One of my goals for the new year is to be more organized regarding the contents of my freezer. I’m pretty good at keeping track of what’s in the refrigerator and weeding things out during the week that aren’t at their prime, but when it comes to the freezer, I’m pathetic. I have no real idea what’s lurking in the back of my freezer, even when I go to the trouble of labeling containers and freezer bags. I just lose track, and I end up having to throw lots of things away because they’re freezer-burned to a state of sadsadsadness.
I hate wasting food out of sheer disorganization and stupidity. It’s painful. I’m going to do better, I swear.
I had a prepared pie crust in the freezer that just kept staring me in the face once the holidays were over. I’d purchased a pack of two frozen crusts, and used the first for our Christmas chocolate-bourbon-pecan pie (that post is coming). The remaining crust stuck out like a sore thumb whenever I opened the freezer door, and I just couldn’t look at it anymore. It needed to be put to use, stat.
I am one of those freaks who doesn’t really like pie. I didn’t even eat a piece of the swanky pecan pie I baked for my holiday guests–I much preferred indulging in a coffee spiked with Kahlua and cream. That’s my idea of the perfect dessert. There are only two kinds of pie that tempt me at all–pumpkin and key lime–and even in those cases, I prefer them with a graham cracker crust, not a pastry crust. I’m not really a pastry crust girl.
Except when it comes to quiche, which I adore. I know, I’m an odd duck. I’m okay with that.
I’m an even odder duck because I don’t want my quiche for breakfast. I have trouble with eggs in the morning. In my opinion, quiche is best indulged in for lunch or a light supper, preferably sitting next to a crisp green salad and a nice glass of wine. Give me that meal any day of the week.
Quiche is definitely an indulgence, and I don’t eat it often, but when I do, I always think, “Why don’t I eat quiche more often? Quiche is damn delicious.”
Quiche is also the ideal platform for using up leftover ham or stray wedges of cheese that are loitering in your refrigerator. You might as well throw in a few handfuls of herbs or scraps of vegetables while you’re at it. Quiche is quite easygoing and makes friends with just about any type of filling ingredient.
The only fussing you should do with your quiche is to make sure that you use the best (read: organic) dairy and eggs you can get your hands on. What makes quiche so incredibly tasty and rich are the dairy and the eggs, so don’t skimp! I mean it!
Once you get your hands on those quality ingredients, the rest is simple. For something so luxurious tasting, it’s a cinch to make. If you’re a stickler about pie crust, feel free to make your own. I’m perfectly happy to use the frozen kind. In the time it takes for the quiche to bake, you can whip together a lovely green salad or a plate of fruit. When the quiche comes out of the oven, let it cool for 20 minutes or so, pour some wine and dig in. If you’re like me, you’ll fantasize that you’re in a lovely little streetfront cafe in Paris.
I ate my quiche when it was bone-chillingly cold and blizzarding outside, but for a few minutes, I felt like I was very chic and very French. It was a very good way to spend part of the afternoon.
makes 1 quiche, serves 6
1 pie shell (I used frozen)
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup diced cooked bacon, ham or any protein you wish
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, chives or basil
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated (feel free to use cheddar or jack or even feta)
chopped fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute chopped shallot and garlic in a little olive oil in a skillet until just softened. Remove from heat and cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, half and half and cream. Add salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir in shallot mixture, diced bacon/ham and fresh parsley/chive/basil. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of Gruyere.
Place pie shell/pan on a large baking sheet. Pour in the egg mixture. Top with last of the cheese and fresh thyme.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until quiche is just barely jiggly when you wiggle the baking sheet. Quiche will continue to cook through as it rests.
Ideally, serve this with a nice green salad and a glass of wine.