I have this thing about having a lot of food in the freezer. As much as I enjoy cooking, I sometimes have days where I just don’t feel like it, and I love being able to just pull something from the freezer and toss it in the microwave.
In England shopping for the freezer was easy and cheap. Unfortunately the freezer space I had there was TINY, which sort of made it complicated. In Iceland frozen foods aren’t always very cheap, probably because most of it has been shipped in from somewhere far away, and when it is produced here it’s made with imported ingredients and for a very small market. Moreover, cheap, frozen food isn’t always made with the best ingredients and so doesn’t make for very healthy eating. So when I can I like to make my own frozen foods.
Yesterday I spent hours on my feet in the kitchen making quiche and mini veggie pies. I took my laptop with me and managed to watch two episodes of Hannibal and one episode of Criminal Minds. I also somehow managed to wash four loads of laundry. I am the lord of multitasking!
I recently made some quiche lorraine from scratch for the first time. I fell in love with it while in Sheffield and the fact that it’s pretty much nowhere to be found here in Iceland has been eating me up inside (not really). I had somehow managed to convince myself that it’s really complicated to make, but it’s not. It takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth it.
The recipe I worked with comes from here. I decided to make two quiche lorraine (cheese and bacon), and two with spinach and cheese. I used the same recipe and just substituted spinach for the bacon. Spinach quiche is probably generally made slightly differently, but I couldn’t be arsed to find out. This worked for me.
Half-and-half, as I understand it, is basically half milk and half cream, so it’s easy to just use those. The first time I did this I actually did split two of the eggs and just use the egg yolks, but it felt wasteful because I knew I wasn’t going to use the egg whites. I made four quiche last night and that would’ve left me with 8 egg whites, so I just used whole eggs.
Tablespoons as a measurement for butter is very strange to me, especially when the butter is supposed to be cold. I don’t know how butter packaging works in the US, but here they all have markings for 50 or 100 grams. I did calculate it though, and 7 tablespoons are 98 grams.
Making quiche is a little messy, particularly the crust. Mixing just under 400 grams of cold butter into flour with my hands took a while and left me quite sore. It’s probably much easier to do it in a stand mixer. Then I had to make two separate bowls of the egg mixture, and I had quite a bit left over of both once I’d filled up the crusts. I poured the leftovers into muffin forms, so I now have a few mini-omelettes of sorts.
I used aluminium forms which might be a bit smaller than the 9 inches recommended in the recipe. The edges are also a bit low. This might account for the leftover egg-mixture. But it worked out all right, so it’s fine. I used rice as pie weights, which worked out just fine. I baked two of the crusts at a time and once the first two had been baked I simply transferred the parchment paper and weights over to the others.
They all turned out absolutely lovely. I left them in the fridge over night and today I cut them into quarters and put all but two of the quarters into the freezer. So I now have up to 12 meals sitting in there.
I also made mini veggie pies based on this recipe. The recipe is dairy free, but I just ignored that and made them with dairy products. I approximately trebled the recipe, and instead of using ramekins or pie forms, I simply rolled out the puff pastry and cut into sheets large enough to fill muffin forms. I then topped the filling with another small sheet of puff pastry. For the filling I made do with frozen broccoli mix veggies, I just chopped them up smaller once they’d thawed.
These turned out really well. The bottoms were a little soggy once I took them out of the oven, even though the tops were starting to burn a little. Next time I might try to bake them at a lower temp for a bit longer. Or I’ll bake the pastry for a bit before putting the mix in. They taste good anyway. I’ve eaten a few, but I still have about 12 of them in the freezer now, and they are perfect for lunch packs. I can just grab one or two and put in a box with some fresh veggies, they’ll have thawed by the time lunch rolls around.