I’m sure every family has holiday traditions–including Christmas and Hanukkah. At our home, we start Christmas morning with a hearty breakfast and then take a leisurely time (usually all morning) to open and enjoy presents. Omelets made to order is a favorite for breakfast; this year I plan to make a quiche for a little variation.
Quiche is an egg custard baked in a flaky pie shell. It is one of those recipes that is very flexible; many ingredients can be added to the filling. I’ve added onions, tomato slices, spinach, mushrooms, chili peppers, bacon, ham, shrimp and even zucchini during the summer season. Usually quiche includes some sort of cheese such as Swiss cheese. My quiche today has ham, onions and Serrano peppers in the filling.
I’ve made this recipe several times and have the basic ingredients tweaked to my satisfaction–the ingredients are measured so that they fit in the pie shell and don’t overflow all over the oven.
I do a couple of things to make the recipe easier. Who wants to spend alot of time in the kitchen on Christmas morning?
- Use a purchased deep dish pie shell for the crust. Making a homemade pie crust from scratch using a food processor isn’t that hard; but mine never seem to consistently come out well. A purchased pie shell takes the guess work out of things and saves time. I always use a 9″ deep dish pie shell rather then a standard pie crust; this makes a difference.
- Use evaporated milk rather than whole milk or cream. This eliminates the need to scald the milk which is recommended when making a custard. The evaporated milk has already been heat-treated.
- Add about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup filling ingredients. Here is where your imagination can take over and I listed some suggestions above. I purchased diced ham for ease this time. In a second quiche, I added sauteed shrimp and green onions. Use caution with canned ingredients, such as canned chili peppers, as these tend to make the quiche runny. The same goes for tomato slices.
- Lastly, I’ve discovered Velveeta Pasteurized Processed Cheese Shreds. The processed cheese product melts well in the quiche. The disadvantage is that the cheese seems to brown too rapidly. I find that loosely tenting the quiche while it is baking helps with this. I love the flavor of the Velveeta Mexican Queso Blanco Flavor Cheese Shreds–but could not find it in the stores this time–Walmart is supposed to carry it. I used a blend of Albertson’s Mexican Cheese Shreds –Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheeses–which worked well. And any brand or type of the processed cheese food can be used. Shredded cheese (as opposed to processed cheese) made a more rubbery filling.
Making the Quiche
This recipe is very easy to prepare. Saute the onions for 10 minutes or so, add in the ham and fresh Serrano peppers and saute a few minutes longer to sear the ham pieces. Pour into the thawed pie shell.
Add on the cheese shreds.Whisk the eggs until blended, add the can of evaporated milk and seasonings and pour into the pie shell. I saved a few slivers of Serrano pepper for garnish. Some red pepper slices would like nice, too.
Bake the quiche at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then the oven is turned down to 350 degrees and baked until the custard is set, about 25 more minutes. I wrap the pie shell crust with aluminum foil after 15 minutes so the edges of the crust don’t brown too quickly.
I also tent the quiche loosely with aluminum foil so the cheese does not burn.
Here is the shrimp quiche in process.
Here’s the finished ham and cheese quiche.
The quiche is very easy to make; but your family will be impressed. The quiche is also great the next day, too. Enjoy!
Holiday Brunch Ham and Cheese Quiche
- 9″ deep dish unbaked pie shell
- 1 – 2 Tbsp butter or oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 Serrano pepper, seeded and diced finely, save back several slivers for garnish
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 cup Velveeta Cheese Shreds – Queso Blanco, Mexican blend or other flavor, your choice
- 4 large eggs
- 5-oz can evaporated milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground thyme
Instructions and Steps
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Thaw the pie shell and set aside.
- In large skillet, saute the onions in the butter or oil on medium heat about 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the Serrano pepper and ham and saute 2 -3 minutes longer.
- Place the ham and onion mixture in the pie shell.
- Spread the cheese over the ham and onions.
- In medium bowl, beat the eggs with wire whip until blended.
- Add the evaporated milk, salt, pepper and thyme and blend in. Pour over the filling in the pie shell.
- Arrange reserved Serrano pepper slivers in center of pie.
- Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Use a strip of aluminum foil to tent around the edges of the pie shell so that it does not burn. Lightly tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pie filling, but not touching the filling.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes longer until a knife comes out clean.
- Remove from oven; let set 15 minutes (or longer), cut in 6 pieces and serve.
NOTE: For shrimp quiche, thaw 3/4 lb shrimp, 51-60 count. Drain well. Add 2 Tbsp butter to skillet and saute shrimp for about 5 minutes until pink, adding 1 tsp. seasoned salt. Add 3 sliced green onions and saute for 30 sec longer. Pour into pie shell and continue as #6 above.
Have a safe and merry Christmas with your friends and family and Hannukah, too, on the last day of this holiday!