Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Make-Ahead Mini Crustless Quiche

I'm not really sure how highly successful people do it.  I feel like I am not that accomplished and yet I am struggling to keep my head above water in just trying to maintain the daily stuff.  Throw in the chaos of this Christmas season (didn't I say I was going to slow down and be more intentional?), some serious technology setbacks for me, some personal challenges and the fact that I (unlike Martha) just can't make it on four hours of sleep and it's leaving me feeling like one hot mess.

I suppose these are the times when we take solace in the minor victories.  For example, I've actually had some foresight enough to do a lot of preparations for a Christmas brunch we're hosting ahead of time.  I would definitely consider these mini crustless quiches a victory.  They can be made early and then batches can be frozen to pull out at a moment's notice.  Sort of like having your very own box of Nancy's (I believe that's the lady famous for her mini quiches) at the ready, except even better because you can customize your very own little quiches (No, offense, Nancy).

These will be making an appearance at Christmas brunch later this week, but I do believe they will not be reserved for special occasions alone.  I can't wait to try some more combinations.

Mini Crustless Quiches

makes 48 pieces; adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
Quiche Batter:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup half and half
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan (or other hard cheese)

Asparagus and Bell Pepper Filling:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup red, yellow or orange bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
(feel free to substitute other vegetables or meat--cooked chopped broccoli, diced tomatoes, chopped mushrooms, diced onion, fresh chopped spinach, finely diced ham or crumbled sausage or bacon...)

Heat oven to 450°F.
Prepare Batter: Put the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisking steadily, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the milk, mixing until quite smooth. Whisk in the whole eggs and egg yolks, mixing again until smooth, then gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, the cream, salt, and nutmeg. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to one day. If using the next day, be sure to re-whisk.
Prepare Filling Mixture: In a nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add asparagus and bell peppers (or other vegetables of your choosing) and stir until just softened, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in garlic and stir just until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Oil mini muffin tins well. Put a pinch grated cheese into each muffin cup and 1-2 teaspoons of filling mixture. Pour 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup.
Bake until the quiches puff and start to turn golden, 15-18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then carefully run a paring knife around the rim of each muffin cup. Carefully lift each quiche out of its cup.
Mini quiches freeze very well. Let cool, then freeze in a single layer in a covered container. Reheat on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes.


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  3. I can't wait you to try some more combinations. Let us know if you have new surprising ideas for baking mini crustless quiches.