In an earlier post about Mini Frittatas, I talked about how convenient it is to have both mini frittatas and mini quiches on hand for breakfast. I also mentioned the differences (frittatas are bit heartier and substantive, quiches are lighter and silkier), and promised to post a quiche version soon. With a touch of spring in the air, I think it is time to highlight my favorite version of Mini Quiches, because they seem somewhat lighter and fresher than the frittatas.
Although Allen liked both breakfast-in-a -muffin versions, he had a real preference for the meat and potato frittata version. Maybe there really is some truth in that old phrase “Real men don’t eat quiche,” after all.
I, on the other hand, feel that this crust less, quiche-like version is even more delicious than the frittatas—but of course you can judge for yourself. I often served these with turkey sausage, so Allen could feel especially full, satisfied, and manly. These can also be made in mini muffin cups, cooked a shorter time, and served as appetizers.
I especially like adding fruit to the meal, like these beautiful oranges. Each is different in flavor and color: Cara Cara oranges look a bit like smaller pink grapefruit but taste like oranges, navel oranges are always wonderfully juicy, and Blood Red Oranges provide a beautiful punch of red color and bright taste.
Silicone muffin cups are ideal for these mini quiches, but well-greased metal muffin tins will work also if very well buttered. I originally made these in the metal tins, and sometimes had difficulty getting all the eggy-baked goodness out of the tins. When I switched to silicone pans, my releasing problems were over. I am so glad that silicone items are available for cooking nerds like me; my life is much easier as a result!
I still spray the muffin cups with cooking oil spray because it does help with the final release. Then I beat the eggs with a fork and add the dairy; I have used half and half, Vitamin D milk, and even skim milk. Whisk with the fork, then add salt, pepper, chives, tarragon or thyme. I prefer using fresh tarragon, but if it is not available, I like the dried thyme. Stir in the parmesan and make sure everything is well blended.
Then I switch to the best kitchen tool of all and use my fingers to separate and crumble the spinach over the mixture, then the goat cheese. Don’t worry if the goat cheese crumbles are not the same size; it won’t matter, just be sure to combine it all well. It looks like there will be too much, but it melts into the eggy mixture during baking and provides a nice tang.
Use a ladle to distribute the egg mixture into each muffin cup. These only have to bake for about 15-20 minutes; check to see if they are done by inserting a thin paring knife into the middle of one. If it comes out mostly clean, the quiches are done. They should be puffed up and slightly brown around the edges. Sometimes my ladling isn’t very neat, and I have spills along the edges of each muffin cup. I run a thin spatula around the edges to loosen and separate each quiche from any cooked-on spills as I lift each quiche out of the pan.
Serve immediately with fresh fruit; offer some sausage for the carnivores in the family, if desired. These can be frozen and they reheat beautifully in the microwave.
SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE MINI QUICHES
- 3 Large Eggs, beaten
- 1/2 Cup Half and Half or Milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Finely Snipped Fresh Chives, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 Tablespoon Finely Minced Fresh Tarragon or Thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 10 Ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
- 1/2 Cup Goat Cheese (dryer goat cheese is easier to crumble)
- 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray mini quiche pans with cooking oil spray and place on a cookie sheet.
Whisk eggs and half and half until well combined. Add salt, pepper, chives and thyme or tarragon; mix thoroughly. Stir in the parmesan and mix well. Crumble in the spinach, then the goat cheese and stir it all until well combined.
Ladle or pour the mixture into prepared pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely puffed and browned.
Serve with sausage for the carnivores in the family, and fresh fruit for everyone.