When you see the word quiche, do you immediately think about a flakey, buttery crust cradling a creamy, cheesey filling? I am a fan of a flakey, buttery crust, but I don’t mind letting that go if said quiche will still be moist, cheesey and, in this case, mini. Mini food. Always very cute. And easy to prepare when you have to make 150 pieces. Last night was the 10th Anniversary Drama Kings and Queens performance by students in the L.A. Speech and Language Therapy Center‘s summer program. Prior to the show, 100 VIP ticket holders noshed on a few appetizers I made for the occasion. That’s where these quiche come in.
Last night’s event was a culmination of a lot of determination and effort on the part of the L.A. Speech and Language Therapy Center, its leaders, and of course, the stars of the show–each and every child involved in the show. L.A. Speech creates engaging and creative programs for children along the austism spectrum. The Center’s summer theatre camp, Drama Kings and Queens, celebrated ten years of its play performances, so VIP ticket holders were treated to a few hors d’oeuvres. Lucky for me, I had several past and present program participants helping me in the kitchen. We put together Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Lemon Crème Fraîche Bites, Prosciutto, Herbed Goat Cheese and Fig Jam Crostini, and Mini Spinach and Cheese quiche.
The recipe for this quiche comes together fairly quickly, which is just what you need when you have to make a lot. You can even cook off the onion and spinach mixture one day and put the rest of it together the next. Crustless quiche stack and pack well in the fridge, and they reheat perfectly in a low temperature oven. They also stay very moist, so don’t worry about them drying out. If you have a gluten intolerance, crustless quiche is a life-saver. You can make this recipe completely gluten-free with just a couple of very small tweaks.
- Floured baking spray**
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup minced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and pressed dry
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ¼ cups mixed grated cheese (ie. manchego, parmesan, Gruyère, white cheddar, feta, etc.), divided*
- 1 tablespoon flour**
- 6 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- ⅓ cup whole ricotta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Heavily spray two 24-cup nonstick mini-muffin pans with floured baking spray.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onions, cooking for 3-5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add garlic and spinach, and cook about 10 minutes, or until most of the moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat, stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cool to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, toss the cheese and flour together. In a larger bowl, whisk eggs and yolks with milk, ricotta cheese, and half of the grated cheese mixture. Stir in the cooked spinach. Use a tablespoon measure to fill each cup. (If you fill to the very top, you will make about 4 doz. Fill about ⅘ to the top, and you will end up with closer to 5 dozen.) Top each one with a sprinkling of the reserved cheese.
- Bake until the quiche are golden brown on top and puffy, about 35-38 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through.
- Once out of the oven, lightly shake the pan to loosen the edges, or run a knife along the sides of each quiche. Remove from pan, and serve warm or at room temperature. If you have any leftover batter, repeat the baking process.