Potluck Quandary? Bring on the Quiche

Thursday, October 17, 2013

There is an art to signing up for a potluck. There are those people whose names always seem to pop up 30 seconds after the list is posted, right next to drinks, chips or cups/plates/utensils.

The speed at which they sign up and the peace of mind they seem to have with their decision is beyond me. The next coveted spot is salads or sides. They are easy, great at room temperature and you can play with an infinite number of variations on black beans and quinoa.

You also feel good about yourself because they are the healthy options at the potluck. Then comes the last spot to be filled — the dreaded main courses.

If you are one of the unlucky souls to be a “main courser,” you understand the misery involved.

Many people will be expecting something hot and meaty, which means you pretty much have two options. Crockpot, or hijack someone’s oven.

Well, I have found a third option — quiche. You may feel like someone’s grandmother when you walk in, but just embrace it. Walk up to a co-worker, pinch their adorable cheeks, and comment on how tall they’ve gotten.

The wonders of the quiche are as follows: It can be made the night before; it is rich, so it can satisfy those meat eaters; and it is meant to be eaten at room temperature.

To make sure it isn’t cold, just pull it out of the refrigerator about one to two hours before the potluck. So in anticipation of many thanks, I will say “You’re welcome,” for alleviating that potluck main-course stress.

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck.

Spinach Quiche

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ¼ cup grated gruyere (cheddar can work, too)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots or onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 prepared crust (handmade or frozen is fine)

Preheat the oven to 375°. Cook the shallots or onions for 1 to 2 minutes in butter at medium-high heat. Add the spinach, and stir for several minutes to evaporate all of the water. Stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg and taste for proper seasoning. Remove from heat.

Beat the eggs, milk and cream until combined. Gradually stir in the shallot and spinach mixture.

Pour into the pastry shell, sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. To check for doneness, poke the center with a toothpick. It should come out moist, but without any egg batter coating it.