Catering with Egg Dishes
Catering with Egg Dishes
Catering with egg dishes can include menu items like quiche, frittatas or omelets. But, what really is the difference between these? They all use eggs and have some sort of other ingredients like vegetables, meats and cheeses mixed in or added and that’s about where the similarity ends. All of these provide a great way to use up left overs that may have otherwise been thrown away.
Quiche is an oven baked, savory, custard based pie with a pastry or potato crust with meats, vegetables and cheese blended in the egg mixture before baking. The custard portion is made from eggs and some sort of dairy, cream is the best however you can use milk or half and half, which is what creates the richness of a quiche. For a 9 inch pie, a perfect ratio for the custard would be 3 large eggs (6 ounces) to 1 ½ cup (12 oz.) dairy. Too many eggs will make the quiche rubbery. Simply blend the egg and cream, add the fillings and pour into the prepared crust or put the filling into the pie shell, pour the egg mixture over the filling and bake at 350-375 for 30-40 minutes or until there is still a little bit of wobble to the pie otherwise it will be dry and over cooked. Let it sit about 5 minutes before cutting. Quiche can be served warm or room temperature as a buffet item or plated breakfast.
These are started in a frying pan, most commonly a cast iron frying pan, and one that is oven-safe because the frittata will end up in the oven. If you don’t have a frying pan, you can use on oven-safe dish. For a 12 egg frittata, use about a 10” dish with deep sides. Like quiche, these have egg and some sort of dairy, either milk, sour cream, yogurt or some sort of full fat dairy lightly beaten with the egg. The other ingredients are then mixed into the egg mixture and cooked in the skillet until set and then transferred into the oven to finish. If you’re adding cheese, shredded cheddar, gruyere or fontina will add a creamy melted cheese to every bite; ricotta or feta will provide bursts of flavor and Romano or parmesan provides a nice nutty flavor. The trick to making a frittata is to cook, sauté or heat the other ingredients being used prior to starting the egg portion since those may not get hot enough or cooked enough otherwise. Frittatas bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350° or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean with no runny egg visible. These can be served warm or room temperature on a buffet, or as a plated meal.
An omelet is more of a fluffy almost scrambled egg dish made on the stove top. The extra ingredients are heated in a separate pan, and once the egg is set (kind of like a pan cake) the hot ingredients are placed in the center of the omelet and then the omelet is folded over those ingredients creating an “envelope” around the filling. A good ratio to use when making an omelet is 2 eggs to ¼ or 1/3 cup of filling. The filling can be meat, vegetables or cheese but none should be too chunky since an omelet is a bit delicate. The other differences with an omelet are these are usually made one serving at a time where quiche and frittatas serve a group, and, these are served hot right out of the skillet and can be a great action station at any catered breakfast.