Don’t act so grateful the next time a friend makes a quiche for you. The gesture may appear equal parts sincere and sophisticated, but between you and me, you should know that all your host is doing is cleaning out her fridge.
Confused? Here are some clues that will alert you to the fact that your friend is using you to keep house:
1. A "three-cheese" quiche. A dead give-away that there wasn’t enough of a certain cheese to grate into the quiche, and your friend had to make do with whatever old handfuls of cheese she could find in the back of her cheese drawer.
2. Caramelized onions. So what if they make everything taste better. Onions are cheap, always around, and your friend had probably made a huge batch of caramelized onions last week and just realized that now she needs the container in which they are currently residing, so into the quiche they go.
3. Sautéed mushrooms with sherry wine. Your friend drank the real wine before you arrived, so sherry wine from the pantry is all she had to liven up the mushrooms.
4. A homemade crust. Please. Your friend was obviously too busy cleaning out her fridge to go the store and buy a crust, so she just had to make one from ingredients at hand.
Three-Cheese Quiche with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions
(made from ingredients on their way to the garbage pail)
(a very inexact recipe with which you should feel free to substitute and experiment. You could even use fresh ingredients and it might taste better - but it might not.)
One batch of your favorite pie dough recipe (I used one from AllRecipes.com, and it was great, whatever, it’s a pie crust, they’re all tasty)
2 tablespoons butter
½ pound (ish) of mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons sherry wine (or whatever wine you have)
½ cup caramelized onions (made from 2 large onions)
1.5 cups of whatever cheese you can scrape together, grated into a big pile. (I think I used mozzarella, robusto, and cheddar, but they weren’t labeled in their little baggies so I couldn’t really tell you. You can’t go wrong, as long as you don’t use American Cheese or cream cheese.)
1.5 cups of dairy (this could be any combination of milk, half & half, cream, etc.,)
3 eggs (2 would be fine, too, if that’s what you have)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Roll out the pie crust to fit your pie dish. Do that squishee thing with the crust that looks cool if you get it right and looks like crap if you don’t (my squishee attempts fall into the crap category).
3. Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. Sautée until they’ve released their liquid and the liquid has evaporated. Add sherry wine and cook until mushrooms have soaked up the alcohol. Salt to taste.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the dairy, eggs, cheese, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Spread the mushrooms and caramelized onions evenly across the bottom of the pie dish. Pour the egg mixture over the onions and mushrooms.
6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the filling is puffy. If you have time, allow the quiche cool a bit before slicing and serving.
See? I told you my squishee pie crust skills were horrible.
Fortunately, crappy pie crust fluting tastes the same as pretty pie crust fluting. NOT to say that crappy pie crust fluting is better than pretty pie crust fluting, because that's not true. Pretty pie crust fluting is definitely better than crappy pie crust fluting. In fact, I would love it if someone would direct me towards an online pie crust fluting tutorial. My life would be so much better if my pie crusts were prettier.
And yes, ALL of this is the caption to the above photograph, which is basically the same photograph as the first photograph, just cropped and flipped, but I'm hoping you won't notice. Hey, at least I didn't add googly eyes.