In which I make some freezer-ready back-up lunches (#5).
Recently, I’ve been thinking about ways that I can save some time and stress in the kitchen. I expected to be thinking about dinners, but my mind kept turning to the mornings that the hubs is running late and rushing to get in breakfast and packing a lunch before he leaves for work. Bringing his lunch to work saves us money and him some time on weekdays. But I just spent a bunch of money on a stash of food he could keep in his office in case he couldn’t pack a lunch, and he has been pressed for time in the mornings, causing a scramble — that never leads to a good day.
I wanted to come up with something we could keep in the freezer that would be easy to grab on those busy mornings, would thaw by lunch, and be microwavable or eatable at room temperature. I decided to make a variety of quiche cups, hoping that the smaller, muffin size would thaw faster and be more variable than freezing slices of a traditional quiche. The hubs could eat four on his busy days or I could pull out two when I needed them.
I used store-bought Pillsbury pie crust for my cups. I used an appropriately sized mug to cut out rounds, then squished them into very well greased muffin cups. After rolling out the scraps of both crusts in the box and using as much as I could, I ended up making about four quiche cups without the crusts. I pricked the crusts and cooked them without the filling for about five minutes. This caused them to shrink down a bit, but firmed them up ahead of time, which I like. I let them cool before adding the filling so I didn’t start cooking the eggs in a weird way.
I used several different combinations of fillings: ham, onion, cheddar; spinach and feta; sundried tomatoes and Italian cheese blend; and a few plain cheddar. I prepped all the filling components, thawing and squeezing the water out of frozen spinach, chopping the ham steak, onions, and tomatoes, and grating up the cheddar. Then I cooked the onions until they were slightly caramelized and the ham until it was slightly crisped. I mixed up a whole batch of the egg mixture (10 eggs, about a cup of half-and-half, salt and pepper) in a large pyrex measuring cup. After spooning some of the ingredients into the cups, I topped with the egg mixture and cooked for about a half an hour, until a knife inserted came out clean.
I made a full 24 quiche cups. There are 18 waiting in the freezer for those crazy mornings. They should keep in the freezer for about three months.