In the last couple of recipes, we’ve brought you pineapple tamales and cornmeal cookies. In today’s corn offering, a little cornmeal is combined with a hard cheese in the pastry for a crispy-crusted mushroom and green chile quiche. I made little pies in a muffin tin this time, but the quantities given are also good for a 10-inch quiche pan. I like the individual mini-pies because they freeze nicely and reheat well in the microwave or regular oven, and the flavor combination is one of those all-purpose any-time-of-day tastes….I’ll eat one or two of these little pies for breakfast with some fresh fruit on the side, for lunch with some raw vegetables, or for dinner with a fresh green salad. They also make a nice appetizer or snack and would be perfectly at home in a brunch buffet.
Savory Little Cheese Pies
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup white or yellow cornmeal plus extra for the muffin pan
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup grated hard cheese (cotija, parmesan, etc.)
- 1/3 to ½ cup milk
Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and sprinkle very lightly with cornmeal (pick cornmeal up between your fingers and thumb and then rub lightly to let the cornmeal fall evenly over the surface).
Combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt; cut in the butter and stir in the hard cheese. Pour 1/3 cup milk over the dry ingredients and stir lightly with a fork until the dough comes together, adding a little more milk if necessary.
Press the dough together and cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece out to a circle about 5 inches across and fit each one into a muffin cup, pressing lightly to smooth out the places where the crust doubles up on the sides of the cup.
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- ½ cup chopped hot green chiles (I used pre-chopped frozen New Mexico hot green chiles – no need to thaw, just scoop them out of the tub with a sturdy spoon and break apart)
- 1 cup shredded cheese, plus a little extra to sprinkle on top (I used about ¼ cup gouda and ¾ cup emmentaler)
- 4 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Heat the butter in a medium pan and sauté the mushrooms until they start to turn brown. Stir in the chiles and heat a little longer if needed to evaporate the water if you are using frozen chiles (2 – 4 minced jalapeños would be a good substitute if you don’t have the New Mexico hot green chiles).
Divide the shredded cheese evenly among the pastry-lined muffin cups, then do the same with the mushroom-chile mixture. Use a spoon or your fingers to mix up the cheese, mushrooms, and chiles in each cup.
Beat the eggs with the salt and then beat in the milk. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the cheese mixture in the muffin cups. Top off with a few more shreds of cheese so you’ll end up with a nicely browned finish.
Bake on the bottom oven rack until golden brown, about 20 minutes at 375 F (for a single large quiche, bake at 350 F for 45-55 minutes). Let cool in the muffin tin for about five minutes, then gently remove and serve or place on a rack to finish cooling. Once the little pies are cool, you can pack them in a large zipper bag or storage container for freezing.