lundi 26 juillet 2010

Quiche with gruyere and chives

Quiche is the fanciest-sounding easy French thing to make. It’s a pie crust filled with a delicious fluffy mixture of egg, cream, and anything else you wish to add. The only restriction in my book is not to get carried away with fillings—the egg should really be central to the dish, not just a binding for a load of vegetables and proteins. Thus I present to you a simple quiche with just grated gruyere cheese and chopped chives.

Cream and egg sounds a bit heavy, but this is a French dish, after all, and a French pie at that (quiche is often called a “savory pie” (tarte salée) in French). Don’t add milk instead of cream, ever. Not only do you sacrifice on taste and texture, but the extra liquid from the milk will make the pie crust soggy.

Cultural note: quiche is never eaten for breakfast in France, as the French don’t eat eggs for breakfast (anecdote: I’m teaching a lesson on meals to my 5th grade class, and we’re making a list of foods we eat at each meal. One student raises his hand: “Madame, there’s a mistake under “breakfast”—no one would eat eggs for breakfast!”). The point is, don't limit your options; a quiche paired with soup or a small salad is more than substantial enough for a good dinner.

Cultural note: to be called une quiche in French is a mild insult, something like a nitwit.

Quiche with Gruyere and Chives

Pre-prepared or frozen pie crust
About 4 eggs, or enough to fill the crust
¾-1 cup heavy cream
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated
handful of chives, chopped
salt, pepper

1. Beat the eggs with a whisk in a mixing bowl and add the cream, beat until smooth.
2. Add the gruyere, chives, salt, and pepper.
3. Pour mixture into the prepared crust and bake at 350 F for about 35 minutes, or until the top is firm and a knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean.

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