Remember Topo Gigio, the little mouse on the Ed Sullivan Show?  I almost titled this post “Quiche me goodnight” in homage to him.

He had a crush on Brigitte Bardot.  That’s about all that I remember about him–that and him saying “Kees me goodnight” to Mr. Sullivan.

I guess people were more easily amused in those days.  A fake mouse with a squeaky Italian accent would never cut it today, I reckon.

Anyway, I’ve adopted  Topo Gigio as my quiche spirit guide and mascot.

Mice like cheese, right?  Quiche has cheese, right?  There’s the logic.

(Actually, I’m told that mice really aren’t all that partial to cheese.  Furthermore, you can make a perfectly good quiche without any cheese in it whatsoever.  But we’ll pretend that we don’t know those things.)

So anyway, guess what I did today.  If you guessed “made quiche for thirty people,” you win.  I don’t know what you’ve won, but whatever it is, I’m sure it’s very nice.  I hope it’s your size.

I made two, actually–a big one with broccoli and Cheddar, and a small one with just Cheddar.  I counted the eggs (46) and measured the dairy (5 1/2 cups each of milk and heavy cream, 2 1/2 cups sour cream), but that’s it.  Everything else, I guesstimated.

If it looks like there’s enough broccoli and Cheddar, then there’s enough.  Easy as that.

If I had to make the same kind of quiche every day and wanted to be consistent, then of course I’d measure everything.  But as a one-off deal, who cares?

As such, I’m not going to bother giving you any specific recipes for quiche variations (as long as you’ve got the basic formula under your belt, you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want), but here are a few ideas to get you going in the right direction:

  • Swiss cheese or Gruyère (grated, obviously)
  • Blue, Roquefort, or Gorgonzola, crumbled.  These are pretty strong, so don’t overdo it (1/4-1/3 cup is plenty for a nine-inch quiche).  You might even want to tame it a bit by adding a half-cup or so of cream cheese or cottage cheese
  • Speaking of which:  cottage cheese.  Doll it up with a few dashes of Worcestershire and Tabasco®.  You can also add some fresh chives or super-fine minced scallions and parsley, or some dried oregano, thyme, or sage
  • Camembert, Brie, or Liederkranz.  These benefit from some extra pepper and a few dashes of Tabasco®.  Throw in some minced fresh parsley, if you want
  • Feel free to use a combination of different cheeses, too
  • Smoked salmon.  Ooh, quelle elegant!  Use whatever stray bits and scraps of smoked salmon you happen to have, but try to have a pretty light hand with it–strong stuff, after all.  1/4 cup is plenty
  • Cooked crab meat, lobster, or shrimp
  • Cooked broccoli or spinach (if you use spinach, squeeze the hell out of it before putting it in the pie shell)
  • Sautéed chicken livers
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Peeled and cooked asparagus tips
  • Cooked onions
  • Olives
  • Anchovies

Are you starting to get the idea that anything goes?  Good.  That’s the idea you should have.  Use your imagination and have some fun with it.  Topo Gigio would want you to.

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