Eggs

Individual Crustless Quiches

From Skinny Jeans

One recipe makes four 1/2-cup ramekin sized servings.

For the custard:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • pinch teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • a pinch of cayenne or a shake or more of hot sauce (optional)

For the fillings:

This is where you can really go wild if you like. The key is not to overload the ramekins with goodies, because the point of a quiche is that luscious custard. Here are some options:

  • Chopped mixed hearty greens, like arugula, spinach, baby chard, baby kale. The “baby” greens are more tender and work better in these than the usual ones.
  • Roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, diced summer squash, etc.
  • Thinly sliced asparagus
  • 1-2 ounces diced cooked bacon, pancetta, ham, chicken
  • 2-3 ounces cheese: feta or goat are lovely, so are any cheeses that melt well, such as swiss, cheddar or jack, fontina, havarti, etc.
  • 4 tsp grated parmesan to sprinkle on top.
  • Minced fresh herbs – tarragon is particularly good with asparagus, parsley or basil are terrific too, as are chives or tender thyme leaves.

Technique:

I have a convection/toaster oven, and it’s perfect for making these. Eggs are always best cooked slower in a low oven, and with the added circulation of convection, these go a little faster. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, though – they work fine in a regular oven too. (You just have to be a little patient…something I rarely am when I’m “getting into skinny jeans”-mode.)

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray the ramekins with baking spray (I always have a can of olive oil spray around for this.) Beat the eggs, then add cream, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne or hot sauce. Add in a teaspoon minced herbs if you are using, and beat until well combined. Add half the cheese and other add-ins into the custard and mix well.

Take the remaining cheese (except the parmesan) and add-ins and divide evenly between the 4 ramekins. Top each ramekin with 1/4th of the custard. Sprinkle each with a teaspoon of parmesan.

Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet or pizza pan, and bake until the custard is set, and the top is nicely browned. Since ovens vary (especially if you are using a toaster oven or convection), start with 20 minutes and go from there. When they are done, the edges of the quiche will have pulled away a little from the sides of the ramekin. Run a knife around the edges, and invert onto a plate. Serve with a green salad, and enjoy your quiche, and your skinny jeans! Calories = approximately 200 to 250 per serving, depending upon the amount of cheese and meat you add.

Farmer’s market frittata Serves two, or a very hungry one

From A perfect summer day

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 oz. cheddar, shredded or sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup chopped red pepper
  • 2 -3 medium cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup of fresh sweet corn kernels (yield from one ear of sweet corn)
  • 1/3 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup sliced cooked potatoes
  • ½ TBSP butter
  • ½ TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Heat butter and oil over medium heat in a non-stick oven proof pan (this is going to go under the broiler and a melted handle isn’t pretty). When the butter is melted, add the pepper, mushrooms and corn and sauté until the veg start to soften just a little and the mushrooms start to brown.  Add in the spinach and sauté a minute until it just wilts.

Add the basil, a good pinch of salt and a small pinch of pepper to the egg whites, whisk in and add the eggs to the pan. Swirl the pan so the eggs cover the bottom of the pan and the veggies are well distributed. Cook over medium heat until the eggs are set and the bottom is starting to brown. While the eggs are cooking, turn on the broiler. When the eggs are ready, sprinkle over the cheese and put the pan under the broiler until the cheese has melted and started to brown, about 3 minutes. Don’t walk away – it can go from yummy to a burnt waste of good groceries quickly.

When the cheese has melted and the top of the frittata has started to brown, remove the pan from the broiler CAREFULLY – that handle is hot! I’ve learned this one the hard way, and have the scars to prove it. What I like to do to prevent trauma is leave my potholder, oven mitt or folded kitchen towel on the handle when I move from broiler to stove top. That way, I actually remember that sucker is red hot!

Run a spatula under the frittata to loosen it, slip it onto a cutting board and cut into 4 wedges. Any frittata can be served hot or at room temperature. I like it better once it has cooled down a bit, and the leftovers make a terrific breakfast or lunch on a nice crusty roll, eaten while watching the surf!

Calories: 270/serving for 2 or 540/serving for 1.

Variations: Since this recipe is based on what you can find at a farmer’s market, it’s highly adaptable. Onions, other hearty greens, different peppers, mushrooms, etc. are all fine here. The only thing you should be careful with is something like zucchini that could add a lot of water. If you want to use it, be sure to remove some of that water before adding to the pan by either sprinkling the chopped squash with a little salt and sitting in a colander for a while to drain, or using leftover grilled zucchini.

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