Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Blast! Quiche Creations

I've been trying to go to the grocery a lot less.  The trouble is I'm terrible at organizing my shopping trips and I refuse to be ruled by recipes.  The downside of that is I waste too much time and gas trooping off to the store on bitty shopping trips.

I only like to buy things when the price is right.  I don't use many coupons since I don't purchase a lot of processed food and I prefer organic and there aren't a lot of coupons for that.  I also shop at a variety of stores over several days, so I pick out what's good at a decent price at each place.  Often, I'm left with a quandary of what to cook for dinner.  Really, I don't mind cooking, but coming up with the food that will please everyone turns me quite grumpy.  At the time, I'm cooking for hubby and 3 teenage boys.

Hubby - eats most everything but doesn't like onions or mushrooms or beans (all of which I love)

Boy #1 - loves meat, eats just about everything I make (and compliments my cooking and thanks me) but doesn't like tomatoes (which the rest of us adore), tolerates Mexican food (which 3 of us put in our top 5 faves) and prefers not to have too much Italian (esp. with tomato sauce), which my husband would eat every night.  Boy #1 favorites are lobster and sushi (not exactly in my budget).

Boy #2 - loves chicken (yuck - I can't stand chicken, I don't eat much meat, I'm way picky about the meat I do eat and I can't stand raw chicken - EW), he would eat salad, especially chicken Caesar salad every night.  He's a bit more picky than boy #1 but pretty much tries everything and eats a bit of most things.  He's really trying to move into more food options.

Boy #3 - eats about 10 things.  period.  would survive on chicken noodle soup and P&Js and tater tots - okay, he actually does survive on these things with a handful of others.  Likes almost NOTHING I cook EVER - and nothing that anyone else cooks.  We were hoping he'd grow out of this but he hasn't.

Daughter (when she's home) - a lactose intolerant vegetarian.

ME - I avoid sugar and white flour as often as possible.  I love fresh, organic, homemade goodness.  Love most veggies (zucchini, spinach and asparagus being the top 3) except I can't STAND okra!  I do love seafood (not scallops tho I will eat them) and I prefer as little meat as possible.  I like most cuisines that aren't American.  Mexican, Spanish, Indian, Thai, Japanese, French, Middle Eastern, Greek, etc...

And all THAT brings me to QUICHE.  Quiche (okay Vegan extended family, ignore this post, yes, I'm talking egg pie), is something that I can through together quickly with just about anything in the fridge.

This quiche had spicy chicken, mushrooms, spinach, corn and zucchini
Last night I made a spicy chicken Mexican quiche, and a spicy veggie variety for myself.

This one was served with a gorgeous spinach, strawberry, goat cheese and walnut salad

Here are some quiche tips:

1.  Don't sweat the crust.  If you like a crust quiche, buy prepared crust - whole wheat frozen is available at Whole Foods or the white flour in a tube or box from Pillsbury is available in the grocery.  When I do make a crust, I usually make it at home using this recipe:

(from Horn of the Moon Cookbook, makes 1-10inch crust)

1 cup of flour (or flour blend, your choice)
1/3 cup cold butter cut into pieces (or Earth Balance, which I use)
2 - 3 T of very cold water
dash of salt
roll out using sparse amount of flour

I usually pull out the food processor or Kitchen Aid but have been known to do it by hand with a pastry cutter as well.  Crust doesn't need to cook before adding quiche ingredients.

2.  Skip the crust.  More often than not, I don't even make it with crust - maybe that makes it a fritatta?  It cooks faster, prepares more easily and there is less mess.

These show a quiche without crust

3.  Vary the number of eggs or use combinations of egg products.  Use the fake eggs from the grocery or the kind that come in a milk carton.  I use brown organic cage-free.  You can also use all whites.  Most of the time I use 3 eggs per crust quiche and 4 eggs per crust-less.

4.  Vary the stuff inside.  I usually pre-cook, but don't overcook, all the stuff I put inside.  I have used chicken, spicy chicken sausage from Trader Joe's, most veggies, frozen corn, left over veggies from previous dinners, etc...

With sloppy but homemade whole wheat crust.

5.  Vary the cheese - use what you have on hand.  I have used blue, feta, goat, Gouda, brie, cheddar, etc.

6.  Consider the top.  Make it extra pretty by doing a lattice crust on top, thin slicing tomatoes or olives for the top, or adding something like roasted red peppers to the top.

My basic quiche recipe is to whip up the eggs with about 3/4 cup of sour cream (any variety) but I've also substituted, whole milk or half & half and even whipped cream cheese for the sour cream.  Then I fold in the cheese.  If it's cheddar, I usually grate it.  I put the non-egg mixture in a canola sprayed dish then pour the egg/cheese mixture over it and make sure the veggies etc.  are submerged.  I typically cook it in a 375F oven for about 30 mins without crust and 45 mins with crust.  I cut it into pie pieces as soon as it comes from the oven but let it stand for at least 5 mins at room temperature to set before serving.

Have fun.  Eat - Enjoy - and most of all...DON'T SWEAT DINNER!


Jeannie said...

YUM!!! (And the ones without crust have this really clever name ... Crustless Quiche. ^;^

Sher said...

Yes - that is a clever and obvious name : )

Flo said...

For #6, another pretty and tasty topper could be fresh chopped herbs (maybe free from your garden) like parsley or basil.

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