If you’re stumped for what to cook for dinner, might I suggest the lowly quiche? It’s easy, you can make it ahead of time, it’s great left over, and if you add enough veggies you can sort of forget about the hidden doses of milk and cheese.
I had always dismissed quiches as kind of stodgy, but in the past few weeks I’ve been on a quiche honeymoon. I’ve made four of them – four! February will do weird things to people.
It also dawned on me that quiches are a great food for company – especially when you need a vegetarian entree. Since you can make them ahead of time they are stress free. Served with a nice salad, some crusty bread, or another side dish, people are so happy! And you’re happy because it was so easy and you weren’t stuck in the kitchen doing anything fussy while your friends were over.
So I put forth this delicious recipe for all of you. It’s from smitten kitchen circa 2006, based on Bon Appetit circa 1991, and it is nearly impossible to make it in a way that’s not delicious. You can put in onion…or not. You can use any kind of milk you want with any kind of fat percentage. You can make your own crust, or buy one. Deb calls for cheddar or gruyere, but I found that using feta instead makes it kind of like spanakopita, which is amazing.
Recipe adapted from smitten kitchen, based on an original recipe from Bon Appetit. She uses cheddar or gruyere instead of feta (but amount is the same).
- 10 ounce pack of frozen, chopped spinach
- 1/4 cup or less of thinly sliced shallots, leeks, or onions (optional)
- 3 ounces of cream cheese, room temp.
- 1/3 cup milk (whole, skim, or 2% is all fine…or cream if you just want to say f*ck it. I used 2%)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, either crumbled or cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup or less of shredded parmesan (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 1 pie crust, either store-bought or your own delicious pate brisee made from Martha’s classic recipe. I recommend making your own if you have any desire to do so. It’s really delicious and takes about 5 minutes (plus you can make extra and freeze it for later if you suddenly get obsessed with quiches in the middle of February).
1. Thaw and drain the frozen spinach. I run it under water in a colander until it has thawed, and then squeeze the excess water out with my hands. Let drain in the sink while you’re putting together the rest of the ingredients. Really work on getting a lot of the water out of the spinach — this will prevent your quiche from becoming soggy later on.
2. Quickly sautee the onion/leek/shallot in a small pan (optional, but yummy and worth the extra pan to wash).
3. In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, use a whisk or spoon to blend the cream cheese until smooth. In my apartment “room temp” is still freezing so you might need to warm up the cream cheese a little before it will mix well. Gradually add the milk and eggs and blend with a whisk so that you only have small lumps of cream cheese left (don’t worry about getting it lump-free).
4. Add the spinach, cheese, sautéed onions, salt and pepper to the bowl. Mix together and pour into your pie crust. (If you’re using feta, go easy on the salt because the cheese is already salty. I’d say use 1/4 t. or less)
As far as I can tell, it’s not necessary to par bake the pie crust. Just throw everything in and put it in the oven.
5. Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Look for the crust to be golden and the filling to be just set, like a custard. If the center still seems runny, give it a few more minutes, taking care not to let the crust burn. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature.