Mini quiche with caramelized onions, mushrooms and feta cheese [Vegetarian]
I'd never made a quiche before trying this recipe and I have to admit I felt nervous about it. The first thing that scares me away from a new recipe is when it calls for dishes I don't have, and the second thing that scares me away is when it calls for ingredients I don't often work with. In this case, those were quiche moulds and pie dough.
The first issue was solved with a quick trip to Cliff's Variety where I not only got the exact moulds I wanted but had to resist picking up three or four different types that all looked fun. The second issue was solved by simply picking up frozen pie crusts. I'll deal with making pie dough from scratch another day and in the meantime, this worked perfectly by letting it thaw, removing it from the tin, cutting out the circle I needed for the mould and pressing it in. In fact, if you don't want to deal with either specific dishes or a dough, you could just pour your quiche into the pie dough in its tin as it is and call it done. But where's the fun in that? Cute little individual dishes are part of the joy of these mini quiches.
When I took the first bite of one of the quiches hot out of the oven, I was floored. I cooked the onions extra slowly -- for about 30 minutes -- so they caramelized and were incredibly sweet, a perfect counter to the salty feta for a boosted the flavor. The richness of it was surprising and after just a couple bites I was full. I gave an extra quiche to a friend who stopped by, who emailed me shorty after getting home with a photo of a plate with only crumbs remaining and the note, "Not even 3 minutes." I guess this quiche is a roaring success!
More on The Cooking Project.
My mother-in-law is 92 and still lives alone and still cooks dinner for her family on Friday nights. Like my own mother (a relative child at the age of 81), she doesn't really get the whole vegetarian diet idea. My son has been a vegetarian for about six years, and after many dinners of a single grilled portobello mushroom on his plate, I took pity on him and started taking a dinner along for him. He's a terrific cook and he'd do it for himself, but he's usually on his way from work.Usually I make a tofu or legume dish that I can quickly reheat just before the rest of dinner is served, but tonight I did something entirely different. I looked around the refrigerator and realized I had just enough stuff to make a couple of mini quiches for him. I had a bit of pastry in the refrigerator left over from a pie I made earlier in the week and one egg and some wonderful feta cheese and it worked out magnificently. I baked these in two brioche moulds, which held this recipe exactly, but you could easily put the pastry into muffin tins and you would probably get four or maybe six mini quiche that would be more of an appetizer size than a full portion.
You can find a basic pie crust recipe here, but it will make much more than you need, unless you increase the recipe and make a whole quiche. You can always bake another pie, or make some fruit turnovers with what is left. You can freeze the dough if you like and make a pie at a later date. You could always use some frozen puff pastry as well. I didn't add any salt to this, because feta cheese is quite salty, but if you substitute another cheese, which you could easily do, you might want to add a bit of salt.
Mini Quiche with Onions, Mushrooms and Feta Cheese
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 mushrooms, finely chopped
1/3 cup half and half cream
1 oz feta cheese
pastry to line the moulds
1. In a small skillet, melt 1/2 the butter, then add the onion. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes (or for caramelized onions, continue cooking on low heat for about 30 minutes). Put the onions in a bowl and set aside.
2. Reheat the skillet and add remaining butter and melt. Add the mushrooms and cook over a medium high heat until the mushrooms throw off their liquid. Reduce the heat and cook until the mushrooms have browned. Add the mushrooms to the onions in the bowl. Preheat oven to 375F.
3. Roll out pastry and cut it to fit the moulds. Line moulds or muffin tins with pastry and set aside.
4. Add the egg, cream and cheese to the bowl with the onions and mushrooms.
5. Stir and ladle into the pastry. My moulds were quite full, so I placed them on a baking sheet, which was just as well, because they did run over a bit.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when slid into the middle.
You can eat this hot, warm or at room temperature.