As we settle into our house every day I fall more and more in love with the kitchen. It has some quirks that at times bug me but it’s so big and open I am quickly over any small bother! And really with so much counter space I can deal with the fact I have to sit on the floor to keep a very close eye on the broiler, which is now located under the oven.

I can almost get lost going between the stove and the “prep-area” now and miracle of miracles, I’ve found I don’t so much mind doing dishes and cleaning up. It’s truly a great kitchen that has a way of making me a pretty respectable cook. Every weekend so far I’ve spent a good chunk of time mixing, sautéing, shredding and baking and I’ve even managed to make time, this second to last week of the quarter, to make a home cooked dinner every day.

I am eager to being planning dinner parties with our friends to truly put the kitchen through her paces. Last weekend my whole family came over to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We put the leaves in the table and all seven of us sat down to a lasagna dinner in the dining room, then moving to the living room to open presents. It felt so wonderful to have everyone there.

So, what exactly have I been cooking? Everything! I especially like trying my old standbys just to see how easy they are in an adequately sized kitchen. A Quiche is one of those things that I feel like everyone has their own favorite stand-by recipe for. They are all pretty similar with small differences in egg/cheese ratio. I am not about to tell you to scrap your old standby for my favorite version but if you haven’t pledged your allegiance to any particular recipe you should give this one a shot.

Ol’ Stand-by Quiché

Adapted from Real Simple

One of the lovely things about a Quiche is that there are no requirements or limitations for filling. You can use virtually any combination of vegetable, meat and cheese. This recipe is very basic with just onion and Gruyère cheese. When I made this last week I used cubed ham with sautéed broccoli and swiss cheese. We’re also big fans of adding bacon, asparagus, or goat cheese. As you experiment just make sure that if you use big vegetables or meats like broccoli and ham to dial back the liquid and cheese a bit so it doesn’t over flow.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onions, diced (double the onion if you aren’t using vegetables or meat)
any vegetable or meat you choose, use your judgement on quantity it will differ depending on what you choose.
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 eggs
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk (you can use all half-and-half or all milk depending on what you have or like)
8 ounces Gruyère, grated (or any cheese you enjoy)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg*
1 pie crust (I make my own but you can use prepared if you like)

Heat oven to 375° F.

In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cover and cook until the onions are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add your vegetables and/or meat cook through.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and half-and-half. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, the remaining salt and pepper, and the onion/vegetable/meat mixture.

Place the pie crust in a 9″ pie pan. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust; it will be very full. Bake until the filling is set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

* Fresh ground nutmeg is one of my favorite spices. It comes as a large seed, kind of like a small avocado seed. I use a microplane grater to grate in the desired amount. You can buy it pre-ground but I think that it looses a lot of its flavor siting on the shelf. If you use the pre-grated kind you want to add a bit more, use your best judgement.


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