Breakfast is the meal I just LOVE. I love eggs, I love muffins, and I love BACON! Any kind of dish made with eggs looks so good I find myself thinking “I have to make that for breakfast!” The reality is that I love to look at breakfast foods and I love to dream of making breakfast foods and eating them, but I do not like to get up in the morning and make them.
I think breakfast should be served to me, preferably in a restaurant or by my P.S. He is a huge eater of breakfasts and will get up in the morning and make pancakes from scratch or fry hash browns and/or bacon for 20 minutes to get them perfectly crispy. He makes such a mess in the kitchen I prefer to sleep in and not watch the pots and pans and debris pile up on the counters. I prefer to sleep in with the bedroom door tightly closed so I don’t smell the sausage scented cloud that ascends to the second floor as my P.S. is frying up his big breakfast. My stomach never wants breakfast.
I do think breakfast for dinner is a great idea, however. I’m totally into having quiche or strata or even eggs benedict for lunch OR dinner. By then I’m awake and my stomach is begging for eggy delights. By then I’m in the mood to chop some veg, fry some diced bacon, and make little crustless quiches. I made a large batch a few weeks ago and need to replenish my freezer. I used jumbo muffin tins and ended up with 24 luscious, tasty spinach/bacon/veg quiches. Of course I had to freeze a bunch individually wrapped for future eggy meals!
I start out by dicing a couple of red bell peppers and a large onion and sautéing them in a little olive oil. I want them a bit brown around the edges for that special flavor. Simply baking them in a quiche doesn’t allow them to develop their caramelized brown goodness like that. I put them aside in a bowl and fry up a bunch of diced maple smoked bacon until it is brown and crispy. (I think wiggly bacon is just so unfinished).
With two bowls down, I take a bag of fresh spinach and pile it up in handfuls to chiffonade (cut it in strips). Another bowl set aside. I always like black olives in my quiches and usually have whole pitted olives, so I dice a large can of olives into smaller bits and set those aside in a bowl. I check the fridge for bags of shredded cheese: white cheddar, parmesan, and Monterey jack. A little of each would be good in the quiche cups. What I use varies depending on my cheese stash. For this batch I used sharp cheddar.
I use my strata recipe for the egg mixture. It’s simply eggs, cream, dry mustard, salt and pepper. I whisk up a dozen eggs and the rest in a measuring pitcher and we’re ready to make crustless quiches. I give the bottom of each cup a quick spray with cooking spray and start by dividing out the onions and peppers. I continue with the black olives, the bacon, and the spinach. Topping the cups with a little of each of the three cheeses, we are ready for the egg mixture.
Depending on how many quiches you want, you may need more egg mixture to cover the cups. It took 2 ½ batches of the egg mixture to cover my 24 jumbo muffin sized quiches. My P.S. was surprised that I used 2 ½ dozen eggs in one day! Next we put the pans into the oven at 350° and watch them puff up beautifully. The tops turn a light golden brown. I am always tempted to lick the oven window but you can get burnt that way. Or so I’ve heard.
I like the quiches to be fairly browned on the tops. Have you ever done a search on Pinterest for mini quiches and seen how many anemic looking quiches there are? Why are people afraid to let them brown? The brown goodness just makes them that more satisfying!
As I remove the pans from the oven I usually don’t even have time to grab my camera before they start deflating like a helium balloon after a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I was so disappointed not to get a picture of my first batch in their puffy glory. They look good in the picture but really, they were more impressive in the oven! This time I was prepared!
The crustless quiches are delicious served as is. They were delicious microwaved the next day. They were delicious microwaved and cut in half sideways and put on toasted English muffin slices the day after. They were also delicious frozen individually in plastic, microwaved and then eaten weeks later. They are just a versatile, eggy kind of treat to have on hand and enjoy any time! They are well worth the little effort it took to chop and dice and fry and bake. Very low carb, and low-calorie for the most part. But mostly just darn tasty.
1 package maple cured bacon
1 red bell pepper
1 medium onion (I use green onions when I have them on hand)
1 large can whole black olives
1# bag of baby spinach
2 cups shredded cheese; cheddar, Monterey jack, or your choice
14 large eggs
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Dice bacon and fry in pan until brown. Remove from pan and pour out the bacon grease, reserving about 1 tablespoon.
Dice red pepper and onion if you’re using white onion. Fry pepper and onions in bacon grease until slightly brown. Set aside. Or chop green onions and set aside.
Chop black olives. Set aside.
Crack eggs into a large pitcher or bowl. Add dry mustard, cayenne, and pepper. Whisk and mix thoroughly. Add cream and milk and whisk until mixed.
Spray the bottoms of 12 jumbo muffin cups.
Divide among the muffin cups as you layer: bacon, red peppers, green onions, black olives, spinach, and shredded cheese. Carefully pour the egg mixture over each cup, until it is filled to within a half in or so of the top. You should have just enough to cover all 12 cups. If not, mix 2 or 3 more eggs with a little milk, cream, and seasoning, whisk and pour.
Place in the preheated oven and set timer for 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick to see if the centers are set. If not, bake for 5 more minutes and check again. Mine took about 30 minutes. They will be nicely browned and puffy when done. Remove from oven and serve.