Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baker's Corner: Cheesy Mushroom Quiche

Guess what I've been doing the past few days? I've been running around like a headless chicken trying to make sure I get everything I'm supposed to do, done before we leave for our three week holiday to India tomorrow! Usually I get started on packing at least a week (if not more) in advance but this time, I've just been swamped with so many other things that I just got my suitcase down from the storeroom yesterday night. For me, that is as last minute as it can get! I'm almost certain that I'll leave something behind and that gets me overwrought. I'm quite an obsessive packer so I usually have a game plan, a couple of lists, reminders and what not to help me along the way. I even put a lot of thought into picking what books I carry along to read during the holiday. For this visit....zilch....zero....nada! But I'm done with completing all the pending tasks at work, getting the house in order, shopping for loved ones and I even managed to bake something special to take with me so its not all bad

Anyway, moving past my dreary packing woes, this year, one of my resolutions is to try and experiment with different cuisines and dishes that are outside of my comfort zone. Another one is to hone my baking skills. Since I began baking at the start of 2012, I've mostly baked simple cakes, puddings and a few varieties of bread. I did try a more complex layered cake, the scary souffle and the intimidating molten chocolate cake but nothing more. Baking is a creative outlet for me. I love the magical transformation of ingredients, the moment of surprise when you pull something out of the oven, the heavenly scent that fills the kitchen and the moment of accomplishment when you slice into your creation and discover it to be just perfect (okay that doesn't happen all the time!). This year and next, I hope to feature cheesecake, macaroons, eclairs, tarts, pies and more savoury bakes on my blog. 

Pies have been on my baking radar right from the beginning of my baking journey but I never got around to making any. Whenever I think of a pie, I invariably think of the sweet kind and not savoury. Ever since I discovered what a quiche is, I've wanted to make it at home. A crispy pastry crust layered with sautéed vegetables, topped off with an egg and cheese mixture and baked till golden....hell yeah! That is totally my kind of thing I had forgotten all about quiches until I saw one in a blog that I follow. The recipe looked really simple and I already had all the ingredients with me so there was no reason not to march straight into the kitchen and get cracking on it. The best thing about making a quiche is that it can be customised and doesn't require much precision. 



I tweaked the original recipe a little to make it more interesting and after I was done making it, I noted certain aspects that could be done to make it even better. I’ve incorporated the changes into the final version of the recipe that you see here. From this recipe, I made one large 12-inch quiche but you can also do two 6-inch quiches or a 9-inch quiche and four mini-quiches. I wasn't very sure if the quiche would come out in one piece and I had brutal visions of the crust collapsing or crumbling or something but as you can see from the picture, nothing of that sort happened!

This quiche is an extremely simple one with only a handful of ingredients which makes it great for beginners, but keep in mind that as I said before, this dish is wonderfully versatile. You can add other veggies and greens into your quiche like spinach, leeks, zucchini, bell peppers, sweet corn and tomatoes. You can play around with the ingredients that you think will add an interesting element of texture and flavour. Also, you can add parmesan or gruyere cheese along with the cheddar for added flavour. Serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner....this is a sure fire crowd-pleaser in any situation! I will be trying different versions of this quiche in the future and the ones that top this one will make it to the blog in due course of time 

I might be missing in action for a while. But then again, I might find sudden inspiration from somewhere and blog during my holiday as well....you never know! Whether or not I keep my space running during the next three weeks, I have some exciting recipes coming up so stay tuned 

So without further ado, here is the recipe. I hope you try it (and like it!).



Cheesy Mushroom Quiche 

Preparation time: 20 min
Baking time: 35-40 min
Makes: A large 12-inch quiche (8-10 wedges)
Serves: 2-3
Recipe category: Main course/French
Recipe level: Easy
Recipe source: Adapted from here

Ingredients:

For the pastry:
200gm plain flour 
100gm chilled unsalted butter, grated or cut into small cubes
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp salt

Optional seasonings for the pastry:
1/2 tsp italian herbs
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder


For the filling:
200gm mushrooms of your choice, sliced (I used Swiss brown mushrooms)
1 large onion (or 2 medium red onions), chopped
3/4 cup milk
1 heaped cup cheddar cheese, grated
3 beaten eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of nutmeg, Optional
a sprinkling of red chilli flakes, Optional 
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil


Method:

For the pastry:

1. Grease you pie dish with butter.


2. Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder together. Mix in the grated or chopped butter and mix it with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the beaten egg and bring the dough together. If it is not coming together as a dough, you can add a few drops of ice cold water (but I didn't have to). Refrigerate the dough for 10 mins.

3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Roll it out about 1/2" thick and make sure it is of uniform thickness.

4. Gently transfer this rolled out dough over the greased pie dish. The dough is quite delicate so it might tear in places. If that happens, don't panic. You can easily do a patchwork with the overhanging dough and make sure that all areas of the pie dish is covered with the dough. Press the dough down lightly at the bottom and along the sides until uniformly thick all over. As you can see, mine is far from perfect but a quiche is quite forgiving so it doesn't matter. 


5. Refrigerate this crust while you put together the filling.

6. Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C.

To prepare the filling:

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions until golden brown. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft and all the water has evaporated from the pan. This may take a while so please be patient. Season with freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt and mix well. Cool completely.




2. Break 3 eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Add 1/2 a cup milk to the eggs. Finally add in the grated cheddar cheese. Mix well.



To assemble and bake:

1. Bring out the prepared crust from the fridge.

2. Layer the onion mushroom mixture evenly on it.

3. Gently pour the milk-egg-cheese mixture until it reaches 3/4th the level of the crust.

4. Bake until the top turns golden brown and the crust turns golden - about 35 to 40 mins.


5. Cut into wedges and serve while still warm.

6. Pair the quiche along with a fresh garden salad 





Notes:
  • You can replace the plain flour with whole wheat flour
  • Some people use crisco instead of butter to make the pastry crust but that is up to you (I personally don’t use crisco).
  • If you don’t eat eggs, skip the egg from the pastry and for the filling, you can replace the eggs with extra firm tofu blended to a smooth paste with plain milk and seasonings

Cheers,


1 comment:

  1. Absolutely! I will for sure try this recipe- looks great! Tempting pictures:-) I hope you got all together. Have a lovely vacation in India! (we just got back to India after vacation in Europe...) Oh aren't we global minds:-) Enjoy!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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