Cleaning Out the Fridge Quiche

The refrigerator is a wonderful invention. It allows us to keep a supply of fresh food at the ready. It provides a safe haven for the treasures we find at the store, keeping them safe until we are ready to turn them into something wonderful. I confess that sometimes I buy a little more than I can chew and open the refrigerator to find an array of food that has begun to lose its luster.

What’s Mama D to do? I don’t have the heart or the budget to throw it all away, and it is still quite usable. The time has come to combine things into a delicious meal and quiche is a perfect solution. Flaky pie crust and creamy custard are the blank canvas that will hold the vegetables and meats that the fridge has to offer.

This adventure included some crimini mushrooms and asparagus along with some thyme and onion. They were a bit past their prime, but perfect for this quiche.

DIGITAL CAMERAMy protein of choice was peppered bacon.  I found three lonely slices that I chopped up and browned on the stove.

The veggies were chopped and cooked in the same pan (minus the drippings, but with the yummy brown bits) to give them a little extra love before they jumped into my “not home-made” crust. Yes, the crust came out of the fridge, too. Would homemade pastry make this dish better? Maybe, but I had a box of the pre-made variety and it needed to be used,too.

Whatever pastry crust you use always “blind bake” it before you add the fillings. Once the dough has been fit into your vessel of choice, line it with some parchment paper and fill it with dried beans. Bake it in the oven until it is nice and golden. A clear glass pan allows you to check the bottom as well. Remove the beans and paper and add your fillings. No soggy bottom crust here.I topped the sautéed goodies with some grated Swiss cheese. Any cheese will work here. Use what you love or what you have on hand. Only use about a cup. The custard is rich enough and you want the veggies to be the star here.

DIGITAL CAMERAEggs, cream, and milk create a luscious custard that only requires a little salt and coarse ground pepper. I’m not a fan of nutmeg, a traditional ingredient here, but add some if it floats your boat. In fact you can add any herb, spice, etc. It’s your quiche after all.

When you are ready to add the custard to the quiche, put it on a rimmed baking sheet. This too, is a required step. The pie will be very full and eggs being eggs, it will grow before it sets. A baking sheet is much easier to clean than an oven. I speak from experience.

DIGITAL CAMERAThe quiche needs to bake for 30 – 40 minutes then it needs to set for at least 20 minutes more. Add the blind baking step and you are approaching the 2 hour mark on prep time. If you like a late supper (and this is the perfect dish for that) make it part of your weeknight wonderland. I think it’s a delightful Sunday night supper that puts a delicious topper on the weekend.

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Cleaning Out the Fridge Quiche
Print Recipe
This is my version of quiche. Feel free to use whatever fillings you want.
Servings
6
Servings
6
Cleaning Out the Fridge Quiche
Print Recipe
This is my version of quiche. Feel free to use whatever fillings you want.
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
Blind Bake the Crust
  1. Fit the pie crust into a pie or quiche pan. Use a fork to poke small holes all over the crust. Place a sheet of parchment paper into the crust (crumple it a bit to allow it to fit better). Pour dried beans onto the parchment paper. A pound of dried beans will fill a 9 inch pie plate nicely.
  1. Bake the crust in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 - 30 minutes. The crust should be light golden all over. Do not rush this step; the non-sogginess of the crust depends on it. Remove the crust from the oven. Carefully remove the parchment paper and beans (these will become your official "blind baking" beans). Set the crust aside.
Filling
  1. Chop the bacon into thin pieces and cook in a medium fry pan over medium high heat. The bacon should be crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Remove the drippings from the pan but leave the brown bits of deliciousness.
  2. Add the onions to the fry pan and cook for 4 minutes or so until they begin to soften.
  3. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook another 5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the asparagus and cook for a few more minutes until the asparagus is tender crisp.
  4. Add the reserved bacon bits back to the pan along with the thyme leaves and cook for 2 - 3 minutes more.
  5. Pour the vegetable/bacon filling into the pie crust. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
  6. Beat the eggs until the are very thick. Add the cream and milk and beat with a whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add salt and pepper and any other spices or herbs you like.
  7. Place the filled pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully pour the custard into the crust stopping when it is filled to the top. You may have a little custard left, but not much.
  8. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 - 40 minutes. The filling should be puffed and golden and a knife should come out clean when poked in the center.
  9. Remove the quiche from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
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This is far from the traditional preparation for a quiche. It doesn’t however, make it any less delicious. This is a versatile recipe that can be adapted any number of ways. Have some fun with it and come up with your own fridge cleaning masterpiece.

 

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