Callie’s Cabin: Cool summertime quiche (recipe)
During a heat wave, slaving over a hot stove is not something anyone wants to do. But Lorraine quiche (a tart filled with custard, cheese, meat, and vegetables) can be easy and quick to whip up and worth the effort.
The original quiche can be traced back to the earlier part of the 20th century, however, it had its heyday in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Nowadays, a lot of varieties of quiche can be found at restaurants, in the frozen food aisle at your grocery store and at coffee shops around the lake.
A few years ago, I was good friends with a neighbor around the corner. She cooked more than I did back then. One hot summer day she was making quiche and filled the tart shell with bacon, bell peppers and an egg mixture. While it looked tempting, I thought “I’ll make this dish my way — meatless.” Still, I was envious as the egg dish was put into the oven. Once it was done the fragrant dish was put in the fridge for morning brunch. It was more like my mom’s quiche (she used ham, mushrooms and asparagus) but I had my own ideas of the perfect veggie egg pie.
So now I finally put it together my way. And you can do it, too.
Of course, there are better than things to do in the Sierra during summer than hit the kitchen. But savoring an easy breezy breakfast teamed with fresh fruit or having a light dinner while it’s warm indoors and outdoors is super. A cheesy, scrumptious quiche, like this one, is the answer and will make you smile.
BROCCOLI AND CHEESE QUICHE
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon European style butter
4 tablespoons red onion, diced
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
1 ¼ cup broccoli and cauliflower florets, chopped
1 cup all natural, premium organic mozzarella, shredded
3 organic brown eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups organic half-and-half
Black pepper and sea salt to taste
1 (9-inch) premium store-bought refrigerated pie crust (save homemade crusts for fall)
2 heirloom or Roma tomatoes, sliced (optional)
Pine nuts (optional)
In a skillet, melt olive oil and butter. Stir-fry onion and vegetables. Add basil. Set aside. In a mixing bowl combine eggs add half-and-half. Add pepper and salt. Bake pie crust covered in foil for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. (This keeps it flaky.)
Chill in freezer for about 15 minutes. Top pie crust bottom with cheese, veggie mixture and repeat. Pour milk-egg mixture on top and sprinkle with a layer of cheese. Stir lightly so it’s even. Bake at 350 to 360 degrees for about 40-45 minutes or ‘til firm and crust is light golden brown. Do not over bake.
Cool for at least 30 minutes. You can serve warm or chilled. Garnish with tomatoes and nuts. Makes eight to 10 servings.
This quiche Lorraine dish works cold for breakfast (the ingredients are more flavorful, cutting it is perfect) or warmed up for brunch so the cheese melts and pleases the palate. Served solo or paired with a tossed green salad with a tangy vinaigrette is the way to do it. Who doesn’t like a cool, light and easy summer dish?
This new, improved 21st-century quiche — dished up warm or cold — is gooey, bursting with texture and flavor, and is a seriously delicious quiche to love!
Motto: If it’s too hot in the kitchen, take shortcuts!
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.