Surviving Dinner – Freezer Quiche

Lots of recipes claim they can be cooked in 20 minutes or less.  Some nights are so busy, even that’s too long.  “Surviving Dinner” is a series that is not about good wifeing, mothering, or cooking.  It’s about surviving.  It’s for those nights when you’re tempted to write “fast food” on the menu, but cooking at home will save you a few dollars, a few hundred calories, and loads of mommy-guilt.  Recipes found here can be cooked quickly and have minimal prep and clean-up.  Some may require a little pre-planning, but many won’t.

For those members of my family who were present during The Great Cabin Weekend Quiche Debacle of 2011, you may find it ironic that I am including quiche as an easy weeknight dinnertime solution.  For those of you who were not fortunate enough to be at our family’s cabin weekend, let’s just say that we all share meals and I made several quiches for breakfast lunch.  They were delicious, but by the time they were served it was definitely outside of the breakfast timeframe.

Suffice it to say that they took WAY longer to prepare than I planned.  There were 2 mistakes that I made.  First, I had never made quiche before.  The first time you make a recipe, you read & re-read to follow the directions exactly.  It takes three times as long as it should.  Second, I didn’t do any prep work.  No explanation needed.  You can learn from my mistakes.  Consider yourself lucky.

And now back to Freezer Quiche.  It was inspired by a number of leftover items that were in my freezer and begging to be put to good use.  Truth be told, a couple of the ingredients came from my fridge, too.  And though quiche is a fantastic way to use up leftovers, I didn’t think “Leftover Quiche” was a good recipe title.

One more qualifier before we dive in.  I am cheating a bit – this has to cook for a good hour – so it won’t be on your table half an hour after you walk in the door.  But the “hands-on” time is very, very brief (provided you don’t have to cook anything in advance) so I thought it was appropriate for Surviving Dinner.  And now on to the recipe!

Survival Menu:

  • Freezer Quiche

Ingredients:

  • Pre-made pie crust (Yes, there are times when you should make your own pie crust.  Thanksgiving is one of them.  Wednesdays are not.)
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 3 eggs
  • dash nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • Random leftovers for the filling – whatever needs using up.  In my house we had balsamic-marinated grilled chicken, feta cheese, a tomato, onions, and spinach.  Ham & cheese would be another great idea.  Sauteed veggies are a third option.  Salsa.  Pesto.  Seafood.  Sausage.  Veggies.  Cheese.  No limits on this one other than your imagination, and what’s in your fridge!

1.  Chop up your filling ingredients.

2.  I chose to saute my veggies today because I prefer the flavor – but I cooked them all in the same pan so I only had ONE to clean.  To reduce the work you could do this in advance or omit the use of veggies that require cooking altogether.

3.  Whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, nutmeg, and salt.

4.  Place your filling ingredients in the pie crust.  Do not press them down – leave them in there loosely – otherwise the egg mixture won’t work it’s way in and make a cohesive quiche.

5.  Pour the egg mixture into the crust.  Do not fill it all the way to the top as the eggs will expand.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Allow it to rest & set for 15 minutes before slicing & serving.

Wondering what I’m doing here?  Learn more about the idea behind Surviving Dinner.

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