Sunday, November 18, 2012

Homemade Mini Quiches

If you're like me (and, if you're not, maybe you should be?) you often end up with little nubs of cheese in your refrigerator.

lots of cheese

Sometimes those lumps go together, and I usually just dice them and sprinkle them on homemade pizza. Other times, like today, they don't really go together all that well, and I sit around with these little scraps of cheese and wonder what to do with them. The other day, for example, I realized that I had blue cheese, havarti with caraway seeds, and cheddar with chocolate shavings, and I can't melt those together into anything without it ending up kind of vile. (If you look at the above photo, I also have a lump of stilton with mango and ginger, but that's just going onto crackers.)

Thinking about it while I walked through the grocery store, I decided to try dicing it into quiche. There isn't enough cheese for a whole quiche, and I still had the problem of not wanting to mix those particular cheeses, but there was plenty of cheese for mini quiches, so I grabbed a box of shells and a cup of heavy cream, and I was ready to go.

Here's what you'll need if you want to play along at home:

1 box of frozen premade (but not prebaked) mini pastry shells
Cheese of any flavor
4 eggs
1 cup of heavy/whipping cream
Salt, pepper, and any herbs you think might be good
Bacon bits (real ones or turkey bacon)

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

The pastry shells said to defrost for twenty minutes before baking. I figured that it would take about twenty minutes to finely dice the cheese and mix up the filling, so I set my shells out on a cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper in case of drips), and started slicing cheese.

You want the cheese diced up pretty small, so that some of the quiche filling gets in between the pieces. You also don't want the cheese to melt into one big lump in the bottom of the quiche. Once I diced the cheese, I dropped one type into each of the shells, and then added some bacon bits:

quiche shells (1)

Then I mixed up the filling. 4 eggs and 1 cup of cream whisked together should give you enough. I added salt and pepper, and then threw in a handful of dried chives. I mixed my filling in a mixing bowl with a spout (one of the best items I liberated from my mom's kitchen when I moved out), which made it really easy to pour into the shells over the cheese and bacon:

quiche shells (2)

For a full sized quiche, you'd bake 40-50 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, but I didn't know what to do with mini ones. I set the timer for 20 minutes, checked, set it for ten more, checked again, and watched them puff up while baking:

baking quiches

Your oven may vary, but my knife came out clean from three different quiches (I checked more than one because sometimes my oven heats unevenly) after 33 minutes. I pulled them out and let them cool on the baking sheet for a half hour, and then I cut one:

finished mini quiche

and then I ate three of them and put the rest in the freezer.

I will totally make these again, and you should, too.


JMBower said...

for the love of dog, why do I check your blog when I know I'm hungry.....

nan said... those look

Marcheline said...

Righteous use of cheese leftovers, man.

Also - have you ever had "Swiss on Rye" cheese? It's the best thing EVER. Especially sitting on a slice of sopressata.