Quiche for all, and all for quiche

Ok, it seems a little strange to have the first Mich Dish be high on the decadence (and fat) scale, but as it happens, I was entertaining a large group of friends this past labor day and, well, what can I say, I cook to please my guests.

Cooking for a large group can be tricky, especially when the goal is to cook delicious food and to be able to enjoy it as a group. Quiche is one of my go-to recipes for such an occasion for many reasons:

  1. It’s super easy– all you need is a few key ingredients
  2. It’s highly versatile– the possibilities of fillings are almost endless
  3. It’s as easy to feed 4 as it is 14
  4. The hands-on prep time is minimal
  5. It’s always a crowd-pleaser
So the key ingredients that you need for quiche are the crust and the custard… more specifically:
  • frozen pie crust (usually come in packs of 2)
  • eggs (about 4 large or 3 extra large for each quiche)
  • dairy (half and half, heavy cream, skim milk, take your pick)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg
As you can tell, there’s no exact science to the quiche recipe, and what I’ve found is that it’s generally pretty forgiving. One thing I will say about the dairy is that the thinner your overall custard is, the longer the quiche will take to cook. For this reason, I wouldn’t use skim milk as the only dairy in the custard. Or if I did, I would probably throw in an extra egg or two to balance it out.
So how can you go from a list of ingredients to this?

It’s super easy. The first thing you want to do is figure out what filling you want for the quiche. The way I usually figure that out is to raid the fridge. On this specific occasion, I had 13 people to feed, including 1 vegetarian. My plan was 4 quiches: 2 meat and 2 vegetarian.

In the meat quiche I decided to go all out and put chorizo and bacon along with goat cheese and onions. I sauteed the onions (candy onions from the farm share, but any onions will be fine) in butter and seasoned salt until they were translucent. In the mean time I diced the bacon and chorizo and rendered both of them in a pan until they were crispy. For the vegetarian quiche I used the same onions as well as bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Once you’ve cooked the ingredients that need to be cooked, layer them into the frozen pie crust. Be careful not to overfill, though. I usually cover the entire bottom of the crust and then add the cheese as a second layer. Because I love the flavor (and because I bought a LOT of it), I decided to use goat cheese in both quiches.

Next you’ll want to prepare the custard. In these quiches, I used a combination of heavy cream and skim milk as well as 4 eggs per quiche. Salt and pepper the mixture the way you would if you were cooking any other egg dish. Since bacon and chorizo are both salty, I went light on the salt. Nutmeg is the surprise ingredient in quiche. It’s the ingredient that really takes it to the next level and makes people ask “mmm, what is that flavor?” You really don’t need a lot, just a sprinkle for each quiche. Mix all the ingredients together and pour them into the filled pie crusts just below the crimped edge. Since I usually bake multiple quiches at a time, I find it helpful to place them on cookie sheets. The custard is pretty loose and I like to rotate my quiches halfway through baking, so the cookie sheets make them easier to maneuver without getting custard in your oven.

The quiches cook in a 350 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes, rotating their position in the oven about half way through. You’ll know they’re done when the center feels firm. 

Assuming all goes well, the final product should look something like this:

They will look delicious, but let them rest for 10-20 minutes to make cutting and serving easier (and prettier)!

Well there you have it, your first Mich Dish. One of my favorites. And definitely a good recipe to have in your back pocket for any occasion.