Not just any old quiche though. He wanted a quiche that contained tiny sausage meat meatballs, along with chestnuts and a British white cheese. Something of an artisan quiche, it seemed like!
Now I'm not exactly a dab hand with quiches, but I have made some creditable attempts at them in the past. So I had a good idea of what to put with these ingredients to make a proper quiche-like texture and the additions of some curd cheese (bought from our local Polish shop), creme fraiche, a shallot and chives seemed to me to have the potential of doing the job.
We debated over adding mushroom, but didn't want the filling to become squishy. Mushrooms are such a high percentage of water, this seemed highly likely unless they were fried off first and with the sausage meat, we were a bit leery of everything becoming too fatty. Mind you, the sausage meat was 90% pork - so not much room for fat there. As it turned out, I had a last minute good idea and added a couple of mushrooms as decoration - which because they were on top of the filling mix, were able to dry out under the fan of the cooker and so not cause any soggy problems.
The flavours matched up really well. The sausage meat loved the chestnuts, the chestnuts loved the cheese and the cheese loved the well seasoned egg mixture.
I don't recommend eating the quiche when it has just come out of the oven, as it is too bubbly then. Allow it to calm down and cool to warm before you serve and it will be a lot more agreeable. In fact, I ate the remainder for lunch today - cold - and it was excellent, so I can see the recipe would be well suited to a picnic or as a pot luck contribution, too.
I served ours with hubby's choice of vegetables; minted new potatoes, buttered asparagus and mange tout and it ate very well. Cold, it would be just as nice with a potato salad and any number of green leafy or garden salads.
Summer is just around the corner, so why not tuck this recipe behind your ear for then!
I'm happy to announce that this recipe was "Recipe of the Day" for 1st April 2015 with eRecipe.com - and as such we have a badge to prove it! Yay!
WOODSY QUICHE (serves 5-6)
165g plain flour
pinch of salt
75g butter (if you're using salted butter, leave the pinch of salt out), at room temperature
100ml or so of cold water.
100g curd or cottage cheese
100g creme fraiche
pinch of sea salt
half a tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped finely
100g chestnuts, halved
250g (4 sausages) of 90% pork sausage meat
100g good Wensleydale cheese, crumbled into pieces
10g chives, chopped
2 mushrooms, sliced, to decorate.
1. Begin by mixing up the pastry. I use a food processor for this, but you can do the entire process by hand if you wish, in which case rub the butter into the flour until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. If using a food processor, add the flour, salt (if using) and butter and process for as short a time as possible, or until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add the water little by little, mixing it through or by pulsing the processor and adding water in between pulses, until the dough has come together in a fairly dry, sandy, ball.
3. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place into the fridge to rest for 20 mins minimum.
4. In the meantime, mix up the filling. Begin by rolling the sausage meat into tiny meatballs the size of your thumbnail.
5. Then, pour the olive oil into a small pan and add the shallot. Cook on a gentle heat until the shallot is beginning to soften, then remove it with a slotted spoon and reserve.
6. Add the sausage meatballs and increase the heat a little. Cook until the outer surface has turned golden on at least two sides. There is no need to ensure the balls are cooked through. Remove them and reserve to cool.
7. Roll the pastry out and line your quiche dish. Cover the pastry with some baking parchment cut to fit and pour in some baking beans or rice. Place into a pre-heated oven at 180degC/350degF/Gas4 for 20 minutes or until the pastry has turned a light golden sandy brown.
8. Remove the baking parchment and set the baking beans or rice aside to cool before going back into storage.
9. Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
10. Whisk in the curd cheese, creme fraiche, shallot, chopped chives and seasoning.
11. Add the chestnuts, sausage meatballs and crumbled cheese to the mixture and stir to combine.
12. Pour the filling mixture into the casing and gently spread everything around evenly.
13. Add the sliced mushroom in a decorative pattern atop the mixture and press lightly into the mix.
14. Place into the oven (still at 180degC/350degF/Gas4) for some 30-40 minutes or until golden in colour on top and, when pressed, the surface feels firm.
15. Set aside to cool slightly and serve warm, not directly from the oven.