August 17, 2011
Like most cities across the country, Atlanta is hot in August. It’s summertime, folks, and that means scorching days, which in my house translates as, I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen stirring a pot of something over an open flame for hours (actually that wouldn’t happen, no matter the season).
Besides a ton of grilling that occurs at our house this time of year, my favorite go-to meal that requires very little effort is quiche. Growing up I couldn’t grasp what quiche meant, as it always held a double entendre. My father, when my twin sister and I would play with our Barbie dolls, would tell us that Ken was a quiche eater. We’d laugh and insist that he wasn’t, not knowing at the time he was implying that Ken most likely didn’t want to date Barbie, but, perhaps a fellow named Bart would’ve been more his type. I assure you, my father was not as closed-minded as this statement would seem, but instead of making me ask what was wrong with Ken, it begged the question, what was wrong with quiche?
Quiche has become one of my weeknight staples of late. The French do many things right with this dish—it’s versatile with the time of day it’s served, as well as, what happens to fill within the bounds of the pastry crust—it’s limitless (and an excellent vegetable and cheese bin cleanout).
I’m the sort of person who even when it’s 95° outside, will sit in front of the television wearing wool socks and a sweatshirt under a blanket, so I don’t mind the slow and low time it takes to bake one of these gems, as most recipes do take a bit of oven time to cook. I just check every 15 minutes or so, let cool the rest of the day, and serve at room temperature that night.
When I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I’ll make my own crust. If not, I buy a pre-made one at the farmers market that is just as good. Epicurious has several recipes with fantastic combinations (mushroom and Fontina or ham, leek, and three cheese) if you need suggestions. Mine is pretty basic—just four or five eggs, a bit of milk (yes, I know, I use skim instead of cream, which is very un-French) and whatever is in the meat, vegetable, or cheese drawer, all baked around 325° for about 45 minutes. The one I made this past week used rosemary, parsley, and a tomato from our garden with spinach, and goat cheese. Add simple greens and a glass of wine and it’s a meal filling enough for both Barbie and Ken—respective partners included.
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