Hospitality is one gift of the Holy Spirit I covet. I love it when I visit the home of someone who is given to hospitality. You don’t feel that they “fixed up” because they knew you were coming, but rather that there is a place in their heart and in their home where guests are always welcome. Personally, if I know you are coming I will probably pick up a bit, but I do want my guests to feel that they are welcome any time.
I like having people over for a meal, especially when the atmosphere is casual and the guests are congenial. There is something about sharing good food that makes for good conversation and feeds long lasting relationships. I’ve found that the best rule of thumb, as a hostess, is to keep it simple. The food should be tasty, but not necessarily the center of attention. After all, the food is the excuse for getting together, not the main point! Therefore, with only rare exceptions, I keep it simple.
I recently posted a blog about a luncheon I hosted for two good friends who did not know one another. I hoped that they would like one another as much as I liked each of them, so I wanted the atmosphere to be relaxed and comfortable. I planned Quiche Lorraine as the main dish. I have a wonderful recipe, which I will share with you, that I have used for a many years. It is easy to prepare, never fails, and it can be made a day ahead if necessary. For that lunch, I bought a lovely loaf of whole grain bread from the bakery and planned to serve fresh asparagus as a side dish along with a relish tray of homemade pickles.
For the quiche, I used a refrigerated pie crust. I like to use the kind that come rolled up in a box rather than the frozen ones in aluminum pie plates. I can bring the boxed shell to room temperature, place it in my own pretty pie pan, and it looks like I made it from scratch! I also like to use aged Swiss cheese in this recipe, if possible, instead of the more readily available natural Swiss cheese. And please don’t use “processed Swiss Cheese” as its flavor is completely unsuitable. The difference in taste for the aged natural Swiss cheese is worth the extra time to find and a few extra pennies to purchase.
Another tip for success with this pie is to pre-cook the crust a bit before adding the filling. I preheat the oven to 450 degrees, place the crust in a pie pan, and crimp the edges to make a rim around the top. Then I pierce the crust lightly all over with a fork and cook it for only 7 minutes. This will allow the surface of the crust to begin to brown so that the filling will not make the crust soggy.
Here is the recipe and directions for making Quiche Lorraine.
- 1 9-10″ unbaked pastry shell
- 8 slices bacon
- 8 oz natural Swiss Cheese, shredded (2 cups, preferably aged Swiss)
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- Dash nutmeg
Bake pastry shell in very hot (450 degrees) oven for only 7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Cook bacon til crisp; drain and crumble. Set aside 2 tablespoons bacon for later and sprinkle the remaining pieces in the bottom of the pie shell. Add the shredded cheese. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over cheese in pie shell. Scatter reserved bacon crumbles on top.
Bake in 375 degree oven for about 35 – 40 minutes or until almost set in the center. Let cool 10 – 15 minutes before serving.