I was careful when I first introduced quiche to my young sons. Presentation is important to preschoolers, so I referred to it as "Pizza Pie," with a big, inane grin on my face. They liked pizza, and pie was a rare treat, so the combination was a winner. These days, they are mature enough to call it quiche, and I make it at least once a week, because it's easy, economical and quick.
The "pat in the pan" crust makes it easy, because I always have the ingredients. You can find plenty of variations on the internet, but most of them, including mine, call for these ingredients:
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/2 cup oil
3 tablespoons milk
You can use any kind of milk or oil you have on hand, and I think I've tried them all, because I love using the last little bits of things to clear out the fridge.
Mix the dry ingredients (in the pan!) with a fork first. Then pour (in the pan!) the milk and oil. Mix it with a fork (guess where!) until the dry ingredients are moist and the dough is chunky. Now, press it into the pan with your fingers. I recommend covering the sides first, then use what's left for the bottom.
Next, I fill the crust. This is where things get really cheap. I use whatever veggies I have available, frozen or fresh, often the scraps from something I made earlier in the week. If I have a leftover slice of sandwich meat or a few strips of bacon, those go in, too. As for the cheese, I will use whatever bits and pieces are left in the cheese drawer; any combination will do.
Quiche is a great fridge emptier. I usually add a splash of milk to the egg mixture, but the last dollop of yogurt and a little water work just as well. Emma's Foolproof Quiche is a great basic recipe and the variations are endless.
As a bonus, I often prepare more than one quiche and freeze the extra. Quiche is also an easy potluck or bake sale item. I've made four at once, which isn't any harder than making just one.
Quiches bake for 30 to 45 minutes, plenty of time to run to the store, throw in a load of laundry or go for a quick jog. And it's always a hit with my family. Sadly, leftovers are rare, because they make a great breakfast.
What meals can you always put together when you don't want to go to the store? What dishes do you make when you want to use up leftovers?
(Images: Anne Postic)