Quiche, the ultimate comfort food

Although quiches can be complicated, there are lots of quiches that are extremely easy and quick to prepare which everyone enjoys.

Cheese soufflé (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Cheese soufflé
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
There are some types of food that no matter how hard we try, we cannot explain why we feel so connected to them. At the end of the day, it’s not the food we’re enjoying but the memories they evoke – mainly, the warmth and love we felt being with our families. That’s what quiches do for us, no matter what our ethnic background is.
The North African community makes pies that look more like tall, dark cakes, whereas the Spanish and Bulgarians tend to prepare mini-muffins, and Eastern Europeans kugels.
Although many of these can be complicated, there are lots of quiches that are extremely easy and quick to prepare which everyone enjoys.
Their ingredients could include eggs, vegetables, noodles, bread, rice, cheese, fish, meat, spices and any leftover food you have in the fridge. All you need to do is mix the ingredients together and bake the quiche, and you end up with a delightful surprise that everyone loves.
If you want to make your quiche a little fancier, you can always line your pan with filo dough or flour-based crust.
If you use more eggs, your quiche will be fluffier, and filling cupcake holders is a wonderful, aesthetic way to serve quiches, too.
Quiches can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or even the main course.
Of course, if you’re making a sweet pie, it can be served as dessert, too. Quiches usually freeze well, and are easily reheated in the oven or on the stove top.
This week, just before we begin our Rosh Hashana preparations, I will explain how to make three different quiches: a cheesy soufflé, a corn quiche that kids adore, and a cheese, onion and vegetable pie. They’re all easy and make any meal just a little bit tastier.
Cheese soufflé
I recommend preparing this quiche as close to serving time as possible, since it does lose a little in height once it cools down.
Makes 6 muffins.
■ 2 Tbsp. butter
■ 2 Tbsp. flour
■ ½ cup milk or cooking cream
■ 150 gr. ricotta goat cheese or mascarpone
■ 100 gr. Gouda or Pecorino cheese, grated
■ Salt and pepper, to taste
■ 4 large eggs, separated
For topping:
■ 2-3 Tbsp. Pecorino cheese, grated
Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and stir. While stirring, pour in milk.
Mix until smooth. (If needed, add another ¼ cup of milk). Transfer to a bowl.
Add the egg yolks and mix. Season with salt and pepper. If you wish, you can add two tablespoons of chopped olives or dried tomatoes.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until fluffy and stiff peaks appear. Pour egg whites into the cheese mixture slowly and gently until mixed well.
Grease the cupcake holders with butter or oil spray. Sprinkle the bottoms and sides with a little grated Pecorino cheese.
Pour the cheese mixture into the paper cups. Do not fill them to the top – leave 1.5 cm. at the top so that when the soufflé expands it will not overflow and make a mess.
Bake in a preheated oven (180°) for 15-17 minutes. Serve straightaway.
Corn quiche that kids adore
This quiche is extremely versatile, since it really doesn’t matter what kind of cheese you use. You can even mix together whatever you have left over in your fridge. Kids love that the quiche has corn, but you can always sneak in a few other vegetables, too, such as mushrooms, carrots or zucchini.
Makes 2 medium pans or 1 large pan.
■ ½ tub cottage cheese
■ ¾ cup hard cheese (any kind will do), grated
■ 50 gr. 5% Bulgarian cheese
■ 50 gr. 5% salty white cheese
■ 3 Tbsp 5% white cheese or cream cheese (any kind)
■ 1 can (550 gr.) corn, drained
■ 1 tsp. baking powder
■ 3 eggs
■ 2 Tbsp. corn flour or rice flour
For topping:
■ 2 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
Add all the ingredients to a bowl, except for the eggs and flour. Mix well. Add one egg at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix until smooth.
Gradually add flour, mixing between each addition.
Mix until smooth. Grease the pan(s) and pour in mixture.
Spread until flat.
Sprinkle some sesame seeds onto the pie and then bake in a preheated oven (180°) for 35 minutes or until you poke with a toothpick and it comes out clean and dry.
Cheese, onion and vegetable pie
Makes four 15-cm. diameter pies.
■ 2 cups flour, sifted
■ ½ packet baking powder
■ 2 Tbsp. 9% white cheese
■ ¼ tsp. salt
■ 150 gr. butter, cut into cubes
■ 1 egg
■ 100 gr. butter
■ 2 onions, sliced thinly
■ 2 red onions, sliced thinly
■ 3 cloves garlic, crushed
■ 1 red pepper, cut into cubes (you can leave a few thin strips for decoration)
■ 1 Tbsp. flour, sifted
■ Salt and pepper, to taste
■ ¼ tsp. nutmeg
■ 1 Tbsp. mustard
■ 1 carton sweet cream
■ 150 gr. kashkaval (or any other hard cheese), grated
■ 4 eggs, beaten
Add all the ingredients for crust into a food processor and process until mixed well and flexible. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion slices and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden.
Add the crushed garlic and the pepper squares and fry for two more minutes. Add the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well. Remove from flame.
Add the mustard, sweet cream and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
While stirring, add beaten eggs and mix well.
Roll dough out until it’s ½ cm. thick. Line bottom and sides of pan. Keep the leftover pieces of dough.
Pour in the cheese mixture and spread evenly. Roll out the leftover pieces of dough and cut out flowers, hearts or any other shape, using cookie cutters. Lay them on top of the pie along with the strips of red pepper.
Bake in a preheated oven (180°) for 35-40 minutes until quiche is firm and golden brown. Remove from oven and serve hot.
Translated by Hannah Hochner