Being an old-school Catholic, I do not eat meat on Fridays. It’s a tradition, and like Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof, “Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as a fiddler on the roof!” He also proclaims “As the good book says, if you spit in the air, it lands in your face,” which is also quite sound advice.
Whether vegetarian, vegan, Catholic or just budget-conscious, people seem to be all about the meatless lately. There are even semi-radical films such as Foodmatters that condemn eating meat, citing it as the cause of many illnesses. Whatever the reason, I think it’s a good idea to have a solid repertoire of meat-free dishes. They are usually super quick to put together, making them ideal for those busy weeknights or lazy afternoons.
I don’t seem to be very good at keeping up with regular posts, but this is one I think I could handle. Every Friday/Saturday morning, I will be posting a meatless meal. It will usually be whatever I ate for dinner that night, but as I have certain dishes on regular rotation, I may stray from that once in a while.
Tonight, I made quiche. Simple and filling, quiche is sort of magical. Appropriate for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Check. On the table in less than an hour? Check. Can be served hot, room-temp, or cold? Check. No need for a recipe? Check. Able to accommodate those awkwardly small containers of leftovers in the fridge? Check. Definitely made of magic? Double check.
I don’t think I have ever made the same quiche twice. Its ability to adapt and conform to any circumstance makes the choices nearly infinite. My favorite quiches (is that a word, or is it like fish, which can’t be pluralized?) involve bacon, but even that leaves tons of wiggle room. Tonight’s incarnation was born from necessity. I had a bag of mushrooms about to go, a pepper nearing its wrinkly end, and a marathon pie crust session this afternoon (I like to make a bunch of crusts at once and freeze them.) After all was said and done, I even had enough of the veggie mix leftover for pizza tomorrow night.
Quiche follows a very simple formula: 1/3c liquid for every egg. For an 8-inch pie crust, use 1c liquid and 3 eggs. For a 9-inch crust, 1 1/3c liquid, 4 eggs. The liquid could be milk, half and half, cream, or a mixture of the three. Add salt and pepper to taste and you are golden. The possibilities for additions are endless: ground beef and tomatoes, bacon and onions, tomato, basil, and mozzarella. Just make sure not to overcook it, and you’ve got creamy, velvety goodness every time. See, I told you. Magic.
Mushroom, Pepper and Onion Quiche
1 9″ pie crust (I use Martha Stewart’s pate brisee)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
Approx. 1lb white mushrooms, or 4-5 cups, halved then sliced into 1/4″ pieces
2 tbl butter
2 tbl oil
1 1/3 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake crust for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the filling. Turn oven up to 400 degrees.
Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until lightly golden brown. Season with a little salt, remove from pan and set aside.
In same skillet, add remaining tablespoon oil and set over medium-high heat. Add pepper and onion, season with salt, and cook until onion is translucent and the pepper is just beginning to brown. Remove and add to mushrooms.
Whisk together the eggs and milk, season with salt and pepper to taste. I used about 1 teaspoon kosher salt and about 8-9 turns of the pepper grinder.
Spread half of the vegetable mixture onto the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the egg mixture on top. You may have a little egg mixture left over, and that’s okay.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 degrees and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. You want to bake the quiche just until the center no longer wiggles.
Let the quiche cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.