While driving home from the orthodontist yesterday I made the colossal mistake of asking my children what they wanted to have for dinner. If you want to cause controversy of any kind amongst the Dam’Kids, just poll all three at the same time over their opinions on ANYTHING – it’s practically like sending trouble an engraved invitation. Take yesterday’s dinner choice, for example. The moment I posed the question, all three clowns chimed in with their different answers – RIBS! STEAKS! CHEESEBURGERS! TACOS! JIMMY JOHNS! CENTENNIAL!
No, I said. We’re not carrying in, OR going out. And if you can’t all agree on anything, then I’LL make the call and you’ll really be sorry, because left to my own devises, I’ve been known to choose tuna noodle casserole, which everyone in my house (except me) despises, the hub’ included.
From the backseat, my youngest yelled out, “QUICHE!”
“DONE!” I said. And would you believe it? Those other two punks didn’t even complain. Which means, in a sense, they AGREED!
So there it was. QUICHE. Economical, easy, and most of all delicious, quiche is one of my favorite meals to make for either dinner or brunch. The kids like it pretty straightforward, so I make one with diced ham, potatoes, and shredded cheese. For the hub’ and myself, I make a simple bacon and leek filling. Both preparations are terrific, and when you see how many of the ingredients are on sale this week, you’ll be sold too!
I paired the quiches with a fresh fruit platter of sliced watermelon, cantaloupe (AMAZING), and red grapes. Sometimes I make homefries too, but I skipped them this time because of the potatoes in the quiche.
If you have the luxury of time, quiches are easily made earlier in the day. It re-heats quite well and is perfect for those dinners when your family members are eating in shifts…and leftovers are great for breakfast!
QUICHE TWO WAYS
Serves: 4-6 with leftovers
SOURCE: loosely adapted from foodandwine.com
- 1 package pie crusts (I like the Pillsbury ones in the red box)
- Pie weights or dried beans (don’t skip these or you will be sorry.)
- 2 large red skinned potatoes (on sale this week, 8/26/09 to 9/1/09), small dice
- ½ lb. bacon (I used the sale Boar’s Head), 1/2 “ dice
- 1 package of ham steaks (sale Sendiks brand)
- 2 small leeks, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
- ½ lb. white cheddar cheese (I used a block of the Sale White Cheddar and grated it myself)
- 8 eggs (Sparboe brand, on sale)
- 2 ½ c. half and half (or cream, if you really want to gild the lily)
Preheat the oven to 425. Place the pie crusts in two 9” pie plates, crimping decoratively if desired. Line each crust with a piece of tin foil; fill the foil with the pie weights or the dried beans, scootching the weights or beans up the sides of the crust to avoid the dreaded ‘shrinkage’. Place the crusts in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375.
Meanwhile, place the diced potatoes in a glass baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, and cover dish with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 4 – 5 minutes, or until cooked through but not falling apart. I stopped to stir them around a bit, mine needed a full 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium high heat until browned and crispy. Remove the bacon and transfer to a bowl. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Sauté the leeks in the bacon fat; seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, until leeks are softened but not browned, about four minutes. Transfer the leeks to the bowl with the bacon, and toss to combine.
In large Pyrex measuring cup, beat the eggs and the half and half together. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the potatoes equally between the two pie crusts. For the Ham and Cheese Quiche, top the potatoes with the diced ham and then half of the shredded cheddar. For the Bacon and Leek Quiche, top the potatoes with the bacon/leek mixture, and then the other half of the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over each quiche, dividing equally. Place quiches to the oven; bake for 30 minutes. Transfer quiches to a rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.
Posted by Leah DamronLeah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."
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