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Versatile quiche: Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this dish can do it all

 

Le Gourmet manager Dana Borcher, seated, and staff member Dana Nolen are pictured in the gourmet cheese shop and bistro in downtown Columbus with examples of the individual quiches, with salad, they serve at lunch Tuesday through Saturday. Recipes today help show how versatile quiche could be for you this summer.

Le Gourmet manager Dana Borcher, seated, and staff member Dana Nolen are pictured in the gourmet cheese shop and bistro in downtown Columbus with examples of the individual quiches, with salad, they serve at lunch Tuesday through Saturday. Recipes today help show how versatile quiche could be for you this summer.
Photo by: Kelly Tippett

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

It may be the inimitable Julia Child quiche lovers in the Golden Triangle should thank for popularizing the egg custard oven-baked pie filled with everything tempting and savory. The classic dish of French cuisine (with origins tracing back to Germany) got a big boost from the Le Cordon Bleu chef''s cookbooks on French cooking in the 1960s. Before long, the open-top pie had become a favorite of hostesses everywhere. Fortunately for us, many of our favorite area restaurants include it on their menus. 

 

One of those is Le Gourmet on Main Street in Columbus. Walking through the doors is an interlude in continental ambiance. Individual quiches, each baked in its own crust, are among the luncheon favorites at this gourmet cheese shop and bistro that also offers unique gifts and connoisseur chocolates. Shannon Borcher''s business encompasses Euro-Suites, a bed and breakfast service, too. 

 

Not familiar with quiche? "It''s like an omelet in a pie shell," said manager Dana Borcher, Shannon''s daughter. "And one of the best things about it is that it''s good for breakfast, at lunch or dinner." 

 

 

 

So many ways 

 

Just as home cooks can personalize quiche with their favorite foods, Le Gourmet features a different quiche each day Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Cheese/gift shop hours are longer.) Some may inspire you in your own kitchen. Rotating selections include quiche Lorraine (probably the best known), made with cheese, bacon and onion; a shrimp caprese quiche, with mozzarella, basil and tomato; and a unique turkey and three pepper peach quiche, featuring a sauce produced by Oxford Falls out of Starkville, a line the shop carries. 

 

Other mainstays include a spinach, bacon and feta quiche and one made with red bell pepper and goat cheese. 

 

"We try to incorporate some of the items we have in the shop, so people can get an idea of what they might like," said Dana, citing European cheeses like Jarlsberg, cream Havarti and Parmigiano-Reggiano as ingredients used. Quiche Lorraine, named for the Lorraine region of northeastern France, probably takes the title as restaurant favorite, according to Dana Nolen, also on the shop''s staff. 

 

And contrary to what you may have read, yes, real men do eat quiche. Le Gourmet''s staff confirms it.  

 

 

 

So simple 

 

Quiche is really simple to make, assured Dana. "You have your egg, milk and cheese mixture, and you can put in anything else you like."  

 

Additions might run the gamut from zucchini to pepperoni. Fresh herbs like rosemary can enhance the flavor, as do so many different cheeses. Experiment to determine your own favorite. Then experiment some more, because everyone needs more than one. 

 

Numerous recipes, complete with tips for a perfect quiche crust, abound online at sites such as quicherecipes.com and foodnetwork.com. 

 

 

 

Think outside the pie 

 

Most quiche fans expect to enjoy the dish in wedge-shaped "pie" pieces, or in individual crusts, like those served as Le Gourmet. But our recipes today share a few ideas from incredibleegg.com that show how versatile your quiche mixture can be. Use them for a special breakfast, as pick-ups for a poolside party, or colorful, tasty treats at a summer night''s dinner on the patio. 

 

 

 

MINI WONTON QUICHES 

 

Prep time: 20 minutes 

 

Cook time: 12 to 15 minutes 

 

Makes two dozen 

 

24 wonton wrappers (3-1/4-by-3-inch) 

 

Four eggs 

 

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 

 

3 tablespoons finely chopped ham (1 ounce) 

 

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion 

 

2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper 

 

     

     

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 24 mini muffin cups (1-3/4-by-3/4-inch) with cooking spray. Gently press one wonton wrapper into each cup, allowing ends to extend above edges of cup. 

     

  • Beat eggs and flour in medium bowl until blended. Add ham, green onion and bell pepper; mix. Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon egg mixture into each wonton-lined muffin cup. 

     

  • Bake in center of oven until filling is set, 12 to 15 minutes.
 

 

(Source: incredibleegg.com) 

 

 

 

BROCCOLI QUICHE IN PEPPERS 

 

Prep time: 15 minutes 

 

Cook Time: 60-70 minutes 

 

Makes four servings 

 

 

 

Four medium red, yellow OR green bell peppers (4 oz. each) 

 

1 cup frozen broccoli florets, defrosted 

 

Four eggs 

 

1/2 cup milk 

 

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

 

1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 

 

     

     

  • Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut about 1/2 inch off tops of peppers; remove seeds. Place peppers upright in custard cups; place cups in baking pan. 

     

  • Spoon 1/4 cup broccoli into each pepper. Beat eggs, milk, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in medium bowl until blended. Pour (use a bowl with a pouring lip) evenly over broccoli. 

     

  • Bake in center of oven until knife inserted near center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. (If custard clings to blade, let bake a few minutes longer and test again.) Let stand five minutes. 

     

    (Note: Baked custards should be removed from the oven before the center is completely set. The center will jiggle slightly when dish is gently shaken. Custard will continue to cook after it''s removed and center will firm up quickly. Overbaked custard may curdle.)

 

 

(Source: incredibleegg.com) 

 

 

 

BREAKFAST BISCUIT QUICHE 

 

Prep time: 10 minutes 

 

Cook time: 20-25 minutes 

 

Makes 10 mini quiches 

 

 

 

2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese 

 

1/3 cup finely chopped ham 

 

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions 

 

Three eggs 

 

2 tablespoons milk 

 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

 

1/8 teaspoon pepper 

 

One package (10 biscuits) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits 

 

     

     

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cheese, ham and green onions in small bowl; mix well. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper in medium bowl until blended. 

     

  • Separate biscuits; press or roll each into a 5-inch round on lightly-floured surface. Place one biscuit in each of 10 greased muffin cups, leaving the two cups in center of pan empty. Press biscuits firmly against bottom and sides of cups and form rim at top. 

     

  • Spoon 2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each cup. Pour in egg mixture, dividing evenly. 

     

  • Bake in center of oven until filling is set and biscuits are deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan; serve warm.
 

 

(Source: incredibleegg.org)

 

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

 

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