Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Quiche Formula

Our old roommate DC introduced me to Mollie Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest, which is just a really excellent cookbook with whimsical drawings and delicious recipes.  One of the "recipes" from this book that we use most often around these parts isn't so much a recipe, as a formula: a formula for quiche.

We recently got to share this formula with our friend RG, who came over for some shared cooking and eating (and, um, we may have watched an embarrassing/awesome internet video or two).

A Quiche Formula
From Mollie Katzen

After you have prepared the crust (see preceding pages), there are three more steps involved before the quiche is ready to bake. These are (1) the cheese, (2) the filling, and (3) the custard--and they are all easy. Once the crust is prepared, the most difficult part is done. [We "prepare" the crust by buying handmade and frozen ones from the Willy St. Co-op. But if you're not lucky enough to have a local supplier of pie crusts that have only three ingredients (seriously--we're so spoiled), I'll post some of Mollie Katzen's crust recipes tomorrow.]


The Cheese: This is the first layer, which gets deposited (grated) directly on the crust. There is a reason why the cheese goes in first: when it melts, it forms a moisture-resistant barrier between the filling and the crust. This helps to keep the crust flaky and crisp. Recommended cheeses: Swiss varieties (especially Gruyere) and cheddar (sharp or medium-sharp). Use about 1/4 to 1/3 pound, depending upon whether it’s diced or grated and the size/shape of your pan. [We always just use whatever kind of cheese we have on hand, and just use enough to make one thin layer on the bottom of our pie crust]


The Filling: Distribute over the cheese
  • Spinach (1/2 lb – chopped and steamed), with sautéed onions, dry mustard and nutmeg.
  • Mushrooms (1/2 lb – sliced), sautéed with scallions, oregano, and thyme.
  • Asparagus (8 to 10 slim stalks – chopped and steamed), with tarragon.
  • Broccoli (1 large stalk, chopped) , sautéed with garlic
  • Tomato (1 medium), sliced and sprinkled with basil and dill
  • Fresh Herbs (marjoram, thyme, basil, parsley, dill, chives…) small amounts in various combinations, snipped in with scissors
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
  • You get the idea (it’s hard to go wrong).
  • [The filling for the particular quiche we made with RG included onions, garlic, broccoli, spinach, and grated sweet potato]



 The Custard: Beat together 3 eggs and 1 cup milk. (NOTE: Lowfat or soy milk work fine, as do yogurt or buttermilk). [We used soymilk, as we usually do, because it's what we have on hand. And some awesome eggs from Phoenix and Big Red!].  


Pour this over the filling in the pie crust (which has been spooned in over the cheese) and dust the top with paprika.


Bake at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until firm. Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing, and serve at any temperature.

And the particular verdict this time around?  RG gave the quiche, especially when served with an Asian Quinoa Salad (though the dressing was a little funny) and some Herbed Roasted Root Vegetables (made with veggies left over from the MYO Winter Vegetable Night) an enthusiastic thumbs-up.


Anyone have other quiche-making tips or ideas?

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the recipe. I've been looking for it and have misplaced it. This is better than any of the others.
    Again,thanks
    elise

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  2. I too was looking for this, but in the midst of moving and cookbooks are not easy to find right now. Thanks!!! :)

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