Somewhere back in about 1973, quiches were a big deal. Quiches are custards baked in a buttery crust, and they seemed to be everywhere then, especially on every brunch menu. Quiches had their moment, and then faded, I think because not everyone is up to making the crust.
At any rate, I recently was at a nice little French bistro in Geneva, Illinois called Chez Moi, and we had quiche. I nearly fell out of my chair it was so good–tender crusted, buttery, fluffy, etc. Quiches are back!
Still, because of the crust issue, I made no effort to make one myself. But when I ran across the following recipe for a crustless quiche, in an old Gourmet clipping, I decided to give it a try. It’s so good–buttery, cheesy, and ham-y, and perfect for an easy dinner. Really! Here is the recipe:
1-1/2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
1 cup chopped shallots or onions
1 cup diced ham
1 tablespoon butter
1 8-ounce package (2 cups) shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups half and half or cream and milk
Butter a 10-inch quiche dish (you could also use a 9 x 9″ Pyrex baking dish) and sprinkle it with the breadcrumbs. Cook the shallots with the diced ham in the butter for about five minutes. Spread in the prepared dish, then sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Mix the eggs with the half and half, and pour over the cheese, slowly and evenly. Bake until the top is brown and puffed, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Before we go one step further, here’s something I found out–this crustless quiche really is best cooled off before eating–the flavors intensify, and you can cut it into slices. So you can make it ahead, and serve it with crusty bread (or bread sticks) and a salad, and have dinner. Here’s another thing I found out: the Italian name for a crustless quiche is frittata. Whatever you call it, it’s tasty!
Baking notes: Why use shallots? More and more cooks have come to appreciate their mild flavor and the convenience of their small size. Also, you don’t have to use ham–I used a dried pork lunchmeat called capocollo, from Aldi.
By the way, for the salad I used torn romaine, radicchio, one sliced orange and some toasted walnuts. I made a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and tossed everything together.
The photos below show the chopped shallots and capocollo, the quiche ready to go into the oven, and the cooled-off quiche, ready for snacking!
Here is Puff, my cat photography assistant.
And, lastly, a mourning dove who appears to be napping, on the roof next door. Peace to you. Fran