A Quiche Full of Leftovers
I had a plan to make a savory galette from a rolled-out pie crust for dinner last night, but the supermarket only had pie crusts in a pie tin. So, the random leftovers from the fridge - leftover pulled pork from take-out barbecue over the weekend, mushrooms from my Fresh Harvest box, uneaten peppers from yesterday's Lettuce Sauce platter, shredded cheese, and a few other veggie bits - got stuffed into a quiche instead. It just goes to show how a few versatile dishes - like all our Hero Recipes - can be switched around to accommodate whatever food you have around. All I needed to switch from a galette to a quiche was some eggs and milk for the quiche custard. Put it all together, pop it in the oven, and you've got a dinner full of veggies and protein and just a touch of delicious buttery pie crust.
A note on the quiche base:
As with most of our recipes, there's some flexibility here - the eggs to dairy ratio can vary depending on how eggy you want the quiche, or whether you're limited by one ingredient or the other. I typically go for about 3 eggs per cup of dairy, and you can use whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream or any combination of the three. I wouldn't go skim milk - the goal here is to make a rich custard. But you can use anywhere from 2 to 4 eggs per cup - the Kitchn swears by 2 while this Bon Appetit recipe says 4, so just go with what you've got. The Kitchn also insists you should blind bake your crust - I ignored them, because I was hungry, and I'm lazy, and who owns pie weights anyway? [If you do, please comment and let me know, I am genuinely curious whether anyone actually does]. And I still got a reasonably flaky, non-soggy, totally delicious quiche base. However, if you feel strongly about that sort of thing, blind bake away!
A note on the fillings:
Here's where you are only limited by your imagination and the contents of your kitchen. I'll throw any cheese, any leftover cooked vegetable, and pretty much any meat into a quiche. Cooked fish, like leftover salmon, would taste good too. Just raid your fridge and pop any cooked leftovers in. For raw items, use the following list for some options on how to prepare each ingredient before adding it to the quiche:
- Alliums: saute in olive oil or another fat until tender (or until caramelized, for even more flavor)
- Root Veggies: boil or roast until tender
- Lighter Leaves & Fresh Leafy Herbs: saute until just wilted - if you're sauteing another veggie, add the lighter leaves just at the end.
- Heartier Greens: saute until wilted
- Veggies That Are Actually Fruits: depending on the item, you could use them raw or roasted. Tomatoes would be good either way, eggplant you'd want cooked.
- Stalks, Stems, and Flowers: lightly saute or use raw. The above quiche had raw broccoli, and raw asparagus would be good too.
- Legumes: cooked or canned
- Other Veggies: saute mushrooms until tender, corn could be fresh or cooked
- Meats: cooked using your method of choice, such as a light saute. Cured meats like salami or proscuitto can be put straight into the quiche.
The basic idea is to have your fillings cooked and relatively dry, so your quiche doesn't get all watery. A good rule of thumb: if your vegetables are tender, lightly coated with olive oil and a bit of salt, and tasty enough that you'd eat them straight, then they will be delicious in your quiche. If you find you have so many ingredients that they overflow one pie tin, set them aside for another Hero Recipe or make two quiches!
The Rough Recipe
Feeds 2 very hungry people or 4 with sides, but saves remarkably well to be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner the next day, or the next.
You'll need the following:
For the quiche:
- 1 frozen pie crust in a pie tin, thawed for a little while at room temp
- 4 eggs or so (see Note above)
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk or cream, roughly (see Note above)
- Kosher salt
For the fillings:
- 1 or 2 cups cooked fillings, cut into bite-sized pieces
- If your fillings are raw: a large skillet, plus olive oil or butter and kosher salt, or whatever else you need to execute your cooking method of choice.
- 1 cup of cheese, more or less, crumbled or shredded. Want more cheese? Go for it. More than 2 cups may have trouble fitting in the quiche, but I applaud you for trying.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Blind bake your crust, if you've decided to do so, by following The Kitchn's instructions.
If you need to cook your fillings, heat your fat of choice in a large skillet, enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Make sure your ingredients are cut into bite-sized pieces, then saute them until tender and lightly salt. Let them cool slightly, then add to the pie tin and spread across the bottom.
Whisk the eggs, milk and cheese together and add a pinch of kosher salt. Feel free to toss in a pinch of spices like pepper or nutmeg or cayenne. Pour the mixture over your quiche fillings until it just reaches the bottom of the crust. You can also save some cheese and sprinkle it over the top at this point.
Bake until the quiche puffs up and the center is just the tiniest bit wiggly, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool a bit before slicing into wedges and crushing.