Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Real men DO eat quiche

I know I've mentioned it once or twice before, but I love cookbooks - I can sit down and read them like a good novel. The newest one I just bought is a brand new (copyright 2008) spiral bound paperback Better Homes & Gardens cookbook called "9x13 - The Pan That Can - More than 370 Family Favorites to fit America's Most Popular Pan".

Now if that isn't just the coolest idea for a cookbook for someone who lives with someone who loves casseroles, I don't know what is. It's got entire chapters devoted to stratas and coffee cakes, lasagnas, meats & poultry dishes, fish, seafood & vegetarian dishes, sides and salads, then it moves to the sublime - bars, brownies, puddings, cobblers, crisps and more.

A couple of years ago when I joined a cookbook book club, one of the 5 for $1 books that I got was a brand new 2005 version of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Nice and shiny red - "Everything that I need to know to cook today!" - it proclaimed on the cover.

WHAT WAS I THINKING? What was so wrong with the Betty Crocker Cookbook that I already had - only the fact that it had been published around the time I was born? Only the fact that it was (poorly) held together with duct tape? I always figured that they'd have to pry the old one out of my dying fingers - but I was seduced by the newness of this shiny red cookbook - the fact that it had slow cooker recipes (heck, I don't even have a slow cooker - I just gave the new 7 1/2 quart Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker that my sister Nance gave me for Christmas to our church auction, because I decided that it was much too big for just two people). I was tempted by the chapter on Grilling, even though we don't have a grill, - I was enticed by recipes for "Rice, Grains, Beans & Pastas" - Beguiled by a whole section of recipes called "20 Minutes or Less" -(hmmm. actually, I don't remember seeing that part before - I should look through that chapter a little more closely).

Oh, sorry, I digress - anyhow, how could I part with that familiar five ring binder -where you can tell all my favorite recipes by the splatters and smudges on the pages...I finally have relented and have been going through the old book and taking out the pages of the recipes that I really love - turns out the new book has the familiar 5 ring binder too, so those pages just fit fine.
The first pages I transferred over to the new book were the first four pages from the "Pies" chapter - no oil or eggs in my pie crust - just flour, salt and Crisco, thank you very much. And I have never been able to figure out how one is supposed to cut the shortening into flour with two knives. Give me my Pampered Chef pastry cutter and I'm all over it. Add a little bit of ice water and nothing can compare with the rolling pin that I won from Miss Tate for being the outstanding Home Ec student when I was a Junior in High School. That rolling pin has seen a LOT of pie crusts.

Then several years ago, there was an article on Quiche in a local magazine. They had a 7 paragraph "inset" called "Create your own Quiche" which I cut out and taped on the page right across from my favorite pie crust recipe. It has been a recipe I've gone back to time and time again, because my "real man" loves quiche.
"Create your Own Quiche"
A basic 5 step recipe that uses your choice of fillings.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Prepare a single pastry crust (or buy the made up ones in the prepared foods aisle at the grocery - no one has to know) and press into a deep 9" pie pan (I make two crusts, double the custard recipe and voile' - quiche for lunch too)

Cover the bottom of the crust with 1 and 1/2 cups grated cheese - Swiss or medium cheddar works best. I like the convenient already shredded Mexican Mix with cheddar, jack and asiago cheese. You could use some mozzarella and feta for a Mediterranean taste.

Top the cheese layer with ONE of the following suggested filling ingredients:
Suggested fillings (approximately 1 cup):

- 1 medium sweet onion & 1/4 lb. of mushrooms sauteed in butter with salt, pepper & thyme
- 6 oz or crab or shrimp meat plus some chopped tomatoes & sauteed onions or sliced green onions
**3/4 cup of steamed broccoli and 1/4 cup sliced onions & mushrooms that have been sauteed in butter and 1/2 cup chopped ham slice (this is one I probably use the most)
- 8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, 1/2 cup sliced onion, sauteed (the classic Quiche Lorraine)
- Any combination of vegies (broccoli, zucchini, bell pepper, etc.) that have been sauteed in a little butter or olive oil to "pre-cook" them and get rid of some of the moisture.
- Black olives and garlic and wilted spinach with fresh oregano. Use the mozzarella & feta cheeses (this sounds yummy to me, but The Shepherd would never go for it)

Make a custard by mixing the following:
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup milk (evaporated milk or half & half may also be used - makes a nicer, firmer filling, I think) some recipes call for cream but who needs the calories - low fat evaporated milk gives you the same texture and about a zillion less calories -
3 TBS flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard (now I don't know about you, but who has (fresh) dry mustard in their spice cupboard? - I substitute about a tsp of Dijon mustard and mix it in with the eggs before I add the milk)

Pour the custard over the filling layer and sprinkle with a little bit of extra cheese if desired - (or make a cool design with some of your filling materials) Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center appears solid when jiggled. Personally I stick a knife in about 3 inches from the side and if it comes out clean, it's done.

Serve with some nice crusty bread and a glass of iced tea (or a nice glass of wine if you like) Bon Appetite!


Tammy said...

Thanks for the ideas Tina! I really like quiche, but don't often make it. I hadn't thought of allot of those fillings, but some of them sound excellent.

Kara said...

Thanks for sharing. Now that my chickens are laying I think I will try a quiche. I have never made one.

Leigh said...

Yum! That looks fantastic! Now I'm hungry. Oh my.

Kathy said...

Some great ideas here, Girlfriend! Now I need to dig out my Mom's Victory Cookbook from WWII to see what's in it again. I have the re-printed BC Cookbook from the 50s and it feels like going home each time I look through it. :)

Wrensong Farm said...

OH! My mouth is watering!! I haven't had quiche in years....I may have to start making them again starting with that recipe!

Rascal said...

Real ManCats like eggs and milk and cheese. But I don't know about the rest of that stuff.