Crustless & Dairy-free Quiche
No crust, no cheese, no dairy
. . . & it’s still a quiche
I enjoy quiche. I like pastry and eggs and cheese and vegetables and meat, so quiche is the obvious result.
But, I may not have all the ingredients on hand. Here’s a recipe I created I think you’ll like. (As much as anyone really creates anything these days. When you think about it, by now, everything’s pretty much been done in one way or another, but, here’s my spin.)
Cast iron skillet (or oven proof pan of your choice, but read more below)
Tongs, knife, cutting board, spatula, whisk, bowl
2 Tbl coconut oil
4 large or jumbo eggs (eggs come from chickens, dairy comes from cows 💡 )
1/4-1/3 cup of each of the following, diced or sliced into edible sizes (or as much or little as you like):
Salt & pepper–freshly ground and to taste
Melt coconut oil in skillet on medium heat. Add veggies (onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, spinach) & cook until wilted, but not browned. Add shrimp.
Turn on broiler and have top rack 4-6 inches from broiler.
Whisk eggs in bowl and pour over mixture in pan. Stir just slightly after a minute, but don’t break up mixture. It’s thick and lumpy with ingredients, you only want to introduce a bit more egg to the bottom of the pan. The top will still be quite runny.
Place skillet in oven with door left ajar. Give it a couple or 3 or 4 minutes. You want the top to be cooked from the broiler like the bottom was cooked from the stove top.
Remove from oven, season with salt & pepper. It’ll be a bit puffy when you first remove it from the oven and will settle down. That’s ok. Run your knife around the edge to loosen and cut into servings with a spatula and scoop out. It should release from the pan easily.
Serve with a side of fruit.
Depending on how many other sides you’re serving, this can feed up to four adults.
A word about skillets . . . There are a gazillion out there and you’ll find the one that works well for you. But, for me, you can’t beat a real cast iron skillet. I don’t mean non-stick pans or Le Creuset or Emeril’s or any of the enameled pans available that are so beautiful. I have some pretty red ones I enjoy, but the enamel has chips and dings in it from normal, everyday cooking.
I mean the plain old black seasoned cast iron skillets our grandmothers used. The one you see above was my guy’s grandmother’s. He doesn’t know how old it is, but she died six years ago at age 96. He said she’d been the only girl in her family and it probably belonged to her mother, which could make it 120 years old.
It’s 8″ in diameter (at the bottom) and 3″ deep on the sides. It’s one of my favorite pans.
There are two very important things you should always do with cast iron:
- Season it
- Never use soap to wash it.
I’ll explain . . . . Here’s how it looked right after I removed the quiche. You need a certain amount of oil when cooking (I added the coconut oil in the above recipe), but it comes out quite easily. It has been well seasoned.
Seasoning is nothing but cooking oil into the surface of the pan. Our grandmothers used lard– smeared the inside and outside of the pan, then set it near the fire or wood burning stove to heat slowly.
Today, use olive oil or coconut oil on your pan, sit it in another larger pan or line your oven floor with foil to catch the oily drips. Place larger pan in an oven on 180o overnight. The next morning, wipe clean and repeat the process until it’s nice and black.
You can also bake it on 350o for an hour. Or use it as often as possible with fatty meats (like frying bacon) to continue process. It doesn’t happen on one overnight or with one use, but, in time, it will be nicely seasoned.
Washing is also important. Don’t use soap or you’ll remove some or all of the lovely seasoning you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
One caveat, whether this is a new cast iron pan or one you picked up at a flea market, wash it in hot soapy water before beginning to season it. If it’s new, you’ll want to remove the factory oil that prevents rusting.
I don’t mind buying certain durable items like this used, so finding one at a flea market is a great choice. They often have older styles no long manufactured that are fun to have. But, if it’s going to be dirty, I want it to be my dirt.
You can even bury it in a wood burning fire to let the coals burn off as much old residue as possible. It won’t hurt the pan. You’ll still want to wash it when done with the fire.
Back to using the pan for cooking . . . when you’re finished cooking in the pan, immediately– while it’s still hot from the stove or oven– take it to the sink and run hot water into the hot pan. The water will deglaze the pan much like wine deglazes a pan when making a sauce. Let it sit until cool.
I bought some coarse, cheap salt at this bargain-discount store I occasionally visit. It was in an unmarked bag so I don’t know what kind it is. It’s too large to use without a grinder and it’s a dull, gray color. But, it was 50 cents a 3 pound bag– and perfect for cleaning.
Sprinkle about a tablespoon into the deglazed, cooled pan. Using a paper towel or nylon scrubby, scrub any residue still in pan and rinse. That’s all you need to do and this is how it’ll look. (If it’s a hundred years old.)
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