I was looking for a “tasty utilitarian something.” Something that could work for breakfast/brunch, or as an appetizer during cocktails, or as a first course in a fancy-shmancy dinner. I picked up this recipe for Muffin-tin Mini Quiches from Eating Well and while it lacks a pie crust, it doesn’t lack flavor. And it certainly comes in ideal serving portions for use in all of the serving opportunities noted above. Further, you can make it ahead of time (like I did). After the quiches have cooled and removed from the muffin tin, wrap the quiches individually in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 1 month). To reheat from fridge, remove plastic, wrap in paper towel and microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds. Tonight the quiches will be served before our standing rib roast.
My “go-to” white is Sauvignon Blanc. And for tonight I’ve selected a wine from New Zealand. Loire Valley would also have been a good choice… Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé and Quincy all produce excellent Sauvingon Blancs. Other Loire whites would be great choices, too: Muscadet or Dry Vouvray. Pinot Gris from Alsace or Pinot Blanc from the Alto-Adige are other wines that I love both as aperitifs and to go with the quiches.
Konrad Sauvignon Blanc ’14 (Marlborough, NZ)
A brilliant, pale straw green colour. This is a ripe style of Sauvignon showing elements of passion fruit, mango, melon and stone fruit, as well as subtle yoghurty complexity from a whisker of barrel fermentation. The palate if soft, full and dry taking richness from the excellent fruit weight achieved in the vineyard. Classic Marlborough Sauvignon flavours of tropical fruits and underlaid by a vein of exotic fruits reminiscent of guava and lychee. The extract of the wine fills the mouth while acidity keeps the palate alive through to a clean, dry finish.
6 ounces of Tanqueray Gin
½ ounce of Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups finely diced red-skinned potatoes
1 cup diced red onion
8 large eggs
1 cup shredded smoked gruyere cheese
½ cup low-fat milk
½ tsp ground pepper
1½ cups chopped fresh baby spinach
- Put gin and vermouth into a glass pitcher, fill with ice, stir vigorously while incanting, “You who know all, thank you for providing us juniper and all the other obscure ingredients responsible for creating this sacred liquid!” Strain into a pre-frozen Martini glass of admirable size. Skewer the olives on one of those tacky cocktail swords, place in glass. Immediately begin consuming. Now you can begin the food prep, and the cooking!
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and ¼ tsp salt and cook, stirring ’til the potatoes are just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
- Whisk eggs, cheese, milk, pepper, ½ tsp of salt in a large bowl. Stir in spinach and the potato mixture. Divide quiche mixture among the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake until firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
n.b. The smoked gruyere fills in a layer of flavor that could accomplished with diced bacon or ham. And next go ’round I might add ham anyway!