The Richmond Register

September 3, 2013

What is a quiche?

By Arritta Morris
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — I thought I would pass along to you some information about an item that we usually find at receptions or pot luck functions.

The word quiche stands for a savory, open-faced crust with a filling of savory custard with cheese, meat, fish or vegetables.

Although known as a classic French dish, the quiche originated in Germany.

Today, quiche is considered as typically French.

However, custards in pastry were known in English cuisine at least as early as the 14th century.

Quiche Lorraine is perhaps the most popular of the variety.

Quiche Lorraine

INGREDIENTS:

One 9-inch frozen deep-dish pie shell; be sure it is deep enough or you will have a dirty oven to clean up..take it from someone that has been there.

8 oz bacon, cut into 12 inch pieces

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

salt and pepper

6 large eggs

1 cup half and half cream

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a fork, prick the inside of the pie shell, then bake for 8 minutes. Remove and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp.

Using a slotted spoon, drain bacon and transfer to a paper towel.

Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to the bacon fat and cook over medium heat until softened.

Transfer the onion to the pie shell.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the half and half cream, stir in the cheese and the cooked bacon.

Pour the mixture into the pie shell.

Bake until set, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

This brings up such memories of when I worked in catering at EKU.

We were really into serving quiche at parties. Sometimes we would make at least 25 to 50 of the pies.

I was a newbie on the staff and was asked to serve a party in the Keen Johnson Ball room.

Of course we had quiche on the menu that night. I was instructed to place the slice of pie on to a small dinner plate.

Now picture this, a new worker who did not even know what the pie was, much less how to get it out of the pan and put it where?

One gentleman was engaged in a lot of conversation with his neighbor and she happen to have her purse open swinging from the back of her chair. Well you can guess the rest of the story.

For some reason I could not find the piece I had on my serving utensil and low and behold you can guess where it went, right down into the lady’s purse.

I guess I created the first carry out bag that one can just zip up and take out!

Tomato onion quiche

INGREDIENTS:

1 sheet of refrigerated pie pastry

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup sliced sweet onion

2 small tomatoes seeded and sliced

3 medium mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

3 eggs

1/ 2 cup half and half cream

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

DIRECTIONS:

Cut pastry sheet in half. Repackage and refrigerate one half for another use.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining half into an 8-inch circle. Transfer to a 7-inch pie plate. Flute edges.

Layer half the mozzarella cheese, onion and tomato in pastry. Top with mushrooms; layer with remaining mozzarella cheese, onion and tomato. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, cream, mustard and herbs; pour over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

The real trick to a good Quiche is making sure that the knife comes out clean to insure that the entire pie is done.

One can make this dish in a muffin pan. You have to cut the pie dough into circles and place in muffin pans.

I have done this, but it takes a little bit of extra preparation. The cooking time is about half of the original time for the larger pie. One has to test the pies with the knife as well.

Speaking of pies, I watched the movie “The Help” the other night and the part that was the best was the pie the maid cooked for the wicked women in the show. I would not recommend this recipe, but it sure was a funny scene. I would probably name it the “in and out” pie.

I have just returned from two weeks in Florida. I went on a girlfriends retreat. Seven of us go each year. Each one of us fixes a different dish each night. I got some interesting dishes I will pass on to you at a later date.

I made dirty rice and one of them thought it was with mushrooms. Sorry, but it was with gizzards. She has not forgiven me yet.

Tell next time, stop by each week and we will share ideas.

Arritta Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in counseling from Eastern Kentucky University. She is certified as a food service specialist by the School Nutrition Association.