Waste Not, Want Not: Quiche

by Rachel on February 6, 2011

A thousand kinds of quiche await you.

I’ve been channeling my inner Swedish grandmother lately.  She never wasted anything.  She carefully folded and reused wrapping paper, wrote her shopping lists on the back of bill envelopes, and could make a whole family dinner out of scraps of food served in tiny dishes, each one filled with a half cup of leftovers of one thing or another.  I never found the tiny scrap meals terribly satisfying, but they made economic and environmental sense.  In retrospect my frugal grandmother was an environmentalist long before anyone coined the term.  Rather than relying on feeding my family a smorgasbord of scraps it occurred to me that different cultures have their own unique ways of utilizing leftovers.  One of the things a number of these methods have in common is egg.  Relatively cheap, widely available no matter what country you live in, eggs make a great binder for a variety of kinds of dishes.

My next three blog posts are going to focus on base recipes that allow you to utilize your leftovers, rather than tossing them, or eating them out of tiny bowls standing up next to the microwave.  Using these base recipes to rescue your leftovers will save you money and reduce waste while simultaneously feeding your family a healthy, inexpensive meal.

The three upcoming posts are first quiche (French), egg fu yung (Chinese), and frittatas (Spanish).

Quiche with Leftovers: Base Recipe

  • 2 cups of chopped leftovers (options to consider: cooked cubed chicken with onions, or bell peppers, or leeks, or mushrooms; leftover chili; leftover pot roast; leftover chicken curry; leftover turkey; just mushrooms; just leeks; just onions, just zucchini)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheese (whichever you prefer – try mozzarella, cheddar, gruyere, swiss, jack, parmesan feta, or a combination of 2)
  • one prepared pie crust defrosted according to package instructions (Trader Joe’s sells a frozen prepared pie crust that works fine for both sweet and savory pies or quiches).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring leftovers to room temperature and chop them into bite size bits, if necessary.

In a mixing bowl mix together the eggs, cream, the spices and half of the grated cheese.

Put the defrosted piecrust into your pie pan.  Press the crust into the pan.  I find that frozen crusts when they defrost often break into bits when you try to put them in the pan.  Gently press the broken bits together to form a complete crust.  Don’t fret about the breakage, no one will notice or care once they taste your fabulous creation.  Reduce the oven temp to 325 and put the piecrust into the oven for ten minutes.  The crust should just start to bubble, but not brown.  Remove.  If you don’t precook the crust slightly it will be trés trés soggy.  Soggy crust is to be avoided at all costs.  Oui?

Gently mix the room temp leftover mixture into the egg/cream mixture.  Pour this into the lightly baked piecrust.  Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top.  Return the quiche to the oven and bake at 325 degrees until the quiche is set.  This should take between 45-55 minutes, depending on your oven.  I am not clairvoyant and I have to stick a knife into my quiche to test if it is cooked through.  If you can tell whether a quiche is done without taking this step, bully for you.  The rest of us will have to live with quiches that have small stab marks in the center.  Serve warm, or cool to room temperature, refrigerate, and serve the next day at room temp.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nuts about food February 9, 2011 at 1:00 am

We have a lot to learn from the elderly…from the days when you environmentalists didn’t exist because they lived according to nature, respecting it.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: