Happy Accidents – Quiche

Radical mistakes in the kitchen can often lead to happy accidents.

Pie A - Sliced and served.

Pie A – Sliced and served.

We were making quiche for supper the other night, one of those “what have I got in the kitchen” nights. I had dough and roasted garlic in the freezer, shredded cheddar and pepperoni in the fridge, a well-heeled spice cabinet, and plenty of eggs. Christopher picked up cream on the way home from work, and we were set to create pepperoni pizza flavored quiche.

The dry spices (powdered garlic and onion, basil and oregano) were in two bowls, the eggs were out and the cream was ready. I popped the still quite frozen dough into the microwave to thaw a bit. When I removed and opened it, I discovered that I had made a huge mistake. It was not pastry dough, but filo, and it was already thawed and opened.

Right, I thought. Brazenly forward!

Using spray olive oil, I forged ahead, laying out the layers of filo as if for a pie. I tamped them down slightly to remove some of the air and give a little more space for the egg mixture.

While this was going on, Christopher was manfully whipping the spices, eggs and cream into a lovely frothy state.

Pie B - Loaded with roasted garlic and pepperoni.

Pie B – Loaded with roasted garlic and pepperoni.

Roasted garlic was sliced and sprinkled about in the bottoms of the filo shells, followed by quartered slices of pepperoni. The liquid was poured gently into the shells. Rather than leave the corners of the filo poking up where they were likely to burn, they were liberally spritzed with olive oil and folded over.

Pie B - Awaiting cheese.

Pie B – Awaiting cheese.

“Wait!” you exclaim. “What about the cheese?”

Funny, Christopher said the same thing.

The smaller shell had already had the corners folded down, so the cheese went liberally on top. The larger shell actually got cheesed before the corners were folded. I guess we shall see which one came out better?

Pie A - Filo corners folded in. Forgot the cheese!

Pie A – Filo corners folded in. Forgot the cheese!

Pie A - Cheese added on top of folded filo.

Pie A – Cheese added on top of folded filo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pie B - Cheese added, awaiting folding of corners.

Pie B – Cheese added, awaiting folding of corners.

Pie B - Filo corners folded.

Pie B – Filo corners folded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep in mind that in using the filo, the shell will be subject to eggy leaks into the pie dish in a few places. Fortunately the dishes were also sprayed with olive oil at the start, so I hoped nothing would stick or brown too badly.

Half an hour later, we realized the results of our mad dash in the kitchen for ingredients.

Pie A - Fresh out of the oven.

Pie A – Fresh out of the oven.

The filo toasted up beautifully. The pies cut well, the pepperoni giving the knife a little trouble, but not so much that anything tore. I didn’t need to worry about sticking – between the olive oil spray and the properties of filo, the slices slide right out of the dish!

Pie B - Fresh out of the oven. Noticeable difference in visual appeal.

Pie B – Fresh out of the oven. Noticeable difference in visual appeal.

Then came the moment of truth, tasting. I was amazed. The spices and other ingredients came together beautifully. Rather than tasting like eggs, the entire dish tasted like a pepperoni pizza on a gourmet crust!

I recommend trying sun-dried tomatoes if you want that tomato zing in place of sauce, or a drizzle of pizza or spaghetti sauce just before serving. Adding it to the pie could cause there to be too much liquid for the crust.

Black olives, anchovies, fresh spinach, or any other ingredients that you typically use on a pizza may be added or substituted.  The shells may also be used for the traditional Lorraine quiche, as well. Just be wary of how much you load on – the shell will only hold so much goodness!

 

Pie B - Sliced and served!

Pie B – Sliced and served!

I’m quite pleased with this happy accident!

— Ann Cathey

Quiche!

Quiche, while it sounds all French and difficult, is actually a very simple dish. I bless the Frenchman who invented it. I could get into the history and etymology, but I’d rather just link you to Wikipedia rather than quote them heavily.

Quiche is typically a pie-style crust filled with meat, cheese, seafood, and/or vegetables. It is often served as tarts, mini-tarts, and is a popular party food.

Quiche with crab, Swiss Cheese, and tomato

Quiche with crab, Swiss Cheese, and tomato

My favorite quiche recipe is from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and is courtesy of William Rolle, owner of Cafe Rolle in Sacramento, CA. I often use a pre-made crust, much to my shame. My daughter can whip up a delightful crust every time, but I do not seem to have a good hand for it.

With this recipe, I have literally walked into my kitchen, started pulling random items from the refrigerator and cabinets, a pie crust from the freezer, and about 45 minutes later have a hot quiche in hand to share with my foodie partner. He loves quiche!

Quiche Provencial (tomatoes and Swiss cheese)

Quiche Provençale (tomatoes and Swiss cheese)

Some simple and delightful combinations have included:
• Quiche Lorraine (ham and Swiss)
• Quiche au fromage (cheese, to your taste)
• Quiche aux champignons (mushrooms)
• Provençale (tomatoes)
• Florentine (spinach)
• Florentine Special (spinach, grilled onions and mushrooms)
• Ham and cheddar
• Bacon and any cheese you like
• Breakfast (hashbrowns, bacon or sausage)
• Southwestern (taco meat, Monterrey Jack cheese, chilis, salsa on top)

Quiche with roasted carrots and asparagus

Quiche with roasted carrots and asparagus

Of course quiche requires eggs. Adding a little cream or half and half as Chef Rolle’s recipe requires is essential. The eggs will smooth out and maintain a light a fluffy texture, rather than becoming hard and rubbery when cooking.

If you are looking for a light and quick breakfast or brunch idea, you can’t go wrong with quiche.

 

— Ann Cathey