I want to go to a cocktail party. I want to wear a small black dress and high heels. I want to stand on a veranda with a person I don’t know very well, whom I suspect I do not like. I want to mingle and make sparkling conversation. I want to drink champagne and pretend I read The Atlantic. I want to hold a tiny plate filled with mushroom caps, shrimp puffs, lamb chops, and mini quiches. I want to take a yellow cab home, or better yet, to a hotel. I want to take off my shoes in the elevator, forget to remove my eye makeup, fall asleep with the TV on, and wake up to room service, and the unflinching light of morning.
Instead I am holding a baby and there is spit up on my flannel shirt. I wore Wellingtons to slog through the mud to the barn to feed the goats. Later I will walk the dog and load the dishwasher and, if I am lucky, read two pages of A Clash of Kings before falling asleep face first on my Kindle. It may not be glamorous, but my life is all kinds of beautiful. Still, occasionally other lives I’ve dared to live come sweeping across the stage of my imagination. There will be parties again one day. Until then, I have cheap wine and two dozen mini quiches to proffer a glimpse of what it’s like outside of Topsham.
Crustless Mini Quiches
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 1/8 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1/8 cup chives, finely chopped
- 2 small zucchini, grated
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Prepare the batter by whisking 1/2 a cup of the milk into cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks, the rest of the milk, salt, nutmeg, cayenne, and heavy cream until well blended. This mixture can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to one day.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic and onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add basil, chives, and zucchini; cook for another 3 minutes, then remove the pan from heat.
- Into your prepared muffin tins, sprinkle a little cheese, some of the zucchini mixture, and ladle in the batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow quiches to cool for 10 minutes then carefully remove them from the pans with the aid of a pairing knife and small spatula.
We had difficulty lifting out the quiches, even though our pan was liberally greased. Teflon-coated muffin tins here are preferable. If I do it again, I might make fewer, larger mini quiches, because some came out thin and flat – eighteen is probably a good number. You could also make it full-sized in a baking dish. Make no mistake, this is a great tasting quiche that reheats nicely. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did. Any suggestions?