- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2006

We normally think of quiche as a very adult dish, the appreciation of which would elude a small child. But I have found that children love quiches, too, and they also truly enjoy helping to prepare the filling, once the crust is made.

So if you have a crust made (either by you or by some high-quality commercial crust maker), consider letting your young child assist in creating a lovely quiche for brunch or supper.

The resulting pride of accomplishment, not to mention the enjoyment of the product, will be profound.

Be sure to let them sniff the scallions — children really appreciate the aromas of seasonings. The paprika-on-top ritual is especially interesting, as is the transformation of the filling from wet and light yellow to solid and golden during baking.

Be prepared for two challenging wait periods, one during baking and the other for cooling, but the rewards will be worth it.

Here are some cooking hints and safety tips for making quiche with children:

• A simple way for youngsters to crack an egg is to smack it on the bottom of a pie pan and let the egg run out into the pan. (It’s easier to get shells out of the egg than to get egg off the table.) Remind your child to whack the egg really hard.

• Have damp paper towels ready.

• Take the stress out of measuring liquids by placing the measuring cup in a pie pan. Let your child pour the milk into the measuring cup. (For a very small child, pour the milk into a small pitcher first.) The pie pan will catch the spills.

• Use a bowl that is large enough for enthusiastic mixing. You can help by holding it steady. Minimize splashing by beating the eggs well before adding the milk.

• Raw broccoli can be broken into small pieces by hand. Broccoli can also be cut by children using child-appropriate knives if it is partially cooked ahead of time.

• Children may also enjoy helping grate the cheese. Use a standing grater with large holes, and place it on a large plate. Closely supervise the grating, telling your child how it works, and warning about the sharp edges. “Be careful of your knuckles” is an important instruction.

• Use a special pitcher (not too heavy) for pouring the egg batter into the crust. You might need to do this in more than one installment.

• Putting the pan into the oven and taking it out are adult jobs. Children should stay away from the hot oven.

• Have the paprika in a shaker that is not too fast. Remind your child to shake just a few times and slowly.

Broccoli-cheese quiche

1½ cups chopped fresh broccoli

Water

1 cup (packed) grated Swiss cheese

Unbaked 9-inch pie shell (commercial or homemade)

4 large eggs

2/3 cup milk (low fat is OK)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 scallions, finely minced

Paprika

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Steam the broccoli over simmering water until bright green and just tender. Refresh in a strainer under cold running water, then drain and dry thoroughly.

Sprinkle the cheese into the crust, then distribute the broccoli over the cheese.

In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs until smooth. Add the milk, salt and scallions and whisk until blended. Pour this mixture over the broccoli and cheese.

Dust the top with paprika and bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes, or until solid in the center when gently shaken. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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