Before delving into sweet baking this week, I thought it would be a good idea to share yet another savory baking recipe—my recipe for mini quiches which we enjoyed during our New Year’s Eve celebration as an appetizer. Half were made with bacon and the other with ham. They turned out really cute and super tasty. In fact, The Big Lug declared them a new favorite which always makes me smile. Another man-pleasing recipe added to the repertoire is always a good thing!
Usually the first of the hot appetizers to go at parties and catered affairs are the mini quiches. Guests never seem to get enough of them. They’re smoky but cheesy, crisp on the outside and yet creamy and custard-like on the inside. Mini quiches are little savory pies that pop into your mouth seemingly on their own…one right after the other. And, they are healthy for you if made without the traditional fattening pastry crust. In our recipe, we use gluten free tapioca starch in lieu of the standard regular wheat-based all-purpose flour. Also, the recipe can be made one day ahead. No muss, no fuss for a stress-free holiday. And, what better way to prepare them but with a self-making crust that is both gluten and grain free for a no-worry appetizer for your party guests? To make them dairy free, simply use all olive oil in lieu of part butter and part olive oil, your favorite nondairy milk and cream substitutes as well as nondairy cheese such as Dr. Cow. Your guests will appreciate that you went the extra mile for them!
What makes our mini quiches wicked good? First, the recipe is easy to prepare and can be made in advance. Second, we use only the best of ingredients for these delectable little savory pies starting with the applewood smoked bacon or fine quality cooked ham and a good, sharp Cheddar cheese. Then, we incorporate both shallots and garlic for bold flavor notes along with mild chopped chives. The sun-dried tomatoes lend the perfect sweet-tart tomato flavor complementing the smoked meats for especially tasty mini quiches. Finally, by using tapioca starch, in lieu of regular all-purpose flour, our recipe is both gluten and grain free. Once again, to make the recipe dairy free, simply use all olive oil in lieu of part butter and part olive oil, your favorite nondairy milk and cream substitutes as well as nondairy cheese such as Dr. Cow. Truly, what could be more pleasing or satisfying in a hot party appetizer?
- For the Meat & Vegetable Filling
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing muffin tins
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 large slices (about 5 to 6 ounces) applewood smoked bacon, chopped coarse-fine or finely diced ham
- 3 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 sun-dried tomato halves packed in oil, finely chopped, about 6 tablespoons
- For the Egg Batter
- 6 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 4 yolks from eggs graded large
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Coarse ground black pepper, to taste
- Dash ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp white or yellow Cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- Roasted red bell peppers, diced, for optional garnish
- Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves, for optional garnish
- Special Equipment
- 2 nonstick mini muffin tins, with 24 muffin cups in each
Mini quiches can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated until ready to reheat and serve. Mini quiches also freeze well. Cool completely on wire racks then freeze in a single layer inside heavy duty zip-top freezer bags. Reheat on parchment lined baking sheets in preheated 375ºF. oven for 10 to 12 minutes.Serving Suggestion: Prepare a batch of mini quiches to freeze and keep on hand for a quick go-to healthy breakfast which warms easily within minutes.