Good morning! After you read today's post, I'd love it if you stopped by Simple Homeschool for a visit!
I'm going to go ahead and get things rolling with a (hopefully) weekly thrifty kitchen post! There have been several requests for a quiche recipe, and many of you shared that quiche is how you like to clean out your fridge, which feels thrifty to you. I agree! Quiche is a great way to use up small amounts of random leftovers. Today I'll share an example of a quiche I made this week in my kitchen, based on what was on hand.
I don't feel this is the very best example of how leftovers can create a quiche, I seemed to have plenty of things on hand - like a full block of cheese, a big bunch of kale, etc. But I'll try to break it down in detail and share just how to pull those nearly forgotten items on the back shelf, and to also encourage the "almost anything goes" theory when it comes to making quiche.
I apologize in advance for the over-abundance of photos below. These Thrifty Kitchen posts will not always be like this, I promise. (I actually don't care for step by step photos in recipe posts... it's just too much.)
For the purpose of this tutorial though, it makes sense. I think of quiche as more of a formula, an organic process, than a set recipe. With that said, I will try to give you a recipe in the end for you to refer to if needed.
Okay. The players for last night's quiche:
- spoonful of flour (sometimes I skip this)
- splash of milk
- kale - always on hand
- broccoli - i had just a handful or so, it was pretty pale and almost forgotten in the fridge - oops!
- garlic - always garlic
- onion - I forgot to put it away the night before and it started to dry up - must use it!
- leftover sun-dried tomato and artichoke dip that I made for a dinner party over the weekend
- sea salt and black pepper
See, right there in the container with the blue lid - that's my star leftover. Maybe yours is veggie fried rice from the other night, or that last 1/2 cup of chili that everybody is tired of. Almost anything goes.
Begin by sauteing any uncooked veggies, starting with those that need the longest cooking time first.
Oh my, that pale and tired broccoli is so glad I'm putting it to use finally! When I throw the broccoli into the saute pan, I add a few tablespoons of water too for a little steam effect. Broccoli does not like to be simply sauteed.
Chop the kale tiny. Think of how you'd chop parsley to use as a garnish, same thing. Kids will eat so much in the vegetable department if you take an extra minute to chop everything nice and small.
Even though there is a big bunch of kale in the first photo, I only used three big leaves, which wound up being about a heaping cup of finely chopped kale.
There's my big punch of flavor. Sun-dried tomato, fresh basil, artichokes, feta cheese, garlic, pine nuts. These are not things I would normally round up for a thrifty recipe, but using what was leftover from a special occasion recipe (anything with pine nuts is a luxury these days) was the one item that made this quiche stand out in the end. There was about 1/2 cup of the dip.
Have you noticed yet that I'm not calling for a crust? Every once in a while I make a crust for quiche, but about a year ago I stopped doing that as a general rule. It's just easier and makes quiche a very easy last minute meal when I take crust making out of the equation. It's not like any of us are suffering from lack of starchy bread type things, you know?
After the veggies are lightly cooked, and I mixed in the leftover dip, all is placed into a buttered/oiled pie plate. Feel free to use an 8x8 square pan if you'd like.
A little sprinkle of cheddar sounds good. Extra sharp for us. Shredded and tossed right on top of the veggies. About 1/2 cup. Sometimes I'll add a little more, but there is feta in the dip.
Make the custard separately. I make a pretty standard mix of 5-6 eggs, a tablespoon or so of flour, about 1/3 cup of milk (or cream if I'm trying to use up some that was brought into the house for another recipe), sea salt and pepper.
Whisk everything up really well and pour into the pie plate. I should mention that I always taste a drop of the custard to check the seasoning before I pour it in. I know that sounds gross (and worrisome) to some, tasting raw egg, but I'm still standing just fine.
My very favorite tool in the kitchen (well, tied with my chef's knife and tongs). I just gently press all of the filling mixture down a bit so the custard seeps into every corner and covers everything. Next, pop it into the oven.
Less than an hour later, we were ready to dine. Well, I was going to roast some asparagus, but Adam came home early and was hungry...
... so we just sliced up some apples and pears and declared dinner complete. Now I'll try to organize all of this into a recipe for you...
A Formula for Quiche (with no crust)
- 3 - 4 cups filling - this could be any combination of sauteed veggies, garlic, leftovers, diced chicken, bacon, salmon, fresh herbs, beans, cooked grain...
- 1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk or cream
- 1-2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
After preparing your 4 cups of filling ingredients, place all of that into a large, greased pie plate. Sprinkle cheese over the filling. Next, whisk together eggs, milk/cream, flour, salt and pepper and pour over filling. Press down with the back of a spoon so all is covered with the egg mixture. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes. The time will vary from oven to oven, check it at 35 minutes. It should no longer move in the center when it is done. Let it rest for 10 inutes or so. Enjoy!
One more tip: Remember last week I mentioned making our own Herbed Cheese Spread? I wanted to share with you one more thing to do with something like that. I made a chicken stew last week and whisked 1-2 tablespoons of the herbed cheese in a small bowl with some liquid from the stew, then added it all back into the pot. Huge flavor booster!
Can you share how you've been stretching your creativity (and a dollar!) in your kitchen this week?