It’s that time of the week again… time for me to pull it together and make sure my Sunday brunch fiesta (see fiasco) does not go undocumented.
I sent out a text to some very busy people that I hadn’t seen in far too long, expecting one or two to be able to squeeze in a last minute brunch. When I woke up on Sunday I thought I’d have a couple guests, but by the time 2pm rolled around, I had 6 people sipping on mimosas in my living room and the promise of a few more on the way. (Thankfully the last few thought to bring some more champagne… kudos on the foresight folks) We have to start making the larger scale brunch parties a tradition, I loved having everyone. Aaaaaand maybe every once in a while we can make it a potluck!
When circumstances hand you more guests than you originally anticipated, it’s a good idea to keep things simple. There’s no reason to start a complicated assembly line to attempt to serve 8 people eggs benedict… at least not when you haven’t adequately planned out your feast. So I did what any self respecting pseudo french person would do and turned to an old friend: the quiche.
I made a sort of makeshift quiche lorraine (though I used ham and not lardon, so more of a Normandy thing) as well as a spinach and mushroom quiche. I added copious amounts of cheese to both, because, honestly, if you don’t like cheese, I’m not sure why you’re at my house because we probably aren’t friends.
I mentioned I was in a bit of a bind: very little time to execute a meal. I ran over to Dominick’s (bane of my existence; you know this if you’ve been following for a while) and picked up some pie crusts. Way to cheat, I know. I’m sure my pastry chef friends are cringing behind their screens, and considering recalling our friendship, but good lord does it cut down on prep time.
1. Pop the pie crusts in the oven to cook them through (about 8-10 minutes in a 400 degree oven).
2. While those crusts are getting some color, I sauté the shallot (one whole shallot, both lobes) then add the mushrooms and finally the spinach. Don’t forget to season your vegetables. If the ingredients don’t taste well seasoned enough to serve sans quiche, the flavors of the veggies will get lost in all that egg, cheese and crust once they are incorporated… and we wouldn’t want that.
This should be fairly obvious, but I’ll mention it anyway. When trying to cut down on pan usage to reduce cleaning time, you want to add the ingredients in order of their respective cooking times ( ingredients that take the longest time go in first and you finish with things like leafy greens which take practically no time to cook )
3. Since the quiche lorraine ingredients don’t require any precooking, once I squeezed out the excess juices from the mushroom, shallot and spinach mélange, I assemble a sort of quiche station. Those are bowls of: shredded cheddar cheese, mozzarella and provolone cheese, chopped up ham and the sautéed veggies.
Then in a bowl, I whip up the eggs (6 eggs per quiche, I’m making two quiches so that’s a dozen eggs total for those of you playing at home)
I mix the (cheddar) cheese and ham into 6 eggs and pour that into the crust, then do the same with the (provolone and mozzarella) cheese and sautéed veggies. In the spirit of overkill, I topped each quiche with more shredded cheese.
In a 400 degree oven, the quiches take about 30-40 minutes to cook, it’s pretty easy to tell when they’re done. The center of the quiche is the last bit to cook all the way through. So check out the center, if it is still wiggly and soupy it needs more time. When it looks ready, take it out and let it set for a couple minutes before cutting.
I served the quiches with arugula salad with a makeshift vinaigrette (olive oil, spoonful of dijon, some lemon juice and salt and pepper).