Sometimes, when I reminisce about the ‘70s, I do so with horror.
Did I really have a pair of purple velvet pants with a fringed leather belt? (I did.) How could I have put a Kelly green shag carpet in my living room and plastic flowers on my coffee table? (Forever unanswerable.)
But some of my favorite recipes of the decade were good ones: steak Diane, coquilles St. Jacques, creamed eggs over toast (really) and Hawaiian lamb chops. It was a time that I learned how to make shish kabob and use a little charcoal hibachi grill on our apartment patio. I wanted to try every recipe I found and once spent an entire afternoon making a Black Forest cake for my husband’s birthday.
I was thinking recently about all the quiches I used to make and why I don’t make them anymore. They are perfect for summer and a great way to take advantage of summer’s vegetable bounty. Quiches can be served as appetizers, as lunch for company (try pairing it with chilled gazpacho soup), or as a light dinner.
The recipe that follows is for the French classic, quiche Lorraine. I made this a lot once upon a time but also enjoy the many variations that are possible.
- Pastry for a 9-inch, one-crust pie (I usually make my own but a store-bought pie shell is perfectly fine.)
- ½ pound bacon (regular or turkey bacon), fried and crumbled
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream or light cream
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Heat oven to 425.
- Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion in the pastry-lined pan.
- Beat the eggs with a wire whisk while adding the remaining ingredients.
- Pour egg mixture into the pie pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 and bake 30 minutes longer until a knife or skewer inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.
- Let stand 10 minutes before cutting if using right away. Or chill until time to serve. Bring the quiche to room temperature an hour before serving.
You can experiment using chopped vegetables or seafood for the filling:
- Chopped asparagus and sliced mushrooms are fantastic (sauté in a little butter or oil first to soften).
- Chopped and peeled eggplant cut into cubes along with chopped fresh tomato and basil will bring you a taste of Tuscany.
- Broccoli and cauliflower florets, briefly blanched (this goes great with sharp cheddar).
- Sautéed, sliced bell peppers with minced garlic (use green, red and yellow for color).
- Chopped smoked salmon and fresh dill.
- Lump crabmeat, chopped onion and a little Worcestershire sauce results in a very elegant quiche.
And so many cheeses work well. Try grated cheddar, gruyere, havarti, gouda or pepper cheese. Just put the cheese along with any sautéed vegetables you choose instead of bacon and onion into the pie shell. The custard mixture stays the same. About two cups of filling usually will work.
Give your grill a rest this August and enjoy this walk down culinary memory lane. But let’s leave the fondue pot in storage for a while.