I was reminded today how much our views of what is comfort food and common food depend on our culture and community. Growing up in small town USA foods like quiche and pain au chocolat were as alien to me as the French language. For my French spouse however there is nothing more simple or comforting that a slice of quiche or having a pain au chocolat on a lazy morning.
I admit I avoided making quiches for the longest time being as intimidated by the name more than any recipes. While I can make a pies without even measuring the ingredients and there is nothing I like more than a meal in one dish something about quiches was daunting.
It took going to France and eating the many, many different quiches that abound at in french homes and in cafes for my fear of the quiche to be overcome. I learned that quiches don’t need to have cheese, they don’t need to have heavy cream. In short a quiche is a vessel of eggs and dairy that can transport any type of veggie or meat. The end result is always a lovely custard of dairy and eggs with tasty morsels embedded in it.
Since the French spouse is a pescatarian, my quiche are usually a base of eggs, milk with cheese and one or two vegetables. One of my favorites is leek and mushroom quiche. I cook my quiche in my pie dishes which means it’s a pretty short quiche. If you use a deeper pie dish then you will want to add 1/2 cup more milk or cream. I use thin pre-made crust, some quiches have very thick crust, some are thin wrappers for the goodness inside. The crusts should not be too sweet but a generic pie crust work pretty well for me.
Leek and Mushroom quiche
1 pie crust, if made from scratch rolled quite thin (I use ready made crusts from Trader Joe’s)
1 1/4 cup milk (or cream) I never use cream though
3 leeks, cut into 1 inch slices
1/2 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Emmenthaler cheese, shredded
4 tbsp butter
4 cloves of garlic crushed or finely diced
3 tbsp fresh herbs finely chopped-dill, tarragon and basil are some my favorites, I only pick one for each quiche
1 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450
2. In a heavy bottom skillet melt the butter, add the leeks and saute them until they start to get soft, then add the garlic and mushrooms and saute until the leeks are translucent with a bit of caramelization.
3.transfer the leeks and mushrooms to a plate with a paper towel on it to absorb all the excess liquids.
4. Whisk the eggs and the milk together, make sure they are thoroughly whisked, add the salt and pepper and the finely chopped herbs
5. put a thin layer of cheese on the pie crust
6. put 1/2 of the leeks and mushroom in a layer
7. do another layer of cheese
8. then pour 1/2 of the egg and milk mixture in the pie dish
9. layer the remaining leeks and mushroom
10. do another layer of cheese
11. pour the remaining egg and milk mixture
12. spread any remaining cheese on the top, leave enough cheese aside for this top layer to be evening covered
13. cook for 15 minutes at 450 before lower the temperature to 325 and cooking for 30 minutes. This will give you a nice brown crisp top.
This is just one of many versions of quiche. So long as I use the same amount of veggies I can add anything to this, spinach, onions, potatoes…… For me it’s become my go-to dish when I have some veggies I need to use or I want to make sure I have something I can eat for lunch through out the week.
The hardest part of making this is waiting 15 minutes after you take it out to cut a slice.