Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Simple Green

While we were in Connecticut about a month ago, I had the most wonderful quiche of my life, a simple broccoli quiche with the tenderest, most flavorful custard ever. If you can call a quiche memorable, this one surely was.

I was determined to figure out how to make one as delicious at home. I consulted the Peanut Gallery as well as some websites but each had a different "take" on the ratio of eggs to milk or cream and both of those to the cheese. I finally did some rough calculations and decided to try my own ratio.

It worked like a champ.

The veggies were perfectly cooked, the custard was light and tender, the cheese was rich but not overwhelming. In short, I nailed it. Best of all, it was easy. I plan to repeat this quiche with all different kinds of veggies when we are having our meat-free meals.

Here's what I did:

Zoomie's Nailed Quiche

1-cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup shredded Old World Portuguese cheese (most recipes call for Swiss or Gruyère but this is what I had in the fridge and I'd actively look for this cheese again in future)
4 eggs
one purchased crust (made without trans fats)
1/2 cup broccoli florets, gently butter-steamed
1/4 chopped red onion, gently sautéed
1 big pinch Herbs de Provence
brief grinding of garlic salt
brief grinding of pepper

Thaw crust briefly, then prick all over and bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. While the crust is cooling, chop the onion and cut the broccoli florets into bite-size pieces.

In a small skillet, melt butter and sauté the onion gently, just to soften. Add the broccoli and about a teaspoon of water, cover and let it steam for 2-3 minutes; when cut this small, the broccoli will cook very fast - don't over do it. It should still be bright green and just barely tender when it goes into the pie shell. Set aside to cool slightly.

While the veggies wait, whisk the cream, milk and eggs together until well combined. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and whisk again.

Sprinkle cheese into the crust, top with cooled veggies. Set crust on a rimmed baking sheet to catch drips. Pour custard mixture carefully over, leaving about 1/4" unfilled, as the eggs will puff and expand.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. It is done when the very center still jiggles slightly when the quiche is gently shaken. Remove and let stand for 20 minutes - it will continue to cook a little and will retain the tender custard. It is also 'way too hot to eat at this point and the custard needs to set, so let it rest.

Slice in wedges and serve. Serves 4-6 (4 for dinner, 6 for lunch).

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