Real men don’t eat what?

Published 9:29 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I remember when it was considered macho to say “real men don’t eat quiche” — which is truly ridiculous statement.

Why in the world wouldn’t real men eat quiche? Apparently, someone (some stupid someone) put out the word that a robust, delicious quiche is a sissified dish. Shame, shame! Even the biggest, baddest men love this delightful medley, which usually consists of a pastry shell filled with an egg custard and other good stuff.

I got into making quiche when we were living in western Maryland many years ago. In the city of Cumberland, there was a department store that had a restaurant on the third floor. However, this restaurant was a well-kept secret — as though it wanted to cater only to a special few people in the western part of the state and nearby Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It never advertised — nor was it evident unless you happened to step off the elevator onto the third floor and stumble onto it. I was fortunate; I had some old-time Cumberland friends who led me there.

The restaurant served delicious food and was especially known for its quiche. That was how I became acquainted. Then my husband was invited to dine there by service representatives who stopped by his office and would take him out to lunch. There they were: real men eating quiche.

One of the chef’s specialties was Quiche Lorraine, which features bacon and cheese, and it is so well known it is listed in the dictionary. Other times, the chef added seafood, ham, veggies and any number of other items to the custardy filling.

Quiche became a favorite at our house. All my men (husband and three sons) love my quiche. Quiche may be the main dish at any meal: breakfast, lunch or supper. For a breakfast quiche, make it plain or with cheese and bacon; for lunch, veggies from a to z (asparagus to zucchini) are a great addition; a suppertime quiche is hearty and delicious with your choice of ham, sausage, sweet onion, a variety of cheeses or something else. Team a quiche with a salad and you’ve got a complete meal.

I’ve already mentioned Quiche Lorraine, no doubt the most popular of quiches. Now, let’s consider another quiche.

Quiche Honfleur

  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp
  • 1 tbsp. pimento, chopped
  • 1/4 C bread crumbs
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • dash of salt and cayenne
  • 1 C Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 3/4 C sour cream

Saute onion in butter; add shrimp and pimento. Place bread crumbs in pie shell; top with shrimp mixture. Combine eggs, cream and seasonings. Pour over shrimp. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Combine cheese and sour cream; pour over top of quiche; place under broiler to brown slightly — this recipe is a bit more work, but worth the effort.

And now I’d like to wax poetic about quiches – but, like “orange,” finding a rhyme for “quiche” isn’t easy. How about this:

“Oh, covet thee light and custardy quiche

That might floatest away not attached to a leash.

’Tis toothsome and tasty, certain to please.

The quiche chef deserveth a kiss and a squeeze.”

Not great? Perhaps you can do better.

But the point has been made. And do remember the quiche is only going to be as good as its lighty, flaky crust — if you don’t do light, flaky crust, you can always buy one at the supermarket.