You’d think quiche would be a summer picnic staple. In practice, the beloved cheese pies are too darn messy. Cutting one into slices while you’re sitting in the wild or at the beach can be tricky. And if you figure, “Aha! I’ll slice it up ahead of time,” you discover there’s no easy way to transport the individual wedges. Finally, however you transport your quiche to the picnic, it’s gotta be served with a knife and fork. No way. Picnics are all about finger food.
This recipe for Picnic Size Southwestern Zucchini Quiches provides a snazzy solution to the problem — individual cupcake-sized pies, each one neatly ensconced in its own liner. And making them is a snap because I’ve swapped out the typical labor-intensive pastry pie crust for a crumb crust made with butter-moistened Triscuit crackers. (In fact, any kind of cracker will do. So will bread crumbs.) It’s sort of like a savory version of a graham cracker crust.
The filling consists of eggs, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, shredded sauteed zucchini and canned chiles. You’re welcome to replace the Monterey Jack with a different cheese and the zucchini with a different cooked vegetable. Just be sure to keep the amounts the same. This filling is poured on top of the crumb crust and baked in muffin tins. Transporting the finished quiches to the picnic is a cinch — they ride in the tins.
And these little guys hold their shape beautifully. You just pick up one, peel back the paper and eat it as you would a cupcake. (I recommend using cupcake liners made of brown parchment paper, if you can find them.) And they’re versatile, too — delicious right out of the oven, at room temperature, or even cold.
PICNIC-SIZE SOUTHWESTERN ZUCCHINI QUICHES
Start to finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
22 whole Triscuit crackers ground fine in a food processor (about 1 cup) or 1 cup finely ground cracker crumbs of your choice or dried bread crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
6 ounces coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup whole milk cottage cheese
One 4 1/2-ounce can chopped green chiles
Bottled salsa as an accompaniment
Nutrition information per serving: 340 calories; 190 calories from fat; 21 g fat (11 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 156 mg cholesterol; 593 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 17 g protein.
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