Three Quiches

Mexican Quiche

I’ll start with my variation on the theme. I learned to make quiche from a college roommate many moons ago. I’ve since morphed the classic quiche Lorraine recipe into my own adaptation, using the flavors of the southwest that I like so much.
The crust. If you want a quick quiche, and you’re not experienced at making pies, then just go buy a pie crust. However, I think a special touch for the Mexican quiche is to make a masa harina crust. Masa harina (a corn flour used to make tortillas, tamales, etc.) isn’t as workable as white flour, so you would need to either use more shortening than normal, or just deal with it falling apart on you. I prefer the latter, as I try to minimize the trans fats you get from Crisco. For regular quiches, I prefer homemade pie crusts anyway. They’re just better, and in my book, worth the work.
  • pie crust
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar / monterrey jack cheese (I use about half and half)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatillos (about 4 or 5? I always buy too many)
  • (optional) 1/4 cup chopped chayote
  • (not optional) 1 tablespoon comino
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 to 1 chopped jalapeno, habanero, or the like to the level of spiciness you can handle
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a few turns of freshly grated black pepper
If you’re not familiar with chayote, that’s a really cool Mexican squash. I first had that a couple of years ago when I added it to a Mexican style cornbread dressing for Christmas dinner. It’s nothing like any other squash I’ve ever had. It’s green and firm, and sweeter than zucchini. When you chop it up, it’s as slimy as okra, but the slime comes out while chopping – not cooking, so you don’t end up with the mucous factor you get when cooking okra. For the record, I don’t like okra. So check it out if you can. I can find it just about everywhere in Houston.
The tomatillos are the key ingredient to this dish – I don’t know how common they are in other parts of the country, but again, I can always find those in my neighborhood grocery store in Houston. Tomatillos add a lot of sweetness, but they also add a lot of liquid. I’ve found that if I don’t really push the baking time to maximum browning on the top, it’s a bit too wet.
So, let’s get started. Heat the oven to 425, put all of the ingredients other than the eggs / cream in the quiche pan. I beat up the eggs and add the whole cream in big 1 quart measuring cup, so it’s consistent. They key is you may not use all of this mixture, so you want to get the ratio right. The proper ratio is supposed to be 4 eggs to 2 cups cream, but I typically use about 3/4 of that (1.5 cups cream) due to my use of additional ingredients. Due to the additional liqui the tomatillos, I cut back the cream a bit. Also, a lot of folks say, “holy moly, whole cream?” Yes, I’ve done half and half – or used some cream and some lowfat milk. Again, the more liquid you go, the more you need to fill in the gaps with cheese, veggies, or eggs.
Pour the egg/cream mixture into the quiche pan until it’s brimming at the top and commence baking. A dust of some of the chili powder on the top gives it a nice look.
Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 300. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until you can insert a knife in the middle and it comes out clean.
Quiche Lorraine
This is the original. Use the above ingredients, except substitute swiss cheese for jack/cheddar, drop the tomatillo, chayote, jalapenos, and comino. Use a sprinkle of red pepper flakes instead. Add 8-12 slices of cooked crispy bacon.
Quiche Florentine
Like Lorraine, but drop the bacon and add fresh spinach. I still remember the time I made this when I was a young single guy living in Arkansas. I made a batch of quiche in the little foil pans you get when you buy frozen chicken pot pies, so I could take them to work for lunch. One of my co-workers was asking me what was in there while we were eating in the lunch room, and when I got to the spinach, she said in the best Arkansas accent, “you just ruraned (ruined) it.” I don’t think I’ve made it since.
Quiche [insert your idea here]
I think you get the picture – this is a versatile dish – like an omelette – add your favorites, and stick to the cream/egg/cheese ratios, and you’ll have yourself a new creation you can call your own.

One Response to “Three Quiches”

  1. Paresh V. Devalekar.. Simple and lazy says:

    Yum! I think I may enjoyed this one.

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