Traveling the world through cuisine

Viva la France!

French cafe

The Lorraine region of France is where our journey continues, and we’re venturing more into Lorraine’s gift to cuisine, quiche.  Most know a quiche as a simply a pie made of eggs, cheese, meats, and vegetables.  You can almost see it as like a casserole. Chefs would make a variety of quiches for different options of serving.  Some simply place it as a side, some as a main course.  One chef even would serve a slice of his quiche on top of a salad, and this apparently is more common in French street food.

Weeks ago, Stephanie showed us her recipe for a simple vegetable quiche, and it is delicious.  When I took at a crack at quiche, I was yet again under the challenge to create a dish that doesn’t use certain ingredients in order to meet with a dietary guideline for one who was going to eat it.  No wheat, no cheese, and in this case, no meat (she was watching her calories).

So one could think that all the fun of a quiche has just been taken out of it, but I beg to differ.  Upon research, I found that quiche not only originated in German cuisine (the Lorraine region was under German rule at the time of the creation of the dish), but the original quiche did not contain any cheese.  Quiche Lorraine simply contained eggs, cream, and bacon.  It was this fact that inspired me.

I ended up making two quiches, one very healthy version for Zuzana, and the other for myself (because I wanted meat and cheese in mine).  I loved them both so much that I definitely wanted to post and share my ideas, and make them more often.

Here’s the original “healthy” quiche:

Mixed Veggie Quiche

Mixed Veggie Quiche

Ingredients

Ingredients for Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter or margarine
  • 4 tbsp of cold water

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1/2 cup eggplant, sliced
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 2 tsp of Vegeta
  • 3 tsp of Italian seasoning blend
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Making the Pie Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl.
  3. Cut butter/margarine into flour until a crumb-like texture forms.
  4. Add water and work dough with hands until it becomes soft.
  5. Form dough into a ball.
  6. Place dough in a pie or large tart pan and press it into the bottom and sides. Make sure the layer of dough is even in thickness throughout.
  7. Use fork to prick the bottom of the crust to prevent buckling.
  8. Place crust in oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Making the Filling

  1. Place slices of eggplant on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil.
  2. Roast eggplant slices in oven at 400º until you see signs of browning.
  3. In a stock pot, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat.
  4. Place onion into the oil and cook until it starts to turn golden.
  5. Add in sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli. Cook until they start to get soft.
  6. Add in spinach and stir with other vegetables. Cook until soft.
  7. Remove vegetables from heat.

Making the Quiche

  1. In a large measuring cup, or a bowl, beat together the eggs with the milk.
  2. Add in paprika, Vegeta, and Italian seasoning blend, as well as salt and pepper to your liking. Stir.
  3. Take the roasted eggplant and create a bottom layer in the pie crust.
  4. Add in the cooked vegetables on top of the eggplant until you either run out or have reached the height of the pan.
  5. Carefully pour the liquid mixture all over and let it seep into every crack and space of the pie.
  6. Place the pie in the oven (400º) and bake for 30-45 minutes. You will know it’s done when you poke a toothpick into areas and it comes out clean.

Quick Notes

When I created this, I put all the cooked vegetables into a food processor and chopped them into bits before adding them to the pie. I wanted to have it more as a pie filling than as chunks. Feel free to go about this as you prefer.

The measuring cup is a suggestion, as it’s easier to pour the liquid mixture into the pie with a pitcher-like carrier as opposed to a bowl.

Healthy It Up

When I originally made this quiche, I made it gluten free by using 3/4 cup of rice flour and 3/4 cup of corn flour.  If you would rather go the opposite direction and shoot for a whole wheat crust, try using 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup of regular flour.

I also originally cut down the cholesterol by using a combination of 4 egg whites and 2 whole eggs.  If you feel lazy, try an egg substitute that comes out of a carton.

When I finished the first one, I wanted to make another with the very ingredients I wanted in a quiche (meat and cheese). Mine more ended up as a “potluck” with some cold cuts and cheese that I bought and wanted to “use up” before they expire. Probably a great usage of such meats and cheeses when they might be getting close to getting old.

Potluck Quiche

Potluck Quiche

Ingredients

Ingredients for Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter or margarine
  • 4 tbsp of cold water 

Ingredients for Filling

  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4-8 slices of deli meat, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 lb of Hungarian salami, cut into small pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 3 tsp of Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/3 lb of Jarlsberg or Lorraine Swiss cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Making the Pie Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl.
  3. Cut butter/margarine into flour until a crumb-like texture forms.
  4. Add water and work dough with hands until it becomes soft.
  5. Form dough into a ball.
  6. Place dough in a pie or large tart pan and press it into the bottom and sides. Make sure the layer of dough is even in thickness throughout.
  7. Use fork to prick the bottom of the crust to prevent buckling.
  8. Place crust in oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Making the Filling

  1. In a skillet or frying pan, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Place the deli meat in the oil and cook until it starts to brown. Set aside.
  3. In a stock pot, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat.
  4. Place onion into the oil and cook until it starts to turn golden.
  5. Add in sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli. Cook until they start to get soft.
  6. Add in spinach and stir with other vegetables. Cook until soft.
  7. Remove vegetables from heat and stir in the salami and cooked deli meat.

Making the Quiche

  1. In a large measuring cup, or a bowl, beat together the eggs with the milk.
  2. Add in paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning blend, as well as salt and pepper to your liking. Stir.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 of a cup of Parmesan cheese and place all the Swiss cheese in the bottom of the crust.
  4. Add in the meat/vegetable mixture on top of the cheese until you either run out or have reached the height of the pan.
  5. Carefully pour the liquid mixture all over and let it seep into every crack and space of the pie.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese on top of the pie.
  7. Place the pie in the oven (400º) and bake for 30-45 minutes. You will know it’s done when you poke a toothpick into areas and it comes out clean.

Quick Notes

When I created this, I put all the cooked vegetables into a food processor and chopped them into bits before adding them to the pie. I wanted to have it more as a pie filling than as chunks. Feel free to go about this as you prefer.

The measuring cup is a suggestion, as it’s easier to pour the liquid mixture into the pie with a pitcher-like carrier as opposed to a bowl.

Healthy It Up

When I originally made this quiche, I made it gluten free by using 3/4 cup of rice flour and 3/4 cup of corn flour.  If you would rather go the opposite direction and shoot for a whole wheat crust, try using 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup of regular flour.

I also originally cut down the cholesterol by using a combination of 4 egg whites and 2 whole eggs.  If you feel lazy, try an egg substitute that comes out of a carton.

Tags: French, German, quiche

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