What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Easy Hor'dourves: Mini Quiches

Here’s quick little article on making mini quiches or mini savory pies. We frequently have people ask us for quick recipes for appetizers to take to a party. Lots of people go to the store and buy something pre-prepared. Guess what? Everybody knows! These little pies, on the other hand, are cute, homemade but professional, and are delicious and the possibilities are endless.

Let’s get started! The best product on the market that we've found is frozen Pillsbury pie crusts. They are NOT shaped as a pie crust. They come rolled up in a box, two crusts per box. Not every grocery store has them, but a lot of them do. Find a source and buy a few boxes and keep them in your freezer for a last minute treat. We usually thaw them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Take one pie crust roll out of the package. Lightly flour a surface and roll out one pie crust, making it thinner/bigger by at least a few inches all the way around. For our mini muffin tins, we use a 2 1/4" round cutter. We have 2 different size mini muffin tins and we use the smaller one for these. The dough is very easy to use; you can roll it out and if you mess up, have scraps, etc., you can ball it up and roll is out again. There is no waste at all. Our mini tins top diameter is 1 7/8" and the bottom is 1 1/8". There are 24 muffins cups on a sheet. One pie crust makes at least 24 mini muffins/pies/quiches or one sheet.

Next, for the filling(s):

Roasted pepper filling: in the bottom of the tin, lay a few slices of roasted bell pepper. We usually buy the multicolored peppers. You can roast your own, like we do or buy a jar of roasted red bell peppers. This will save you time. Mix 3 eggs and 1/3 cup cream. Add salt and pepper. Pour into tins on the pepper slices, filling no more than 3/4 full. Top with grated parmesan (or another cheese of your choice). Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes. It usually takes only 7 minutes in my convection oven. Watch them the first time, making sure they don't get too brown. They puff a lot.

Cool on a rack and serve at room temperature.

Low fat version: use an egg beater-like product with skim milk or fat free cream or half and half. Most people can't tell the difference and your friends will be a lot healthier.

Other fillings ideas:

If you make cream of mushroom soup, freeze the leftovers. When you thaw the dough, also thaw the soup. Mix the soup with an equal amount of eggs (or egg equivalent). Pour into mini pie crusts. Top each with a thin slice of mushroom. Bake as above.

Fill with cooked bacon and onions and top with eggs and cream (or lighter alternative). Finish with Swiss (they make low fat of this too) or gruyere.

Spinach, a hint of nutmeg, sour cream, feta, eggs and cream.

Smoked salmon, green onion, dill, gruyere, eggs and cream.

Broccoli (finely chopped & steamed), cheddar, eggs & cream.

Green chilies, Monterey jack, cottage cheese and eggs.

Ham & Swiss with eggs & cream.

Sausage sauté with onions, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, mixed with eggs and cream & topped with cheddar.

Leek and potatoes.

You get the idea. The possibilities ARE endless! Meaty, cheesy, vegetarian, healthy or not. Guaranteed to please and YOU made them.

Yum! It makes me hungry. We hope you'll try a few of them for your next party or as to take along when asked to bring an appetizer. Let us know what you think at swankcat@swankcatering.com or visit our website: www.swankcatering.com. We would love to hear from you!

Next time: more decorating ideas!

Until then, eat, drink, laugh, and read more about food!

Warmly,
Pookah and Di

4 Comments:

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  • At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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