Quiche is basically a pie shell filled with an egg custard. Once we under stand how basic and simple it can be, we can get creative. I think the most popular is the basic spinach and bacon quiche, anyone can fry some some bacon and toss some raw spinach into a pie shell and pour the custard over them. About the only thing left to be creative about is how much salt and pepper.
The great thing about a quiche is its simplicity and rather forgiving custard. For those in a hurry, just use the frozen pie shells found in any mega mart.
Once I made my first real pie crust, and it was a failure, I was hooked on doing it myself. No stinking pie crust was going to get the better of me.
How do you fail at a pie crust, too much butter and when blind baked it all slid to the bottom of the pan, bummer. BUT, you can always put some cinnamon and sugar on top and tell the kids its desert.
So here I am, going to make a quiche, but also thinking I might like a Mexican / SouthWestern version, and while I’m at it, how about a cornmeal crust, after all I am also thinking about a good Tamale.
For those that haven’t worked with cornmeal, it doesn’t hold its shape, it’s soft like a muffin.
After some time on the Internet I decided to make this a deep dish quiche, adding to the cornmeal’s limitations. What I came up with was a dough of 80 percent cornmeal and 20 percent flour, add some egg and cheese and it should hold its shape and not crumble.
Yet still be cornmeal.
For one 9 inch spring-form pan
2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
6 to 8 ounces Cheddar Cheese, grated (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup reduced fat (2%) milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
I oiled and parchment papered the spring pan sides to help release and keep the crust together after baking and cooling.
Use the 2/3’s of the crust mixture to build the sides and after it’s basically in place, use the remaining 1/3 portion for the bottom of the pan.
I used parchment paper in addition to oil on the sides because if the cornmeal stuck to the pan sides, I would pull the cornmeal away from the filling. Just being safer than sorrier.since I still didn’t know how firm the crust would be. As it turned out, the parchment paper adhered to the cornmeal and had to be pealed off. As thick as the crust was though, a paring knife slid between the cornmeal and metal would have probably worked. Since I would prefer a thinner crust next time, I will stick with the parchment paper.
I like to use the outside of a measuring cup to shape and smooth the inside. Different sized of cups will determine the top to bottom radius of the crust.
Now blind bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes or it starts to brown in a preheated 400 degree oven, remove from oven and set aside.
Chipotle Chicken Filling:
6 large eggs
2 cups plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili pepper
2 to 3 boneless chicken breast,cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups Mexican mix shredded cheese
1 can whole chiles
1 can chopped chiles
Note: Chili powder and chipolte Chile powder is not the same. Chipolte is a smoked hot pepper, found in the Mexican spice section as whole chiles
Cook chicken with chipotle chili powder until tender, season to taste.
Combine yogurt, milk, cumin, chili powder and eggs and blend together.
Layer your grated cheese, green chilies and chicken. 2 to 3 layers each.
Pour custard over layered chicken and cheese, bake in a 325 degree oven for an hour.
Mix a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste with a southwestern seasoning of your choice, I used a variation of Emeril’s southwestern rub. After an hour in the oven spread a thing layer of paste and rub on top of the quiche. Return to oven for another 30 plus minutes.
When internal temp reaches 160-165 degrees, remove from oven and let rest at least 40 minutes.
Even with waxed paper and spray the cornmeal crust may still stick. I have to strip paper off the quiche sides after the spring-form sides had been removed, I also used a thin slicer to slide between the crust and bottom of the spring form so the over sized quiche did not split.
Cut into wedges and serve. My preference is to make quiche a day ahead of time, refrigerate and then reheat and serve. Firmer shape and a better melding of flavors.
After the fact: The chicken and chipolte flavors where very mild, yet distinct. A winner in our opinion. The crust came out nice and firm with a great flavor. Just what I wanted to accomplish and now knowing this I would build the next version with a thinner crust.
I would roll out the crust, between sheets of plastic wrap if necessary and piece into the spring-form. Easy to do, use spring-form bottom and sit on top of crust and trim around. The press edged inwards a bit and attach the spring side with waxed paper already oiled in place. Place trimmed strips of crust onto the sides and press to stick.
Then take the surplus crust, roll out like a 1/4 inch rope and with an egg wash, press into the bottom seam between sides and bottom.
This will provide a thinner and more aesthetic crust when the pie is sliced.
I would also serve with a salsa served on the side.