Sunday, 21 April 2013
Pleasing assonance and an eggstremely good dish - Sweet Pepper and Feta Quiche
Wow, back after a bit of a blogging break (riddled with some dreadful lurgy - I'll spare you the details) and regular readers of these ramblings will know I like a bit of a bargain and dislike faff. So, whilst dragging my 'pseudo flu' ridden body around the supermarket recently I cruised slowly past the chuck outs (timing being everything - you've gotta leave it reasonably late in the day to that tipping time where they price it down further to get rid whatever dishevelled offerings they have left) I spied two large pots of sweet roasted peppers and feta from the deli lurking on the shelf. 30p each. Bang bang, in the trolley they went.
I love quiche. And tarts. And flans. And I got to thinking that the combination of sweet heat and salt from the peppers and feta enveloped in an unctuous eggy creamy custard might be the way to go. And whilst you could make your own pastry (as it happens, on this occasion I did) I am not averse to opening a cardboard package of ready rolled and slamming it into a loose bottomed flan tin, because, let's face it, sometimes life is too short. 10 minutes blind baking whilst you are sorting out the quiche filling and then it's in the oven. 25 minutes or so, job done. Dinner's on the table.
I added a little more Feta to the peppers that I bought, because we're Feta fiends here. It's important to taste the quiche mixture before you put it in the pie case because despite the Feta, sometimes a little more seasoning is needed. I left the peppers and Feta in strips and lumps, because I thought the finished look would be quite pleasing, something akin to abstract impressionism, but I think there is an argument for crumbling the feta and dicing the peppers, particularly if you want to entice the more 'discerning' of children into eating it. And even though I used deli peppers, there are reasonably priced jarred roasted peppers which would work just as well. I think you could also add some herbs, maybe some finely chopped oregano or thyme for an extra hint of something fragrant.
Sweet Pepper and Feta Quiche
Serves Mum, Dad, Lola and Finn
Pack of shortcrust pastry (you will have some over for another quiche. Brilliant!) or look at the recipe I use below.
8oz deli roasted peppers
6oz Feta cheese
3 large eggs (or 4 medium)
10fl oz double cream
salt and pepper to taste.
If you are using ready made pastry or you've made your pastry and you are ready to go, preheat the oven to 180c and put a baking sheet into the oven.
Prepare the pastry either by making the recipe below (which is enough for two recipes - freeze what you don't need) or by rolling out some ready made shortcrust pastry and pressing it into a prepared loose bottomed flan tin. (I used my 13" x 4" rectangular flan tin, which seems to be a very similar size to my 8" round flan tin) Fork the bottom of the pastry case to prevent it from rising too much whilst it blind bakes.
Try not to stretch the pastry or else it will shrink whilst it cooks.
Blind bake the pastry for about 10/15 minutes by putting a sheet of greaseproof paper over the pastry and filling the case with baking beans/rice/beans. Distribute the beans evenly across the base and bake on the preheated baking sheet for 15 minutes, removing the baking beans for the last five minutes to try to dry out the bottom.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Place your roasted peppers and feta in a bowl, either leave them chunky or chop up.
Add the cream and the eggs and stir thoroughly to combine. Taste the custard. It will need seasoning but be judicious, particularly with the salt as the Feta will add some saltiness to the finished dish, especially if you chop the Feta quite small.
Remove the par baked pastry case from the oven and pour the filling into it, evenly distribute the peppers and Feta throughout the custard and shake the tin a little to settle the mixture. Don't overfill. You shouldn't, in any case, have much left over, but if you do you could always pour some mixture into ramekins and bake it. Next morning's breakfast/lunch right there!) Place back onto the preheated baking tray and bake in the oven for about another 25 - 30 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is golden.
Allow to cool for about 5 or 10 minutes before cutting and serving for a raging hot quiche never tasted of anything and just burns the roof of your mouth.
What could you have this with? Well, I'll be honest, a chilled glass of white wine over looking the Med is what I am thinking but maybe a little salad, some new potatoes, tin of beans (seriously - I love quiche and beans).
Makes two 8 inch tart bases
2 oz vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
2 - 4 tablespoons of cold water, to bind.
tsp dried herbs (only for savoury fillings and very optional)
Rub together or blitz the flour and the fats so the mixture resembles bread crumbs and add the salt and herbs if using.
Bind the mixture with a tablespoon of water at a time.
When the mixture is bound, wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow it to rest.
I am submitting this recipe to #eggmainsinminutes. Let's face it; eggs are the ultimate fast food! And if you visit here, you will find many more fantastic egg recipes. Enjoy!