Note: My son Sid just asked me, “What about mac and cheese?” So I must amend my earlier statement: quiche is the second best food you can make. But you should still make it.
When I need a large brunch dish or appetizers for a crowd, I like to take a page from Martha Stewart (O Captain! My Captain!) and make a big-ass quiche in a cookie sheet. It’s easy, tasty, and versatile. You can cut it into three-inch pieces for a luncheon, or one-inch pieces for a cocktail party.
Since I prefer to make up my own quiches (or use up veggies, meat, and cheeses in my fridge), I’ve developed my own rule of thumb for fillings: about 2 cups of sauteed vegetables/meat/seafood, plus 1-2 cups grated cheese. You can further adjust this to your taste: for example, you don’t need cheese (but why not?). So let’s get it started!
Large Quantity Pate Brisee–From The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/2 to 1/4 cup ice water.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Flatten dough into a large rectangle and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour.
Roll pastry on a floured board until it’s about 2 inches wider and longer than your cookie sheet. Press into the pan, folding down the edges and fluting them. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice; bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights and foil, prick crust all over with a fork. Return to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown.
Now get ready for filling!
Big-Ass Quiche Filling–Adapted From Martha Stewart’s Entertaining Cookbook
3 cups heavy cream
9 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 large pinch nutmeg
Pepper to taste
About 2 cups of sauteed veggies, meat, seafood–whatever you like
1-2 cups shredded/crumbled cheese
Fresh herbs of your choice
Whisk the cream, eggs, salt, nutmeg, and pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle your veggies/meat/seafood into your cooked crust. Cover with cheese. Carefully pour the cream and egg mixture over your filling in a slow stream (so you don’t disturb your filling ingredients). Bake at 350 degrees until puffed and golden, about 35-40 minutes.
Red, White, and Blue Quiche
One pint cherry tomatoes, halved
One large white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
About 6 oz gruyere cheese, grated
Crumbled blue cheese, to taste
Fresh chopped basil, to taste
Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until tender, adding salt and pepper to taste. Proceed with recipe above.
1 1/2 cups cooked bacon, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 cups gruyere cheese, grated
Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil (or bacon grease, if you’ve cooked the bacon that day). Proceed with recipe above.
Sausage and Apples Got the Blues Quiche
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
2 large apples, cored and chopped
1/2 to 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 to 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Fresh thyme, to taste
Saute the sausage in a frying pan, adding the apples when halfway cooked. Sprinkle with thyme when apples are tender but not falling apart. Proceed with recipe above.
Lox of Love Quiche
1 1/2 cups Nova lox, chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
Fresh chives, snipped with scissors
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned.
Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and stir in the capers, chives to taste, lemon zest, 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle the lox over your cooked crust, and top with the onions and cherry tomatoes. Dot with cream cheese. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. Proceed with recipe above.
So there you have it! I encourage you to go rogue and use my general guidelines to make your wildest quiche fantasies come true (come on, everyone has at least one, right?), or to utilize all the leftover goodies in your fridge and pantry.
So what’s your quiche fantasy? Mine involves eating in the bathtub.