Sunday, February 12, 2012

Clean Out the Refrigerator Quiche

Sunday is the day I hit our local market for produce.  I stock up on what I think we need for the week--salad stuff, things to juice, smoothie ingredients, and sweet potatoes for snacks for our semi-diabetic dog.  Then, I come home and clean out the garage refrigerator, tossing out leftovers we didn't get to (usually not many of those) and any veggies that are starting to show their age.

But before they hit the compost pile, I set aside any that might not be perfect, but are still perfectly edible for what I like to call "Clean Out the Refrigerator Quiche."  With the refrigerated pie crusts and eggs we always have on hand, we have a simple Sunday supper...or breakfast to last the week.

If you've never done it, quiche is simple to make.  You blind bake your crust then add the egg filling and bake for 35-40 minutes until set.  If you need a primer on the basic technique, here's a recipe for the classic Quiche Lorraine.

Now take that idea and get creative with what you have on hand.  For example, last weekend, I made a delicious one with leftover bacon bits, a little Mexican-style cheese, an overripe tomato that I diced up and the tops of several green onions chopped.  I always think cheese and veggies and add some meat or seafood as a bonus if it's around.  Here are some other ingredients you might try in a combo that sounds good to you.
  • Seafood: Do you have a can of crab on hand?  A few shrimp leftover from a shrimp cocktail that you could dice up?
  • Cheese: About anything works here...grated Cheddar or Mozzarella or Swiss.  Goat cheese.  Parmesan.  I've even seen recipes with Brie or blue cheese.
  • Veggies: Here's where the sky's the limit. If you'd like, you can saute them up first.  More often than not, I just throw them in after I've sliced or diced them.  Mushrooms, red pepper, onion, scallions, tomatoes (halved cherry tomatoes are good), asparagus (steam that first), canned artichoke hearts, spinach, you get the idea.
  • Herbs: Throw a couple tablespoonsful of chopped fresh herbs if you've got them: parsley, dill, even cilantro if you're a fan.  (A pinch of dried thyme or oregano works also.)
  • Spice it up: I commonly include a pinch of crushed red pepper, but you could also add a bit of fresh jalapeno or a chipotle in adobo sauce if you'd really like a morning pick-me-up.
Try it out yourself.  And if you create a combination that is can't miss, share it in the comments below or add a link.

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