With whisk in hand, make a quiche

In this East Coast city the soup and quiche or quiche and salad combination is a noon restaurant favorite, but quiches are also well worth considering for at-home entertaining, especially by those whose living space is too limited for sit- down dinners.

Im know whereof I speak, for after much menu searching I have often resorted to serving one or more quiches of the same or different fillings, with either a large antipasto platter or huge bowl of Greek salad. With dessert and beverage, this makes an acceptable and attractive meal.

The piecrust can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, and of course commercially prepared pie shells and very convenient. A quiche can be completely assembled and refrigerated until baking time, or it can be baked early in the day and reheated in time for quests. Quiches can be frozen, but extended freezing tends to make the filling "honeycomb" when the pies are reheated.

From one basic quiche recipe there are vegetarian fillings as light as spinach, eggplant, zucchini, tomato, mushroom, onion, and combinations thereof . . . or as hearty as sausage, smoked fish or meat, chicken, crab, lobster, salmon , and tuna.

Maine Shrimp Quiche was my great favorite at one time, but the succulent baby shrimp are now both scarce and expensive, and I have found a substitute in tuna, whose chunks add a special flavor to the cheesy custard. Canned salmon would be a colorful alternative. Basic Quiche

Bake 9-inch piecrust in 400 degree F. oven for 10 minutes until lightly brown.

Beat 4 eggs with 1 1/2 cups half and half. Add 1/2 to 1 cup grated cheese and 1 cup chopped cooked meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables. Season as desired with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite herbs.

Gently pour into pie shell and bake in 400 degree F. oven for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 325 degrees F. and bake 30 minutes more. Seafood Quiche (crab, lobster, salmon, tuna) 2 beaten eggs 1/2 cup milk 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 2/3 cup drained, flaked seafood 1 8-ounce package natural Swiss cheese, diced 1/3 cup sliced green onions

Beat together eggs and milk until well blended. Stir in flour. Add mayonnaise.

Sprinkle seafood, cheese, and onion evenly in pie shell. Pour egg mixture over seafood in pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean. Seves 6.

I discovered this Greek quiche, unusual because it is made with feta cheese. Feta Cheese Quiche 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell 3/4 pound feta cheese, cut into small piece 1 cup light cream or evaporated milk 3 eggs 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 1 teaspoon cornstarch Dash pepper 1 small clove garlic, crushed Ripe olives, pitted Green olives, pitted 1 pimento, cut in strips

Bake pie shell according to directions and cool. Blend feta cheese in electric blender with cream and eggs until smooth. Add thyme, cornstarch, and pepper. Blend. Stir in garlic. Turn into pie shell.

Bake pie in a preheated 425 degree F. oven for 10 minutes.Arrange olives as desired over top, then bake 25 minutes longer, or until filling is set. Decorate with pimento strips.Serve warm. Serves 6 to 8. Quiche Lorraine With Phyllo Crust 2 cups light cream or evaporated milk 4 eggs Salt and pepper to taste 5 leaves of phyllo 1/4 cup butter, melted 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese 1 10-inch pie plate or 9-by-9-by-2-inc square pan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix together cream, eggs, salt, and pepper and beat well.

Butter pan. Place 1 sheet of phyllo folded into pan. Butter. Place second sheet over first. Fold and butter.Repeat until all 5 sheets are used. Trim edges. Sprinkle cheese over top.

Pour beaten egg mixture over cheese and bake in 450 degree F. oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serves 8.

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