QUICHE LORRAINE

 

2 9-inch deep dish piecrusts

3/ 4 cup Durkee French Fried onions

1 lb. package bacon, cooked crispy

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half and half

9 eggs

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1 tablespoon margarine, softened

 

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  1. Oven 425 degrees
  2. Cook bacon until crispy. Drain well on dish lined with paper towels. When bacon is completely cooled, cut into small pieces. Place bacon pieces in a bowl.
  3. Pierce piecrusts with a fork sporadically around sides and bottom of crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
  4. Spread softened margarine in the bottom and sides of the cooled piecrusts with a pastry brush.
  5. In the bacon bowl, add the French fried onions and 1 cup of Swiss cheese. Toss and mix together. Split the mixture between the two piecrusts evenly.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with half and half and 1/ 2 cup of the heavy cream. Pour egg mixture over bacon/onion/Swiss cheese mixture in piecrusts. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of Swiss cheese over the top of each quiche.
  7. Pour the other 1/ 2 cup of heavy cream over the cheese on both quiches.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 325 degrees and continue cooking for 35-45 minutes longer.
  9. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
  10. ENJOY – Bacon, Onions and Swiss Cheese together, Oh my!

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, “Nick tells Gatsby, “You can’t repeat the past,” and Gatsby replies, “Why of course you can.”

No truer words were spoken that reflected a recent trip down memory lane with my closest friends, Linda and Julianne from high school.

Linda, Julianne and I reconnected here in New York this summer. It was a planned “girls” long weekend.   The girls would be staying at my home for a few nights.  We would be very busy during the daytime, so, I decided to prepare dishes ahead of time to serve.  This Quiche Lorraine was served for breakfast but it goes great as a lunch dish served with salad on the side.  Either way, your friends will love it as much as mine did!

Julianne lives in New Mexico, Linda in Connecticut and I in New York. We decided to be tourists in New York City by going on a tour bus and boat ride around Manhattan. As luck would have it, or should I say unluckily, all our pre-made plans got changed.   The tour bus and boat ride fell through. Here we were stranded just a few blocks from the Staten Island Ferry. The Staten Island Ferry is FREE. One of the best attractions New York City has to offer. Turns out that this is the second time Linda, Julianne and I went on the Staten Island Ferry together. The first time was our high school senior prom. Tradition in those days for prom night was to end the evening, early morning with a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and then home, which we did.

When I was preparing for Linda and Julianne to stay at my home, I went searching for pictures from high school of the three of us together. Lo and behold I found one of those old photo booth pictures that came on a strip of four, of the three of us on during our senior day trip to Rye Playland.  The night before Julianne was to leave to return to New Mexico, we decided to go back to Rye Playland. We were determined to recreate our photo booth memory. Sure enough, Playland still had a photo booth, which we squeezed into to recreate our moment in time.

Can you repeat the past? Yes, you can with a lot of laughs and good friends that are up for anything. The way I see it, it was fun in the first place, and repeating those moments again can only be better and even more memorable the second time around!

Julianne and Linda, thanks for the memories, then and now,

 

Then and Now

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR QUICHE

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Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

DSC042681 head of broccoli florets
2 9-inch deep dish piecrusts
1 1/ 2 cup Durkee French Fried onions
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
8 extra large eggs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon margarine, softened

1. Oven 425 degrees. Punch fork holes on bottom and sides of piecrusts. Bake 10 minutes. Take out piecrusts and set aside to cool.
2. Spread softened or melted margarine in the bottom of the piecrusts with pastry brush.
3. Cut broccoli up into bite size pieces. Steam broccoli florets. Place broccoli on paper towel after steaming. In a large bowl, place broccoli florets, French fried onions and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Toss and mix together. Split the broccoli mixture between the two piecrusts evenly.
4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with milk. Pour mixture over broccoli mixture in piecrusts. Sprinkle 1/ 2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top of each quiche.
5. Pour 1/2 cup of half and half evenly over the cheddar cheese on each quiche.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 325 degrees and continue cooking for 35-45 minutes longer.
7. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
8. ENJOY – Quiche and Brunch go together like icing on a cake!

 ©  This recipe courtesy of Somebodys-Mom.com 

Every Sunday I cook. Sunday left overs are perfect for work week lunches. My daughter, Mia, and I bring our lunch to work a majority of the time. Every office now-a-days has a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, etc. Some even have mini kitchens available for employees to encourage brown bagging lunches. When employees bring lunch, they usually eat at their desks which means less time away from the office.

Quiche of any kind is Mia’s favorite choice for brown bagged lunch. I never make one quiche at a time. I prepare two. One can be frozen or used for lunch for work. Salads also make great lunches. My Sunday dinner will always have a huge salad. Leftover chicken or steak cubed and added to a salad makes for a heartier lunch. Throw in some leftover steamed asparagus or broccoli and it is almost a complete meal.

Sunday dinner is really all about what are we bringing to lunch on Monday and Tuesday. There is nothing better on a Monday morning, rushing for work, knowing that your lunch is packed and ready to go!

ARTICHOKE PIE

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2 9-inch deep dish pie crusts
2 cans whole artichoke hearts in water, drained
6 ounces heavy cream
6 ounces half and half
10 eggs
1/ 2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch
12 ounce package Quattro Formaggio – Trader Giotto’s
(Asigago, Parmesan, Fontina and Provolone cheeses)

1. Oven 375 degrees.
2. In the bottom and sides of the pie crusts, poke holes with a fork then place in oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
3. Lower oven to 350 degrees.
4. After draining all water from artichokes, chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces, place in a bowl. Add about 6 ounces of the shredded cheese combo mix to the bowl and toss cheese and artichokes till mixed well. Split the artichoke/ cheese mixture between the two pie crusts evenly.
5. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with half and half and 3 ounces of heavy cream. Add nutmeg and cornstarch to eggs and continue beat until well blended. Pour egg mixture over tossed artichokes and cheese. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese on top of each pie.
6. Pour remaining heavy cream over the shredded cheese on both pies.
7. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 300 degrees and continue cooking for 1 hour longer.
8. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
9. ENJOY – The more the merrier, when it comes to cheeses!

I love me some artichokes and this pie is nothing but artichokes. And of course cheese, plenty of cheese.

My friend, Regina, made this pie for a Saturday girlfriend luncheon. We all raved about it. The next week I made it but I really wanted to use the cheeses she had in her recipe. That meant a trip to Trader Joe’s for their special blend of grated cheeses. Why buy four separate cheeses when I could get them all in one package.

Regina used more artichokes in her original recipe than I did in mine, but I had only two cans in the house when I made it and it was plenty. When cooking, baking, creating in the kitchen, there is nothing more annoying than to be out of an ingredient. So, I alter the recipe, substitute an ingredient, or go without. Depending on what ingredient is missing at the time. If it is really essential to the dish, I will put everything aside and run to the store and get it, or ask my husband or daughter to pick it up for me. Cooking is experimenting and sometimes those experiments turn out better the second time around. This artichoke pie is one of those experiments where I felt it came out a winner. At least my husband thought so, because he loved this pie. If he’s happy, then I am happy. On to the next experiment, I mean recipe!

FRITTATA

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Olive oil
2 medium cooked baked potatoes, cubed
1 cup cooked broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/4 red and 1/4 green pepper, chopped
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
9 eggs
1 tomato, chopped
1/ 2 cup half and half
1/4 cup scallions or onions, chopped
pepper

1. Oven 425 degrees
2. In a 10-inch oven proof casserole dish put olive oil. Place on top of the stove under a low flame. Saute scallions, peppers in olive oil until tender. Add broccoli and potato. Cook everything until hot, stirring well. Dash in some pepper.
3. In a bowl beat eggs with 3/4 cup of half and half.
4. Pour eggs over vegetables. Sprinkle top with grated cheeses. Pour that
1/4 cup of half and half over the cheese.
5. Bake 20 to 30 minutes depending on your oven. Serve warm or hot. For 4 to 6 people.
6. ENJOY – It’s breakfast, it’s lunch. It’s brunch!

Frittata is a one dish wonder; a quiche without the piecrust. Preparing a frittata is definitely the easier option as it can be prepared in a single baking dish…no piecrust involved. For me, it’s all about sautéing my frittata vegetables in my square 10-inch Corning Ware dish on the stove, tossing in a few other ingredients, and then popping it into the oven. Viola!

My house is always buzzing with people, and that’s the way I like it. I also like using leftovers; whether it’s meat, vegetables or pasta, I will find a way to add it to something else. And the frittata is the perfect dish to utilize those leftovers. Take a good look inside your fridge. This morning I discovered 4 pieces of bacon, 10 cherry tomatoes, and one-half cup of cooked spinach. I just added some eggs and cheese and ended up creating an awesome tomato, bacon and spinach frittata. My mood and my leftovers dictate the type of frittata I’ll be serving. Eggs and cheese provide the foundation, with certain cheeses complimenting certain ingredients. Mozzarella is good with tomatoes and veggies such as broccoli, spinach or asparagus. In addition, these vegetables go well with cheddar, Swiss or provolone cheese. The only meats I add to my frittatas, if any, are chicken, bacon or a small amount of salami. In lieu of adding meat to my frittatas, I might choose to serve bacon or breakfast sausages as a side dish.

So, take that peek into your pantry and fridge and create that frittata – your way!

Pasta Primavera Pie

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4 cups of Pasta Primavera, leftover
6 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cubed
8 eggs
salt and pepper

1. Oven 400 degrees.
2. In a pie dish, (I used a glass Pyrex pie plate) grease bottom with olive oil, lightly.
3. In one bowl, toss your leftover pasta with cubed mozzarella cheese. Place tossed pasta and mozzarella
into pie plate.
4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add salt and pepper to eggs to taste. Pour beaten eggs
over pasta and place pie plate on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the center of the oven.
Bake pie for 35 minutes. Check by putting a butter knife in the center of pie. If clean, pie should
be done. If wet, bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let pie stand for 10 minutes before cutting into
wedges. Serves 8.
5. Enjoy – What leftover? I don’t see any leftover!

Welcome to my latest creation: Pasta Primavera Pie. This little brainstorm was born out of the desire for something new as well as the desire to use leftovers. For guidance, I referred to my spaghetti pie recipe, another gem that will find it’s way to you via a future posting.

I so appreciate that my husband, Tom, is a good cook. The best thing about his cooking is that he will make dinner if he gets home before me. Lately, he has been making dinner more nights than I. Adjusting to cooking for two people instead of a family of five has been a bit challenging for both of us, so leftovers frequently appear in my fridge. The good news is that they are great life/timesavers for those of us who have to bring lunch to the workplace. However, who gets excited about eating the same dish 3 days in a row? Not wanting to toss out food, we need to reinvent that leftover.

So, my Pasta Primavera Pie began with my Tom’s delicious pasta primavera for dinner the other night. It contained fresh broccoli, zucchini and carrots, sautéed in olive oil with garlic and tossed over angel hair pasta. There were about 4 or 5 cups of pasta leftover, and then the challenge to reinvent began. Pasta is pasta, I thought to myself. Why not make a pasta primavera pie, the same way I make my spaghetti pie. I added 2 more ingredients, and bingo, a new leftover arose from the ashes!

This dish is great for vegetarians too, served as a main dish or as a side dish. I am always trying to think of more exciting veggie dishes, and now I created another one. The other night I had dinner with my friend, Mela, and together we had my Pasta Primavera Pie, with a side of salad and rolls. It got the big thumbs up!

Remember when cooking, think outside the (pasta) box, and have some fun.

HAM AND ASPARAGUS QUICHE

1 bunch of asparagus stalks
1/ 4 lb to 1/ 2 lb ham, sliced and cut into small pieces
2 9-inch deep dish piecrusts
1 2.8 ounce can Durkee French Fried onions
1/ 2 pt heavy cream
1/ 2 pt half and half
8 extra large eggs
2 cups shredded Jarlsberg cheese or Swiss cheese
2 tablespoon margarine, softened

1. Oven 425 degrees
2. Spread softened margarine in the bottom of the piecrusts.
3. Steam asparagus. Cut asparagus into small pieces. In a large bowl, place asparagus, ham, French fried
onions and 1 cup of Jarlsberg. Toss and mix together. Split the asparagus mixture between the two
piecrusts evenly.
4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with half and half. Pour mixture over asparagus mixture in piecrusts.
Sprinkle 1/ 2 cup of Jarlsberg cheese on top of each quiche.
5. Pour heavy cream over the Jarlsberg cheese on both quiches.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 325 degrees and continue cooking for 35-45 minutes longer.
7. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
8. ENJOY – “Ham and Cheese, Please”!

Remember that old expression “real men don’t eat quiche”? I believe men think of quiche as a feminine food. My husband and son have never been big fans of quiche. My husband will eat it if there isn’t anything else. “Where’s the beef?” is what my husband is thinking whenever I serve vegetables and no meat. Quiche is not enough for a guy; they need something more to go with it. Most women I know love vegetables while most men seem to just love meat. Guess it’s that old caveman theory. My husband was away for five days once. For those five days I ate just a little chicken and mostly vegetables. It was so easy. My theory is that quiche is okay for women as a main dish but only as a side dish for men.

Quiche is surely a perfect lunch when served with bread and salad or alone. I have prepared quiche with a variety of vegetables. Quiche has the basic ingredients of eggs, piecrust and cheese. Any cheddar, Monterey jack, Jarlsberg or popular cheese will do – and don’t tell anybody, but even if the cheese is a little stale, no one will ever know! Leftover vegetables are a perfect reason for having a quiche the next day, and the options for what you might want to add to your quiche are endless depending on what’s left over in your fridge.

I will tell you why I made ham and asparagus quiche recently because it’s a funny story. I was hosting a dinner on a Friday evening. I worked that day and my husband was going to be home before me. That morning before I left for work, I left him a list of a few things we needed from the store to make dinner. Apparently, I had just written the word vegetable on the list. Well, after work, I called home and realized I forgot one or two items not written on the list. Typical of me, I forgot I wrote vegetable on the original list for my husband. So, I bought a bunch of asparagus home for dinner. When I got home, sitting on the kitchen table were two more bunches of asparagus. How much asparagus could I serve 6 people for dinner? This was definitely not a big deal. Actually, I steamed two bunches of asparagus and served them, leaving one more bunch of asparagus sitting in the refrigerator. Hence, the ham and asparagus quiche was made for another meal for another day!

Whichever way you like your quiche, side or main, it’s delicious just the same!

CHEESE SOUFFLE

10 slices of white bread
8 eggs
1 1/ 2 cups milk
1 1/ 2 cups half and half
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Cut crusts off the bread and discard. (Keeping bread crusts is optional.) Cube bread.
2. Combine cooled melted butter, eggs, milk, half and half, salt and pepper.
Beat for 1 minute.
3. In an ungreased 10 x 10 casserole dish, layer cubed bread then grated cheddar cheese. Repeat
with cheese layer on top. Pour egg mixture over top over bread cheese mixture.
Cover with saran wrap.
4. Refrigerate overnight or a few hours.
5. When ready to bake, oven to 350 degrees. Bake for uncovered for 1 hour.
6. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
7. ENJOY! – Brunch or Lunch, you will love this soufflé a whole bunch!

How is a cheese soufflé like a great friend? Well, you can depend on them, they look good, they’re never boring, and they always manage to make a great impression!

Speaking of friends, Maura and I have been tight since we were 3 years old and she moved into the house next door to mine in Queens. Opposites most definitely attracted in our case….I’m a brown-eyed blond and she’s a blue-eyed brunette. She’s a bit reserved and I’m a social freak. Raviolis and meatballs were on our table on Sunday, while a roasted leg of lamb adorned hers. We both had one sibling, an older brother. I was a mischievous child, Maura was an angel. She’s a little bit country, and I’m a little bit rock and roll. Well, you get the picture! My family loved her. My dad even had a nickname for her, Maura Dora, because she was so adorable.

Fast forward several years and both of us married. She lived in Jersey and I in New York. Phone bills were steep – no cell phones or Internet back in the day, but we didn’t let that stop us. My husband would complain about the $35 dollar per month phone bills to Jersey. I told him that it was Maura or a $50 per hour shrink – which would he prefer?

Maura was my first friend in a life filled of many friends. I learned early on that women need women in their lives. If we are not lucky enough to have a sister then we have to go out and get our own sister friends. I value each and every one. A great friend is a great gift. A gift that keeps giving a lifetime!
Another gift is this cheese soufflé – it’s a great dish to serve for breakfast or lunch, perhaps to that wonderful sister friend of yours? Just prepare it the night before, place in the fridge, and bake the next morning. I serve this as often as I can and it’s always a big hit. Who knows? You may make many more friends when you put this delightful dish on your table!