Thursday, January 8, 2015

Homemade Quiche Using Leftovers

The first Creative Cooking Crew challenge of 2015 involves using leftovers to create an entirely new dish. This is a habit I often have in my kitchen, whether I'm throwing together a pasta dish or an omelet, but there really are tons of creative ways to use up your leftovers.

In the past, I've taken cooked salmon, flaked it, and created fish cakes using similar ingredients I'd normally use in a crab cake. I've also taken leftover risotto and used it to make risotto cakes, a perfect accompaniment to poached eggs for breakfast. Another great way to use up leftovers is to convert them into filling for homemade Asian dumplings. The sky is the limit when leftovers are concerned. Just don't throw them away!

For this month's challenge, I actually decided to make a quiche. I have a love/hate relationship with making quiche, although it's pure love when it comes to eating it. Why the love/hate, you ask? Well, Although I've made many excellent quiches in my day, the last several attempts I've made have been on the watery side. I'm convinced it's just because I'm not thoroughly drying the veggies in the filling, and that may be the case, but it's still annoying.

I had some leftover sauteed Swiss chard, mushrooms, and onions as well as a variety of cheeses leftover from a cheese plate served at Christmas. I used 1 1/2 cups of the Swiss chard/mushroom mixture and about 2 cups hand-grated cheese--a 50/50 mixture of Swiss and Manchego.

I used the same basic custard mixture I always use, which can be found here, plus I added 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard and pinches of cayenne and nutmeg. I also added a tablespoon of flour to the custard, hoping it would help bind the custard and absorb any of the excess liquid the veggies could potentially leak into the quiche.

I also decided to pre-bake my crust, which I don't typically do (just beware if you do pre-bake, you will want to lightly tent foil over the edges of the crust for at least part of the quiche's baking time, so the crust doesn't overcook). I hoped it would yield a crisper crust, and perhaps it would have if I didn't have such a wet result even after the quiche was fully baked. I found that my quiche was a lot better once it fully cooled and then I actually cut and reheated slices in the toaster oven.

Overall, the quiche turned out to be a great way to use up leftover pre-cooked veggies and some of the cheeses hanging out in my fridge. I'm still working on perfecting my quiche technique in terms of stopping any residual wetness that may occur in the custard, but I know I'm not alone.

Head over to Foodalogue on January 28th for a full round-up of recipes!


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