Thursday, September 6, 2007
It doesn't pour here when it rains, it...lashes. Just when I had the craving for Dotts' egg tarts yesterday at 4pm, the lashes of rain came whipping everywhere. I still got out of the car, grabbed 6 tarts, came home, showered and sat down to a cuppa and last night's salmon quiche. And the egg tarts. Dotts' egg tarts are SO GOOD, perfectly sweet (which means hardly sweet), the egg custard not too soft or firm and the pastry wonderfully 'short'. I usually peel half the pastry away, because I know all commercial pastry is made with that weird laboratory-produced wax called pastry margarine which never melts at room temp, making your every pastry attempt a success (but clogs your arteries). But yesterday I ate it all, sat back contently and meowed...ahhh...love rainy days.
Quiches are not so in now, probably due to that '80s book 'Real Men Don't Eat Quiche'? (Don't tell Wey that, he likes quiches). I read somewhere that these so called real men stay away from anything they can't pronounce. I suppose that would be dishes like coq au vin ("I'd like a chicken chop.") Fillet mignon ("Sirloin, medium rare, thank you.") And yes, quiche ("Er, I'll have the pie.")
Linguistics struggles aside, quiches are easy to cook for a hungry family. You can use so many other ingredients such as ham, spinach, peppers, anything you like really. I've made mine extra rich, with cream (use only milk if like but won't be as nice) and loads of meat and veg. Chickyegg, you'd like this eggy dish.
This recipe makes two substantial quiches:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 pinches of salt
180g cold butter, cut into small cubes (add 50g more if you dare-will give crumbier pastry)
2 eggs, beaten
2 - 3 T water (or lemon juice)
1. Get two flan pans (or a glass dish like I did) of 9"/23 cm diameter and grease them lightly. Oven at 200 C.
2. Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl, add butter and mix well using your fingertips until mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. Add the beaten eggs and water/lemon juice, and extra water if necessary but not too much or pastry will be tough when baked. Knead lightly to mix well.
3. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface. You may not be able to get a nice whole piece but never mind, the pastry can be patched up using several pieces of dough. Flip the pastry over the rolling pin so that it's easier tranfer to the pan. Press pastry firmly onto pan bottom and sides. Trim the top to get a neat edge.
4. Pop the pan into the oven for 10-15 min. to dry pastry out a bit. Remove from oven.
1 14oz can salmon*, flaked & liquid retained
80 -100g streaky bacon, in thin strips
1 brown onion, finely sliced
50g fresh mushrooms (button or shiitake), finely sliced
2 cups heavy cream (or 1 cup)
1 cup milk (or 2 cups)
1/2 to 3/4 t salt (I go with 1/2; low-salt diet ...)
1/4 t pepper
1 t paprika
2 T freshly grated parmesan
2 T fresh parsley, chopped finely
* or use tuna or omit fish and increase amount of bacon and veg
1.Put bacon into frying pan w/o oil, fry over low heat till tranparent, then add the onions and mushrooms and fry two min. Let it cool. Mix in the flaked salmon.
2. Crack eggs into a bowl, whisk well,then add the cream, milk, salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, parmesan and the reserved salmon liquid. Give it all a good whip to blend well.
3. Scatter the fried ingredients evenly over pastry, and use a ladle to spoon the egg-cream mixture over the fried ingredients carefully so they don't get pushed to the sides. Use a fork to lightly stir and even out the salmon mixture.
4. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 min or till the middle filling has set.