Ham & Broccoli Quiche; French English Fun

After having a day that was totally derailed I now have had two more.

But these were fun.

First…. the quiche.

I finally fixed the other half of our Christmas ham that had been languishing in the freezer. I did something I’ve never done before.

I boiled it.

Normally, when I fix a ham, I just roast it, add a glaze when it’s almost done, and finish roasting…. Which is what I did at Christmas. It was a bit too salty.

In all fairness, every time I have bought a ham from this shop I have been told to slice a tiny piece off, fry it and taste it to determine saltiness. If it’s too salty boil it; if not roast it. Every time I have done this and it has been perfect.

This time I didn’t bother….

Now I know better. I boiled this half, then added the glaze and roasted for another 20 – 30 minutes, just to finish if off. Perfect.

This is the 6th and final dish I’ve made with our Christmas ham.

Ham & Broccoli Quiche, Potato Crust

Total time: 60 minutes


  • Crust:
  • 2 medium potatoes, 12oz (360gr) total, shredded (not peeled)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Filling:
  • 6oz (180gr) ham, cut into strips
  • 6oz (180gr) broccoli, cut into florets, with stem
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4oz (120gr) Gruyere cheese – or whatever you like, thinly sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) Greek or plain yogurt
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard


  • Crust:
  • Mix shredded potato, salt and egg.
  • Pat into a lightly oiled quiche or 10″ (25cm) pie plate, working it up the sides a bit for the edges.
  • Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 15 minutes. Remove.
  • The Filling: 
  • Blanche broccoli in boiling water for 4 minutes. 
  • Drain, rinse well with cold water, drain again.
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet, add leeks, pepper, and sauté until tender.
  • Remove from heat. 
  • Whisk eggs, yogurt, milk and mustard together.
  • To assemble:
  • Spread the leeks and peppers on the crust in a single layer..
  • Arrange broccoli and ham leeks.
  • Lay the cheese on top.
  • Pour the egg mixture over all and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until center has set.
  • Remove and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.

Print Recipe

My French neighbor called and said that her son was writing an application letter to an American university. Would I be willing to take a look at it?

Of course…. I’d be happy to.

I envisioned 10 or 15 minutes, red pencil in hand, doing a quick grammar / spelling check.

I was wrong.

He was applying for 1 of 3 spots in a graduate school exchange program. His undergraduate degree is in physics. He had written the letter in French and wanted me to help him translate it properly.

This was a little more complicated than determining where the comma’s should go.

It was also more fun.

First I learned what it is that he wants to do, both with the rest of his education and with his life. He already knows what his doctoral thesis will be on.

I had to help him find the words, in American English, to express that to the professors reviewing the applications,

No pressure…. None at all.

I find the nuances of English both fascinating and challenging to explain.

Would it be better to say: ‘I hope to achieve great things’ or ‘I expect to achieve great things’ or ‘I will achieve great things’. In French it might be literally translated as ‘I will affect great things’.

Then there is the American vs British consideration. He specifically said American English but most French people don’t realize how different the two can be and most learn British English. They might know that an American car trunk is a British car boot but they probably don’t know that while Americans will ‘make a decision‘ the English will ‘take a decision’.

After two hours we had a draft of a letter that we both felt good about.

The next day I got another phone call….. Could I please help again?

Of course. I thought we would be making a few changes to the letter.

Wrong again.

This time it was a panel discussion for his English exam.

It was already done in English and I had very little to do other than insert a comma here and change a word there.

Both projects were fun – and it was wonderful to help someone else grapple with a second language rather than being the one doing the grappling.

For those of you unfamiliar with the complexities of our own English language I give you this sentence:
“I never said she stole my money.”
One sentence with 7 words and 7 meanings depending on which of the words you emphasize.

Think about it.

Last update on February 24, 2017

8 thoughts on “Ham & Broccoli Quiche; French English Fun”

  1. I love quiche and this one looks wonderful! I don’t usually buy Gruyere though because it’s so expensive here. But for this one, I’ll make an exception 😉

    Your sentence reminds me of the book, Eats Shoots And Leaves. Love the book and the punctuation examples are wonderful. You’re a good neighbor 🙂

  2. Just discovered your blog re: a comment on Anthony Sedlak’s Coffepot blog. Now I have a whole new wold of recipes to try.

  3. Sullimaybe, it was fun helping him.

    Tanna, you’re right. I should have more days like that

    kate, and it was good…. makes me feel so french lol

    Judith, I’ve never made proper crust – and I always have potatoes.

    nightsmusic, any of your favorite cheese would work – and, yes, I have Eats Shoots and Leaves 😉

    Thanks Alan, I looked for that blog and ouldn’t find it…

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