version I used asparagus, it is equally good with broccoli, artichoke hearts, and sun dried or fresh tomatoes. It is also great with diced potatoes or hashbrowns. For additional protein besides the eggs, you can substitute bacon bits, breakfast sausage, or tofu. The choice of cheese is endless, as well. Today, I used Tillamook sharp cheddar that I grate myself, and also added a few dollops of cream cheese that gives it a lovely bite and texture. Brie and Havarti are also great options.
And don’t even get me started about the toppings you can use to embellish the quiche once it is done; sour cream, diced avocado, or fresh tomatoes make lovely additions to almost any variety. One of the beautiful things about quiche is that it contains most of the major food groups, making it a well rounded option for any meal. Quiche is also a wonderful way to use up small amounts of produce and other leftovers. I am sure that between your pantry and refrigerator you have all of the ingredients to make a delicious quiche right now, and with a few easy shortcuts, like frozen pie shells and ready-diced ham, quiche may become a new favorite in your meal rotation!
In case you need more precise instructions than above, here is the proper recipe…
Basic Quiche Recipe:
1- 9″pie shell. May use premade frozen, premade refrigerated dough, or homemade pie crust
1 cup diced ham, breakfast sausage, or other protein, if desired
1-2 cups diced vegetables of choice, such as mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, artichoke hearts, diced potatoes, or tomatoes
7 eggs, whisked with 1/8 cup of milk with salt, pepper and parsley to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese or cheese of choice, such as brie, cubed cream cheese, or havarti
Sautee ham and veggies in a large pan with a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil until vegetables are soft. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Put cooled veggie/ meat mixture into the bottom of the pie shell. Whisk 7 eggs with 1/8 cup of milk and pour over. Top with cheese and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden and inserted knife comes out clean. Top with condiments of your choice such as sour cream, diced tomatoes, or avocado. Eat immediately or refrigerate to reheat later. Enjoy!