Friday, 6 March 2009

Real Blokes Eat Quiche. And Burgers

Especially a decadent rich quiche. I made a caramelised onion, chargrilled capsicum and brie quiche, and it met with blokey approval. I haven't made a quiche for ages; they tend to be rather rich and heavy. This combo was no exception, but very good. You can do more or less work on it as you buy or make the fillings. On this occasion, I used caramelised onion marmalade from a jar, and grilled my own capsicum, but you can also buy capsicum in jars, or from deli counters. Look for the antipasto sections.

Recipe 1: Caramelised Onion, Roast Capsicum and Brie Quiche
1/4 cup caramelised onions
1 very large red capsicum, grilled and peeled
125g pack Brie-style cheese
3 eggs
150ml milk
pinch salt
20cm pastry case, blind baked

Cover the base of the pastry case with the onion. Add a layer of chopped capsicum. Mix the egg, milk and salt well and pour in. Arrange the sliced brie on top.
Bake at 180C for 30-40 minutes, until filling is set.

Notes: The cheese will melt, so a test knife may not come out clean. If you want to be super-decadent, use cream instead of milk.

To make the capsicum, char it over a gas flame - I just drop it on the burner and turn over regularly to make sure all sides are done. The skin can go quite black. Put into a plastic bag and twist it closed. Leave for 5-10 minutes, and then peel. The blackened skin will mostly just flake off, and the rest will peel easily. Also, oven-roasting them is an easy option, if you are preparing in advance. Skins peel off very easily from a well-done capsicum.

How do you make a pastry case?
Recipe 2: Pastry Case
2 cups plain flour, plus a little extra
1/2 cup butter
iced water

This is the simplest pastry I do, and it's even easier in a food processor. Dump flour in the processor, add roughly chopped butter, and whizz until it's mixed well. It sort of looks like breadcrumbs. Add iced water - start with a tablespoon, whizz it up again, and then add teaspoons as a time until the dough just comes together. The amount of water varies with the weather, the type of flour and butter, the phase of the moon, and the number you last thought of.

Remove dough, knead very briefly, and let it rest for half an hour. Roll out on a floured board or benchtop to make a pastry case size; trim and edge by pressing with a fork. You'll probably have enough leftovers for a small turnover or something. (I made a rhubarb & raspberry jam turnover with the trimmings.)

Prick the pastry gently with a fork, not going all the way through. Line the case with baking paper and pour in some pastry weights or dried beans. (You can't cook the beans later, but you can save them to re-use as weights.) Bake at 200C for 10 minutes, remove weights. If you are going to return it to the oven with a filling, bake for another 5 minutes. Otherwise, if you will fill it cold, with no further cooking, give it 10 minutes.

So that was the quiche - serve with a salad, it is rich. We actually ate mostly vego all week, though not 100%. I rummaged through the freezer when we got back from Corinbank, and converted some leftover wallaby curry with lots of sauce and little meat into a veggie curry. So it was a curry, this quiche, and then there was also a wholemeal pasta dinner.

I've never had any luck with the dry kind of wholemeal pasta - I can never cook it right, it was too raw or total mush with nothing in between. But the Latina wholemeal ravioli with ricotta and spinach worked pretty well. I'll buy then again. I made a simple roast tomato, onion, zucchini and fresh basil sauce for it.

We did this diet switch on medical advice for the Bloke, and he didn't object much. But when the tests came back negative, he wanted a burger, stat! So I made us cheezburger last night. In this pic: cheezburger, made with Belted Galloway beef mince and my favourite supermarket cheddar - Bega vintage strong'n'bitey. Also, McCain's heart-healthy oven chips, baked with a good shake of Crankypants cajun seasoning, and a salad.


JenMeister said...

Mmmm, crankypants sauces are so good! My 'bloke' eats their breakfast sauce at an amazing rate :D I'm rather partial to their eggplant pickle... works well as part of a "lazy pasta" stir-through!

Ozquilter said...

Home made burgers, the only way to go, I like to make my own chips as well, seems to take away the guilt some how - LOL

Cath said...

Oh yeah, it's amazing how different the home made is to the bought. The pre-made oven chips are partly a laziness thing - or a shortcut for the busy. Depending on how you look at it :)

BJ said...

My recipe for salvation? - visit Cath (that's at least 50% of the cure). Sit down to the brie etc quiche, washing it down with an icy slick of martini supplied by The Bloke.

Purrfection! And thanks!

snerd said...

I feel obliged to invent the Quicheburger