Text, recipe and photo by Chef Joey
It’s New England – don’t like the weather? Wait 5 minutes! Look at March already: motorcycles were out, convertible tops down, people gamboling in their backyards in shorts … . Then we got walloped with snow, just when the tips of the daffodils and tulips were cracking the thawed earth.
We get used to it, and while we are confined to our quarters, a nice soup, simple quiche or casserole is a great way to make your home smell wonderful and economically feed your family.
Quiches – an easy and economical dinner/lunch paired with a healthy salad that comes together in under an hour. It is asparagus season shortly, and a fresh asparagus quiche is a great way to welcome spring!
I like to use a sheet of puff pastry for the crust – you can use a regular pie crust and skip the precook part. However, it helps keep the crust drier and less soggy.
Take the puff pastry (thaw it first, if frozen), dust your pie plate and roll out the dough. Place in the pie pan that has been dusted with flour and trim. Use a fork and prick several holes in the dough.
Cover the crust center with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with a bag of baking beans (dried beans that you use over and over – about 80 cents a bag) in a preheated 325 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Remove it from the oven. Take out the beans and seal them in an air-tight jar and remove the parchment. You now have a quiche ready crust.
Another way to make smaller quiches is the same step, except you use a cup cake container with 6 or 8 crusts, depending on the size. Perfect for a family or luncheon or a weeks’ worth of quiches and you can make each one different.
½ pound of asparagus trimmed (basically snap off the bottom white section)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
½ cup cream
2/3 cup milk
Salt and pepper
All-purpose flour for dusting
Cook the asparagus in salted boiling water for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain the water, then cut into bite-sized pieces, leaving the tip whole.
Turn your oven up to 400 degrees, place the asparagus evenly inside the pie crust. Top with the cheese.
In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk and cream. Season with salt and pepper and pour carefully into the pie crust. Some people like to add a pinch of nutmeg for additional flavor.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.
You can make any kind of quiched by placing whatever you want onto the precooked crust: smoked salmon, mushrooms, broccoli – whatever!!