All Things Yum: Quiche, a Constant Classic by Mary Waserstein
We all have those dishes that we love but never seem to make or even remember that we like them until – “Eureka! Why don’t I make that more!” happens and you fall in love all over again. It may be seasonal or you need to be in the mood for just that combination. I always mean to make a big note to myself “remember to make x, y or z.”
For me that dish is quiche. In many ways it really is one of the more perfect meals around. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or, of course, brunch. The ingredients are flexible and it can be the meat lover’s delight or a vegetarian’s dream. Sorry to all you vegans out there- I’ve yet to come up with a great alternative. My kiddos love quiche and it is a great way to serve the monkeys a well-rounded meal.
Growing up, Quiche was a mainstay in our house and it was all over every brunch menu in NYC. Now it feels like quiche has been relegated to the mini cocktail form, forever passed on silver platters.
For my mother’s 65th birthday party – quite a lively affair with all the various friends that she had collected through the years – I served a selection of quiches. They were an instant hit and brought up everyone’s favorite quiche story. You would be surprised by the number of people with quiche stories.
How can you mention quiche without the line from When Harry Met Sally, “Pesto is the quiche of the 80’s”? Well, I like both and you can actually combine these two retro standards to come up with a bright fresh dish. Of course, there’s another quiche saying that comes to mind, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”- which, I never quite understood – why would men abhor a dish that encompasses so many popular and rather standard ingredient?
I digress. I think if you give it a try, you’ll find that not only is quiche super easy to make, but more importantly, it is so super yummy! It can be served room temperature – which allows for flexibility in timing – or heated up in the oven. Served with a green salad, it makes for a wonderful meal no matter what time in the day.
Ham, Leek & Cheddar Quiche
1 leek sliced (make sure that you clean it well)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
1 1/2 cups diced ham
2 cups whole milk
2 tspn kosher salt
1 tspn ground black pepper
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks cold butter chopped into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ice water
Pre-heat oven to 350 and place a rack in the middle of the oven. To make crust add flour , salt and butter in a food processor. Pulse 20 times, add water in a slow drizzle still pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a disc. Chill for at least an hour and up to one day.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon of butter, add leaks and 1 teaspoon of salt. When the leeks have softened about five minutes remove from heat and set aside. In a mixing bowl add the eggs and milk and whisk until well combined. Add salt and pepper.
Roll out pie dough (if you are using store bought pie dough just place into pie pan) and place in pie pan. Crimp the edges in a decorative fashion. Place unfilled pie pan on a cookie sheet (this will make moving it around much easier). Add the ham, leaks and cheese- mix slightly. Pour egg mixture over. Brush the pie crust with milk and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes (the center will still be a bit jiggly – the quiche will continue to cook). Let the quiche for at least a half hour before serving or wait and serve room temperature. You can also, make ahead let cool completely and reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
** Guest Post written by Mary Waserstein. Mary is a lifelong New Yorker and East Hamptonite. All Things Yum was born from Mary’s love of cooking and entertaining as well as interior design. The featured recipes vary from the mid-week quickie to the more involved recipes for the leisurely weekend. Mary’s recipes focus on homestyle meals that work equally well for the casual family dinner or a more upscale evening. Throw in a dash of design and you have All Things Yum! http://www.allthingsyum.com **