Cooking With What You Got: Refrigerator Quiche

What you got…and what you don’t

By Beckie Borman

bec closeup twoMost nights my dinner consists of a bit of protein in the form of grilled meat or fish, and either veggies or a salad.  Besides the fact that it’s good for me (I think), it’s also a simple meal to prepare.  Occasionally, however, I don’t feel like eating the same old meal, so I begin to scrounge through my refrigerator to see “what I got” that I can use for dinner.  Many times, I land on the idea of a quiche.  Interestingly, at least to me, I don’t know that I ever made a quiche until a couple of years ago.  For some reason, I decided to make one for myself, and the rest is history!  One of the things I like about quiche is that there are as many variations as there are leftovers in my frig.

So, the other evening I was searching for a meal idea and noticed that I had one ready-made pie crust that needed to be used or discarded.  “Quiche!”  I thought.   I always have eggs and milk on hand.  That night, I had a carton of heavy cream with an upcoming expiration date.  I usually keep a small sliced ham for breakfasts and for flavoring soups or vegetables.  The recipe I use calls for Swiss cheese, which I didn’t have, but I had a little bit of shredded parmesan, as well as a small piece of a random cheese left over from…something.  I tasted it and determined that it would work well with the parm. I like mushrooms in quiche, but I didn’t have any.  However, I had a few spears of cooked asparagus from a previous dinner, so that would do as well.  Yes, I had all the makings of a yummy and easy dinner.

I pulled out all the ingredients, measured them up, and went to the back room to get a pie plate.  Hmmm…not where I expected it to be.  After a bit of searching I realized that both my pie plates were at my son Erik’s house, where we had recently celebrated a holiday feast.  Fortunately, it’s only a 15-minute round trip to his house, so I was able to buzz over and retrieve my plates.

Although quiche is a quick dish to throw together, it does have a long baking time.  But for me it’s always worth the wait.  I can enjoy a big slice for dinner and have plenty left over for future breakfasts and lunches.  Because another great thing about quiche is that you really can eat it any any time of the day.

My advice, however, is that before you assemble your ingredients, make sure you have something to bake them in!

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Here is Beckie’s Basic Quiche Recipe….

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Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful

It was so cold at 6 o’clock this morning that, despite the fact that I was covered by two comforters and an afghan, my nose was cold. But I was wide awake and decided to face the day.

Yesterday morning I did a bit of Christmas shopping at the big nearby mall, and was surprised to find it very quiet. It was early, but still, I thought I would have to put up with a few inconveniences. Not so. I found what I was looking for and walked right up to a checkstand.

Afterwards, I drove to a nearby Vietnamese restaurant to meet my son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters for delicious pho. (I, by the way, am absolutely addicted to this delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. Can’t get enough of it.) Anyhoo, when I walked into the restaurant, I was wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt and no coat. The temperature was a balmy 58 degrees and sunny.

An hour later when I exited the restaurant, the temperature had dropped at least 20 degrees and it was cloudy and wintery-looking. Hmphfff.

The weather forecasters have been telling me for three days now that the temperatures, which have been so very pleasant, were going to drop Tuesday afternoon, and around rush hour time, it was going to begin to snow. And it will continue to snow throughout today. Furthermore, the temperatures in the next few days and through the weekend will be in single digits, and well below zero at night.

Somehow, I was hoping the forecasters had gotten it wrong. They often do, but not this time it appears. This cold, cold weather is supposed to wait until we have left for Arizona to arrive in Colorado. Didn’t Mother Nature get the memo?

By the way, the same cold front is hitting a large area, including the Phoenix metro area. My sister who lives in the Phoenix metro area informed me last night that she went for a walk to look at Christmas lights and saw someone wearing gloves, boots, and earmuffs. The temperature was 60. Seriously?

Anyway, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from lunch to get a few vegetables and treats to enjoy over the next few days. Though it was only 1:30 or so, there were quite a few shoppers who were doing the very same thing as I. And it was likely even crazier later in the afternoon after more people got off work. There is sort of an energy in the air at the grocery store when folks are expecting a snowstorm. An alertness. A sense of frenzy. Hard to describe, but definitely present in the shoppers. No one yanked the last carton of eggs out of my hands, however. At 1:30, folks were still civil.

I’m doing my best to continue my healthy eating this week. Last night I made a delicious frittata. Bill asked me how a frittata differs from a quiche, and I explained there isn’t a whole lot of difference, but the frittata is crustless, thereby making it lower in carbs and calories. The nice thing about a frittata is you can use whatever you have in your refrigerator. So again, not really a recipe.

I browned some Italian turkey sausage, and removed it from the pan when it was fully cooked. I used the same cast iron skillet to sauté some green onions and carrots that I got from the Whole Food salad bar (my favorite way to trick Bill into eating vegetables). I also included the other half of the green pepper that didn’t go into my chili the night before. Once the vegetables were soft, I added the meat back to the pan, threw in some baby spinach, and tossed some grated cheddar cheese over it all. I whisked up six eggs seasoned with salt and pepper and poured them over the whole concoction. I let it cook for just a minute until the edges had sort of set up. I placed the skillet into a preheated 400 degree oven and let it cook for about 10 minutes, until completely set.

Nana’s Notes: You can make a frittata completely on the stovetop, but I like to finish mine off in the oven. Make sure your skillet is ovenproof. You can really use whatever vegetables and/or meat you have in the fridge. Bacon is good, as is cooked broccoli or asparagus. The options are endless.