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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quiche+Easy = Queazy? Not in this house....

Easy Quiche.  The hardest part was staging these photos!

One of our regular ways of clearing the fridge and using those odds and ends that are too much to add to the stock bag, or too good to add to the compost bin, is to make a quiche and throw it all in there.  It's the best use for a handful of this and a pinch of that.... Odd that I would choose this as my first official step by step guide...

Here's how it looked plated...

Ham and Veggie Quiche With Side Salad
And here's how we did it....  You can find the actual recipe here.

Here are the ingredients for the crust 

Flour, butter and salt = flaky crust
And here are the ingredients for the filling 
Eggs, Milk, Veggies, Ham, Cheese and Herbs
Lets start with the crust so it can rest in the fridge or freezer for a bit before we fill it.

The trick to a good crust is to work fast so it doesn't warm up, and to not over work it, so the butter and flour actually stay somewhat separate.  Aside from that the ingredients are simple, the time spent is minimal, and the mess made is enormous!  (Albeit, fun)

Mix flour and salt for a basic crust, add herbs to pair with the filling if you wish.

Slice cold butter into 1/8" thick slices and toss evenly across the flour.
Flour, Salt and Butter, ready to chop together
Chop all together with a fork.  DO NOT MIX.  You don't want paste, you want little balls of flour coated butter that we will bind together with milk.
Start chopping together.  Toss butter with flour, and chop the chunks smaller and smaller

You want to work fast, so the butter doesn't have time to melt.
When it looks about like this, STOP, or it will start forming a rue, which you do not want.
Add some milk or water and only stir enough to bring it together, and stop working it as soon as it makes a ball.  I added a tablespoon of olive oil at this stage to give it a focaccia kind of flavor to pair with the quiche.  If it's a little moist, that's okay, we'll be working it in flour in the next step.
This is after the milk has been added.  Notice that it's a little on the wet side
Since you have the milk out already, why not mix a White Russian?  I mean, you DO have the milk out...
Flour a work space and rolling pin, leave a little pile (1/4 cup or so) off to the side to toss on the dough as you roll. 
The flattened ball of dough on a floured board
Flatten the ball of dough, and roll to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick, lightly flour.  
The rolled dough before I dust the top with flour and start folding
Fold in half and flour, then fold again into a wedge.  Move to an oiled/floured oven safe pan,  Looking back, I used my shallow pan instead of my deep one so I had ingredients left over, but the recipe will make enough for a deep dish pie.  I found a creative use, as you will see....
Ready to unfold into the pan for an easy way to get the crust in there
Unfold crust into pan, and poke holes so it doesn't bubble up.  Hold in fridge until filling is done.
Crust ready to go in fridge and rest until everything else is ready to put in
Chop everything into reasonable sized bits.  Blanche potatoes (if you used them) for about a minute, then add the green veggies and continue blanching for about 30 seconds.  Toss into colander and hit with a splash of cold water to shock.  Mix in a bowl with the rest of the chopped ingredients.  Set aside.
"Reasonable sized" bits of ham and veggies
Make the egg mixture.  I have a rule that if I use more than 4 eggs, I remove the remaining yolks.  You don't have to do this, but your heart will thank you for it later.  So, it's six eggs, minus two yolks, plus two cups milk and herbs and spices.  I also add a tbs of olive oil, but as you'll discover over time, I seem to add a tbs of olive oil to just about everything.
Egg mixture ready to go!
Pull crust from fridge.  Add chopped stuff, sprinkle cheese on at this point if you like, and cover with egg mixture.  Leave a little room for expansion, or it will spill over and burn, setting off the smoke detector and leaving a burnt egg crust in your oven for your kids to clean up, and they won't like it.  (Note:  If they complain, tell them they can figure out their own dinner, then rave about how awesome the quiche is while they have cold cereal or whatever, but they still get to clean it)
Quiche all ready to go into a 375f oven for about an hour
I used the wrong skillet, so I needed to find a use for the left over ingredients
Bake for 50 minutes at 375f.  Check on it at this point.  It should have puffed up a bit, and start cracking on top.  the cracking is the clue that it's dry (cooked) enough to pull out, let rest for 5 minutes to solidify, and serve. 
The quiche is done when it's starting to brown and crack on top.  Any less, it will be runny, any more and it will dry out.
Tadaaaa!!!!!!!!!  Quiche.

And, Here are some treats for lunch this coming week....

The volume of the pan I used was less than I planned, so I made a dozen minis 

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