Tag Archives: cheese

Real men eat quiche (when I make it)

19 Jun

So. Yesterday morning I decided quiche and salad would make the perfect lunch.  I’d intended to have boiled new potatoes too, but completely forgot them at the last minute.  Ah well.

The quiche was going to be one of those fridge leftover scooper uppers, taking in full fat milk; some rashers of bacon, a red onion, frozen broad beans, and a chunk of Coolea cheese left over from G’s birthday.  Oh, and lots and lots of eggs.  And some parsley picked from the doorstep.

Spring quiche

Shortcrust pastry

8oz plain flour

2oz butter, cold from the fridge

2oz lard (cookeen), also cold from the fridge

Some grated parmesan

Salt and pepper, and some harissa style spice mix

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl
  2. Chop the butter and lard in chunks into the flour
  3. Using your fingertips, rub everything together, lifting it high over the bowl as you go to incorporate air into the mix
  4. When it resembles breadcrumbs (ish) add the seasoning and flavourings if you want them – here I used some leftover parmesan in the fridge and some spicy herb mix
  5. Using a knife mix in enough cold water to form a stiff dough
  6. Squash down a bit (so it’s easier to roll out later) and wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
Quiche filling
3 rashers bacon
1 red onion
knob of butter
a bowl of frozen broad beans
a few spears of asparagus
5 eggs
about 1/2 cup milk
While the pastry is chilling in the fridge grease a tart tin (I used a loose bottomed non-stick tin which must be about 12″ across) and then start preparing the filling ingredients.
  1. Snip the bacon rashers with a pair of scissors into a frying pan (you could of course use a sharp knife, but I find it much easier to use scissors)
  2. Finely chop the red onion and add to the pan with the bacon
  3. Add a knob of butter and cook gently over a medium heat
  4. Meanwhile, if your broad beans need to be peeled again (the grey skin isn’t the nicest flavour, and it doesn’t look too good) then quickly boil them up in a pan with a little water. Boil for a couple of minutes, then rinse in cold water. They are easy to peel – nick the grey skin with your finger nails, then squeeze the bright green beans out of the grey pocket. Yum.  You’ll be surprised how small a bowl you need for the actual beans!
  5. Break the asparagus into roughly inch long sections.  Start by holding the asparagus at both ends and bend it till it breaks.  The end you are holding with the tip is the good stuff.  The other end may be too woody and can be thrown away.  To be honest, in this recipe I ended up using a bit of the woody end too.
  6. By now you can probably take the pastry out of the fridge, roll it out to about 3-4mm and line your well greased tart tin.   Or lots of wee ones if you are making individual quiches.
  7. Prick the base with a fork, leave the pastry draped over the edges while you bake it.  If you don’t the pastry is likely to shrink from the edges and it will be neater if you cook it like this and then cut off the draped edges later.
  8. Roughly cut a piece of greaseproof paper so it is slightly bigger than the tart. Lay this on top of the pastry and cover with baking beans, or ordinary dry beans or rice.
  9. Cook in a hot oven for about 10-15 mins, then remove the paper and the baking beans and cook for a further 3-4 minutes
  10. While it’s in the oven you can crack your eggs into a big bowl and start whisking them – I just use a hand whisk.  Add some milk, or cream if you have any. Or creme fraiche.  You could also add mascarpone cheese or other cream cheese if you have some.
  11. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  12. Now, neaten the edges of the pastry case, and then start adding the filing.
  13. First, make a layer of bacon and onion.  Then add the broad beans and the then the asparagus.  Grate over some cheese and if you have any herbs add them – I’ve got a couple of pots of parsley by the front door and snipped off a good handful and sprinkled this over the other filling.
  14. You might want to put the tart tin onto another baking tray at this stage, just in case of leakage.
  15. Finally, pour in the eggy mixture and put straight into a hot oven.
  16. It’ll be ready in oh, about 20 – 30 minutes.
You may notice I haven’t got very precise weights, or timings.  I remember when I was still at school and my elder brother had phoned from his university digs to ask mum how long to boil tatties.  She had said ’till they are done’ which has always stuck me as the most sensible answer.
To be fair to my mother, we had an oil-fired rayburn which was on constantly and this forgiving way of cooking meant you never had to focus so carefully on timings.
This quiche is probably enough to feed 8 if you have various other salads and so on with it, if you only have a green salad, then it might only be enough for 6.  Of course, we shared it between two of us, but over several meals.
I think it tastes best still warm rather than hot hot from the oven, or cold from the fridge.

Cheese scones

19 Mar

I’m moving flat soon.  And as a result I’m staying in a lot, with the intention of clutterbusting.  The other evening the most sensible thing to do seemed to be to clutter bust a kitchen cupboard by using ingredients to bake something, and then get my colleagues to eat it.

So, cheese scones were the chosen baked goods (I have a colleague who can’t eat sugar, so has missed out on many treats in recent months; and I owed him big time for a missed deadline).

Cheese scones are so easy to make.  In fact all scones are so easy to make.  I should make them more often. These scones were made with a chillie cheddar, so had added spiciness, which is always good.  They were delicious straight out of the oven spread with butter, or the next day heated for 30s in the microwave to re-heat and then spread with butter. Yum.

Spicy cheese scones

140g SR flour

140g wholemeal flour (or plain)

1tsp baking powder

50g butter, straight from the fridge, cut into wee pieces

85g strong cheddar, grated

1 egg

2TBsp natural yoghurt

4 TBsp milk

Heat oven to 190C (fan) or Gas 5.

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in alarge mixing bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter, in wee chunks, and rub in with your fingertips till it resembles breadcrumbs. You could probably use a food processor, or one of those clever pastry maker things, the shape of a horse’s stirrup.
  3. Add any herbs or spices at this stage – sage might be nice; or cayenne, or dried chilli if you like it hot or nigella seeds are quite scrummy.
  4. Stir in about 1/2 of the cheese and then make a well in the centre.
  5. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour into the well.
  6. Use a knife to bring all the mixture together to make a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add more milk if the dough is too dry.
  7. Turn onto a floured surface, and either press or roll out to about 2cm thick. Do not overwork, or it will get very tough.
  8. Cut with a knife, or use a cutter. Re-roll the trimmings to use all the dough.
  9. Place on a non-stick baking sheet, and sprinkle each scone with more cheese.
  10. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until golden
  11. Cool on a wire rack. Or eat immediately.  With butter

Don’t you remember? Scones are the grub that makes the butter go.  Or something.

Scone dough

Fresh out of the oven

Perfectly risen cheese scone


%d bloggers like this: