Ever made a quinch?

That’s what my mother calls them… you may know it as a “quiche”. I’m not really fond of eggs, but I can manage them in a quiche as long as it has really delicious and flavorful ingredients. To me, less egg, more veg and cheese is ideal. So, I found myself attending a small party over the holidays and wanted to make something special, and decided to try it out. I deliberated over using a nice quiche dough mix that I found at the Eko Plaza or making one from scratch. I have horrible luck with dough. My pizza making endeavors never really pan out… so I really didn’t know if this was going to be a good time to try again but I did. Well, E did. We do most of our cooking together, or at least share the prep work. This crust from Life’s a Feast is really very easy. In fact, I made it this week on my own and it was a breeze.

Pastry Crust for Quiche (Makes about 8 x 4 1/2 –inch (11 cm) individual quiches):

  • 1 3/4 cups (245 g) flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 12 ½ Tbs (180 g) unsalted butter, cubed (yes, that’s no typo. 12 1/2 tablespoons!)
  • 4 – 6 Tbs cold water

Place the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the cubes of butter, tossing to coat with flour. My butter was pretty soft and I cubed it small so it’s very easy to mash it into the mixture as you toss them in. Using the tips of your fingers and thumbs, rub the butter and flour together rapidly, as if pushing the butter into the flour, until the mixture is crumbly and it resembles damp sand. Do not overwork this mixture as the butter will melt and start to clump; it will be blended better later.

Add about 4 tablespoons of the cold water and blend vigorously with a fork. Add more water, up to 2 more tablespoons, but only as much as needed, onto the dry flour and continue to stir up from the bottom until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough begins to pull together in a shaggy ball. Once you add the water, the dough starts to form into a ball right away.

Scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface. With the heel of one hand, rapidly smear and push the dough onto the surface and away from you, about a tablespoon of dough at a time, smearing it onto the work surface. This will complete the blending of the butter and the flour. Don’t over analyse this instruction. Just put the dough on the surface and use the hell of your hand to push it away from you, working small. You’ll see if there are any spots where the butter hasn’t mixed. I think because I used softer butter I didn’t have much of an issue here.

Scrape the dough up and gather it into a ball. Knead gently and briefly, just enough to make a smooth ball of dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out easily, about 15 minutes.

Now is the time to:

  1. Butter your baking pan
  2. Prep the filling for your “quinch”
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)

For my filling, I decided to use this roasted tomato and feta recipe as a base, but I ended up changing it quite a bit.

Roasted tomato and feta quiche photo

Basic Quiche Filling: for 12 x 4 ½-inch quiches(make 6 then refrigerate the rest of the batter for a day or two for a new batch with different flavors)

  • 3 large eggs *
  • 1 cup heavy cream, light cream or part cream/part milk *

                * for 6 quiche use 2 large eggs + ½ cup cream

  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Cherry tomatoes – 2 or 3 per quiche worked well on my individual tart sizes. You will have to decide how many you’d like in a larger one, but I’d suggest that you not skimp on that as the roasted tomato flavour really makes this quiche outstanding
  • 3 ½ oz (100 g) feta cheese, coarsely crumbled or chopped (for 6 quiches) – I used herbed Chèvre (goat’s cheese) instead as I thought it would pack more flavor and I was right! For my mini quiches, I placed one round slice in each, and gently mashed it with a fork
  • Handful of rocket (arugula, rucola, roquette), coarsely chopped – I used spinach, cooking and salting it gently in a touch of water over medium heat. I drained it well and then added a bit to each tart
  • Handful pine nuts I opted out on these as I do not fancy them
  • Sliced black olives – My own addition

Now, IF you are going to use roasted veg in your quiche, why not do this part at the beginning, before you start your dough? You can put your oven to an appropriate roasting temperature, and do the following:

Start by roasting the cherry tomatoes: Stir together 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar in a glass baking dish or pie plate. Season with a little salt and pepper and add 2
peeled and crushed garlic cloves. Toss the cherry tomatoes into the flavored oil and roast for about 20 minutes or until the skins are split and shriveled and the tomatoes start to show signs of roasting (a bit golden). Remove from the oven and allow to cool while preparing the rest.

Assuming you have all your veg roasted, chopped, and prepped for use, prepare your liquid filling: Measure out the cream or cream/milk in a large measuring cup and whisk in the eggs. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg (totally do the nutmeg. It makes such a difference). Doing this in a measuring cup or glass with a spout or pouring lip is ideal for pouring into individual or mini quiche/tartlet tins avoiding a mess. I used a ladle with a lip, which was perfect for the mini quiche cups.

Place your mini quiche tins on 1 larger pan, and start adding your filling. Place your cheese in each cup. I lightly mashed mine with a fork. Add in 2 or 3 roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, a few olives, and a bit of spinach. Now whisk the quiche batter so it is blended and pour carefully into the shells. Fill up each shell
only about ¾ full as it puffs up and rises as it bakes. Sprinkle each quiche with pine nuts (if you’d like).

Slide the whole baking tray with the filled quiche tins into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the filling is puffed up and set. The top – or at least the edges – should be a deep golden color.

Via: Life’s a Feast

Plans this Sunday?

Todd Thrasher’s Tomato Water Bloody Mary

4 pounds fresh vine-on tomatoes 2 stalks of lemon grass 4 serrano chilis 1 small Bermuda onion Salt Cheesecloth Citrus-flavored vodka

In multiple batches, coarsely chop and puree tomatoes, onion and chilis in a food processor. Add salt to taste. Transfer pulp to a cheesecloth and suspend over a large stockpot. Leave to strain until pulp volume has reduced by two-thirds (about 12 to 24 hours). Makes 1 liter of tomato water.

To make the bloody Mary: Mix 1.5 ounces of citrus flavored vodka with 5 ounces of tomato water.courtesy of the NYT