Wednesday, 6 June 2012

One Sleepy Quiche

The other day I was walking through the garden wondering what to cook for dinner.  I looked at the herbs, vegies and chooks and it all came together: Sleepy Quiche.


Never fear, I didn't use a chicken, not even the lazy leghorn that is off the lay, just the freshly laid eggs I had been collecting all week.  I got to picking and plucking (but not the chicken, always with the chicken, try stop focusing on the chicken!) and filled a basket nicely. 

This Sleepy Quiche has roasted cherry tomatoes, wilted baby spinach, zucchini (courgette), bacon and onion in the pie.
Nice haul. I must remember to get a bigger basket.


The zucchinis were a little wimpy, I think the season is finally over. Damn you subtropical climate and your feeble nine month zucchini growing window!  At least the tomatoes manage to keep ripening into "winter."  I may even need to put on a jumper one day when I go to pick them.
All washed and ready. Basil, rocket,
zucchini, spring onion, eggs, sage,
radish, cherry tomatoes and parsley.
For a guide to my recipe notation, see this blog entry.

Sleepy Quiche isn't anything more than a humble super-quiche.  I don't want to talk it up too much, but it gets compliments and cat whistles whenever it prances its way down peoples' gullets.  It gets eaten so quickly that it causes indigestion and the indigestion even gets rave reviews.

Unfortunately this recipe takes a bit of time.  Mainly because I make the crust, but feel free to use shortcrust pastry or a prefabricated pie case instead, and skipping the roasting stage of the cherry tomatoes also refunds some precious daylight.

Pastry Case

In a food processor, mix
125g (4oz) butter
2 C plain flour 

until they come together to resemble bread crumbs (like for scones).  Lower the speed and add

1/2 C fresh herbs, chopped
1 egg yolk
Ready for the fridge.
I used half basil and half parsley.  Keep the food processor running and slowly dribble in a few tablespoons of water until the dough forms a big ball.  Tip the dough onto the bench and flatten it until it's an inch or two thick, wrap in plastic,  and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

After refrigerating, the dough can be rolled out until it is a few millimeters thick, to taste, and used to cover your pie dish. I am using a 25cm (10 in) tart pan.  Be aware that the butter in the dough will melt in the oven so you should make the edges a little taller than the pan and gently fold over the tops to prevent the pastry case collapsing into the base.

Line the pastry with baking paper and fill it with pie weights/rice/dry beans ready for blind baking.  I do this for 15 minutes (or so) at 190°C (375°F).

Fold some excess pastry over the tops of the edges.
Hot out of the oven.

Filling

While the pie case is blind baking, put
punnet (250g/8oz) cherry tomatoes
 in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with
salt
After cooking down in the oven
Cherry tomatoes, basil, salt
and olive oil
chopped basil



and put it in the oven with the pie case until the tomatoes get squishy.  This may take longer than the pie case to cook, feel free to bump up the temperature (220°C / 425°F) to accelerate the process once the pie case it out. It may take upwards of 20 minutes.

In a small frying pan, cook 
Onion, bacon, and this time, sage.


100g (3oz) bacon
1 onion, diced
until the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked.  I also had some sage leaves on hand so I added them too.

Now for the quichey part.  In a bowl whisk

5 eggs
3/4 C cream
1/4 C milk
 1/4 C chopped herbs
Salt and Pepper 
I used basil and parsley once again.

Now to put it together.  Spread the onion and bacon mixture on the bottom of the pie case.  Put

 120g (4oz) baby spinach leaves
Line the pie case with our
yummy fillings.
Zucchini and Parmesan floating
on top of the pie.
in a bag and microwave it for about a minute to wilt them.  Squeeze the excess water out and spread them over the top of the onion and bacon. Dot the landscape with the oozing cherry tomatoes.

Pour the egg mixture into the case making sure that no air pockets of air are created among the fillings.

Arrange, on the top of the egg filling,

zucchini slices
grated Parmesan cheese
Now it is ready for the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C (360°F) until set.


Serve with salad.


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