“Be a fearless cook! Try out new ideas and new recipes, but always buy the freshest and finest ingredients, whatever they may be. Furnish your kitchen with the most solid and workmanlike equipment you can find. Keep your knives ever sharp and - toujours bon appetit! – Julia Child
A busy day at work today with much to do, many meetings, lots of staff coming in to see me. My secretary has been away all week on holiday as her daughter-in-law has had a baby, so I have been realising her worth! Not that I don’t appreciate her when she is around, but certainly when we lose something we then are forced to evaluate its true worth. In any case it all got done, but it was a long day of nearly twelve hours in my office, at my desk…
It was nice to come back home and find dinner cooking and the heater on as it has been cold in the morning and in the evenings, even with Spring well and truly sprung. On the menu tonight was Quiche Lorraine, a fresh garden salad with lettuce, wild lettuce, nasturtium tops, spring onions and herbs in a vinaigrette, all washed down with some excellent shiraz. When well made, this classic French dish is a tasty favourite in our household. The recipe for it below:
For the Pastry
- 220g plain flour
- 120g cold butter, roughly chopped
- 20 mL very cold water
- 1 large egg, separated
For the Filling
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 220g lean bacon, finely chopped
- 5 large eggs
- 150 mL cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 110g grated tasty cheddar cheese
- Place flour and butter in a large bowl and after washing hands in very cold water, rub the butter into the flour quickly until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- In a cup stir together water and egg yolk (reserve the egg white).
- Add the yolk mixture to the butter and flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
- Use your hands to press the dough clumps together into a mass.
- Form the pastry into a disc shape and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Unwrap the pastry and place between two large sheets of baking paper.
- Using a rolling pin, roll pastry out to fit a 23cm diameter quiche dish.
- So as to prevent creases forming on the bottom piece of paper, flip over every now and then and roll.
- Line the baking dish with pastry. Using a sharp knife, trim away any pastry that extends above the top rim of the dish
- Cover dish and refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.
- Preheat fan-forced oven to 170˚C.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add bacon to the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned (about 5-6 minutes). Remove pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
Line the pastry case with baking paper and half fill with raw rice, dried beans or pie weights.
- Bake pastry case for 15 minutes on the lowest oven rack.
- Remove weights and baking paper and brush pastry with some of the reserved egg white.
- Return pastry to oven and bake for a further 10 minutes on the lowest oven rack.
- While the pastry is baking, make the filling.
- Place eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk ingredients together until well combined.
- Sprinkle cooled bacon and onion mixture over pastry case. Top with grated cheese.
- Gently pour egg mixture over the grated cheese.
- Move oven rack to the middle of the oven. Bake quiche in the centre of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until set and lightly browned.
- Cut into slices and serve hot or warm.