Monday, October 8, 2007

It's Breakfast Week!

Welcome to a week of breakfast features here at Tummy Treasure. I love breakfast, and I thought it was high time to do some blogging about breakfast. In thinking about this week's blog posting, I was thinking about all the breakfasts I enjoy, and I wondered if there is a blogger out there doing just breakfast. I haven't found one yet, but if someone knows of one, please share, I'd love to check it out. Of course, while looking for breakfast blogs, I found so many more new-to-me food blogs, so watch for updates to the blog roll in the days to come. So many great food blogs, so little time. :-)

So for today's breakfast post, I thought I'd share a trio of recipes. Three recipes that are all slight variations of the breakfast delight known as quiche. Quiche gets a bad rap for being pretentious and snobby, when really it's so simple to make, and as an added bonus-it freezes very well. The key to quiche is in the eggs and milk, the proportions must be just right- the perfect blend of egg and milk or cream to make the eggs custard like- and not like baked eggs. In addition, quiche is one of the few things that I will willingly purchase pie crust for. I don't know why that is, but I prefer my quiche in a pre-made crust. Either refrigerated or frozen works just fine here. And the fillings are limited only by imagination.

There's the traditional Quiche Lorraine, made with Swiss cheese and ham. I've also seen some variations that include spinach as well, but my recipe is just the ham and cheese. And mustard. You must add dry mustard to the eggs as well- without the mustard you just have quiche. But with the mustard you have Quiche Lorraine. Slightly nutty from the cheese, slightly salty from the ham, it's the epitome of perfect quiche. Be sure to note the freezing instructions- it works beautifully, you'd never know this puppy came out of a freezer!

Quiche Lorraine
1 1/2 cups grated natural Swiss cheese
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked ham
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 unbaked pie shell -- (9 inch)

1.Preheat Oven to 375ºF.
2.Combine the cheese and flour and sprinkle into the pie shell.
3.Spread the ham evenly over this.
4.Combine the eggs, milk, salt and mustard.
5.Beat until smooth and pour evenly over the cheese and ham.
6.Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the custard is set.
7.Serve warm, garnished with chopped parsley.
8.To freeze: Prepare recipe through step 5. Wrap well with saran wrap and then foil. Freeze.
9.To serve: Thaw in fridge overnight. Bake as directed.

But perhaps you're in the mood for a more manly version of Quiche Lorraine? I submit to you the humble Rochester Quiche. I pulled this recipe of Recipezaar quite some time ago when I was looking for something a little different. Instead of ham we have bacon, and instead of milk we use a richer half & half. Mushrooms and onions are sauteed in bacon fat before adding to the quiche, and a tiny scattering of bleu cheese really brings it all together. This one I haven't tried freezing, but I don't see why it wouldn't work the same as the Quiche Lorraine.

Rochester Quiche
1 deep dish pie shell -- prebaked
6 slices bacon
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup onions -- chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons blue cheese -- crumbled
1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese -- shredded
Preheat oven 425F degrees.

In skillet fry bacon til crispy, drain on paper towel.
Remove most fat from skillet then saute' mushrooms and onions til browned.
In bowl combine eggs, half and half, pepper.
Crumble bacon onto bottom of prepared pie shell.
Then add the onions and mushrooms.
Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese over all.
Top with the grated Swiss cheese.
Place your pie plate onto a baking sheet to catch drips and to aid in moving quiche to the oven.
Pour egg mixture carefully over contents.
Bake at 425' for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350' bake another 20-25 minutes til center is set and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

And finally today, a third recipe for a different quiche- Cheese and Sausage Quiche. I like this one for several reasons. The first is because of the sausage. You can use any kind of sausage you like, and by changing the sausage, you completely change the quiche. While standard breakfast sausage is awesome, you could easily use Italian sausage for a fun twist, or Polish sausage for yet another flavor. Let your sausage guide you. The second thing I like about this quiche is the evaporated milk instead of cream. You can use a reduced fat evaporated milk to lower the fat content while maintaining the richness evaporated milk contributes. This one also freezes well, but you do need to watch the bake time- I've had this one take longer, I suspect because of the moisture content of the peppers.

Cheese and Sausage Quiche
1 lb ground sausage
1 sliced onion
1/3 cup green peppers -- chopped (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon flour
2 beaten eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 unbaked pie shell

Brown the sausage and remove to a mixing bowl. Remove most of the sausage drippings from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan.
Place sliced onion in drippings from sausage and cook until onions are translucent.
Mix browned sausage and cheese with green pepper. Add flour and mix until coated with flour.
Place in unbaked pie shell.
Place onions on top of of sausage mixture.
Combine eggs, evaporated milk, parsley, pepper, seasoning salt, and garlic powder. Mix well.
Carefully, pour egg/milk mixture evenly into the pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until quiche is set
Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

And finally, to me the best thing about quiche is that it is a fantastic make-ahead dish. It microwaves with little to no loss of integrity, so you can bake it up on the weekend when you have time, and serve yourself slices of quiche all week long for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Someone who may be into once a month cooking could assembly line several quiches in a row up to the point of baking and freeze them. It wouldn't take much to line up 3 or 4 pie shells and fill them up with ingredients. Impressive enough for company, cozy enough for a breakfast for two. Quiche, it's a great thing!


swirlingnotions said...

Thanks for the recipes Erika . . . I'm always looking for good quiche recipes. I agree, they're great to have in the freezer for impromptu guests.

Happy breakfast week!

Erika W. said...

Hope you like them Lia! We don't eat much quiche since the kids aren't big on eggs. One day that will change though.