Let’s assume you’ve got a free afternoon and no pressing need to produce a five-course meal by sunset. There never was a better time to get acquainted with the art of making quiche. Pronounced “keesh”, it’s a great stand-by snack for mid-morning with coffee. This version feeds six people, two of whom get second helpings. If you were to add a massive green salad with vinaigrette dressing to the table, this combination would make a very satisfactory savoury lunch.
Yuppie mates? Make quiche!
To make this quiche for 6, maybe
8 diners, you will need:
30g parmesan cheese
1 cup of water
Pinch of salt
125ml plain yoghurt
100g oyster mushrooms
2 large sweet peppers, one red, the other green
6 large leaves of fresh spinach
This time, fellow cooks, we’re going to make our own pastry instead of relying on the industrial product lurking in the freezer of the local supermarket. This is because pastry-making is one of the rites of passage that new cooks need to experience, which marks the transition from braai mechanic to food technician Grade 1A. Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour and butter at low revs until the blend resembles breadcrumbs.
Add a pinch of salt (you may wonder, as I once did, why a quantity of salt as small as a pinch matters in baking. It seems that it performs a catalytic function. The real test is baking without it). Now add water little by little to the mixture until it becomes a dough. Toss in the grated parmesan, then stick the mixing bowl in the fridge and let the dough rest for an hour. Afterwards roll it out thinly on a work surface. Grease a shallow oven-proof dish with butter and line it with the rolled-out dough.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC for 10 to 15 minutes. Then remove and allow to cool. M ix the milk, yoghurt and eggs with a hand-powered ball whisk in a bowl. Reserve covered. T op and tail the sweet peppers and discard the seeds and pith. Cut into strips. Then with a sharp knife, section the oyster mushrooms into thirds or quarters, but don’t cut them too small since this diminishes the final texture. De-vein the spinach and coarsely chop the leaves. Now we return to the cooled pastry in the oven-proof dish.
Arrange the sliced sweet peppers, spinach and the sectioned oyster mushrooms in a even layer over the pastry. Lay sections of thinly cut Brie on top. Pour the whisked egg, milk and yoghurt mixture over the contents of the dish, filling it to just below the edge of the pastry lining the sides of the dish. aking care to spill en route, place the dish in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for half an hour or as long as it takes to rise and set. S erve the quiche hot or cold, seasoned with a some salt and coarsely ground black pepper. It’s really delicious. – David Basckin |fw