This post is a submission for the NYC Eggland’s Best Recipe Contest!
There have been a lot of comings and goings lately. I commute back and forth between New York and South Florida every week now, working at Penguin two days a week, and writing the other 5. I feel like a chicken without a head, and it’s a blessed morning when I wake up knowing exactly where I am, and where I’m supposed to be an hour later.
So when a bunch of my Princeton girlfriends announced they’d be dropping in on me and Jamie (my best friend from Princeton who also happens to have grown up next door) for the weekend, I quivered with happiness, and then shivered in panic. Our sorority told us to “put away childish things,” but I decided to put away the grownup ones. I was taking this weekend off.
The girls, specifically Jamie, Jessie, Franny, and Katie (hi!), have been so supportive with my food career that I wanted to cook for them. After all, the way to anyone’s heart is through her stomach. When they got in late Friday night, I decided Saturday brunch, our traditional New York meeting time, was in order.
The menu read as follows:
- Watermelon and Raspberry Salad
- Brioche, Baguette, and Croissants with Confiture and Nutella
- Sunday Brunch Soda, with Freshly Squeezed Florida Orange Juice, Orange Flower Water, and Perrier
- And, the pièce de résistance, Petite Crustless Quiches with Fines Herbes and Chèvre
As it turns out, even a headless chicken can lay a couple of eggs.
Petite Crustless Quiches with Fines Herbes and Chèvre are perfect brunch finger food. Eggs and milk are whipped together to an ecstasy of fluffy bubbles, and flavored with salty, nutty Parmesan cheese. In go the fines herbes, a traditional French herb blend of tarragon, parsley, chervil, and chives. They just all go so perfectly with eggs—the anise of the tarragon, the grassiness of the parsley, the delicate verdure of the chervil, and the springtime snap of the chives. The quiche batter is spooned into muffin tins, and then great dollops of goat cheese, that will melt in pockets into the quiches, are tumbled in. Bake, and serve. That’s all you have to do.
These quiches come out of the oven puffed as a soufflé, fluffy as an omelet, and hearty as a frittata. Peppered with green confetti, they look like a garden party, and the tangy, melting cream of the goat cheese fills your mouth with a distinctive bite. And all of that without having to worry about the crust.
After all the wine, hard work, late nights, and twenty-somethings’ troubles, my friends smiled with gratitude. I suppose I am Mother Hen after all.
Petite Crustless Quiches with Fines Herbes and Chèvre
½ cup whole milk
Salt and pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino
1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon freshly chopped chervil
1 tablespoon freshly snipped chives
2 ounces chèvre (soft fresh goat cheese)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until they are well combined.
3. Season the egg and milk mixture liberally with salt and pepper, and beat in the Parmesan or Percorino cheese and the fines herbes (parsley, tarragon, chervil, and chives).
4. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. You want to make sure and spray each muffin cup very thoroughly, and use a non-stick muffin if you have one. You don’t want to spend your afternoon scraping baked egg out of muffin tins.
5. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of the egg mixture into each cup, dividing the eggs equally between the 12 muffin cups. Scatter bits of the goat cheese equally across the 12 quiches, dropping the dollops in the center of each eggy “muffin.”
6. Set the filled muffin tin on a baking sheet to catch any spills, and bake for 20-23 minutes, until all the quiches have puffed up and appear firm throughout.
7. Allow the quiches to cool slightly in the muffin tins. They will deflate, but this step is essential in keeping the quiches intact as you remove them from the tin. Use a butter knife to loosen them out of their cups, and serve warm or room temperature.
A note on Eggland’s Best: When I received the invitation to enter the NYC Eggland’s Best Recipe Contest, I grinned. I had just run out and bought a carton of Eggland’s Best the day before. I was happy to support the company, because they support us bloggers, and because they sell cage-free eggs in the regular supermarket, and I always try to buy cage-free when I can. So thank you, Eggland’s, for the support and the invitation, and for setting the right example. I hope you have enjoyed this recipe.