Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday lunch: the finished version

I am now so stuffed I can barely type this entry. I am the human version of Max:

The cooking was very successful, after a slightly fraught 2hr mission around Wegman's supermarket (the market would have been nice, but no time) & Target (pool toys & a waffle maker).

Back home and another two hours later and I had made half a kilo of pastry, an asparagus quiche, a roast beet & goat cheese salad, a green salad with toasted walnuts and two baking sheets of meringues.

I didn't have a recipe for the quiche so before I went to the shops I made a simple pastry by throwing 500gm flour, 290gm very cold, cubed butter, one egg and 80ml iced water in the Magimix, wrapping it in clingfilm and shoving it in the fridge to rest.

I cannot abide soggy or undercooked pastry so I have two important rules: never, EVER use a china tart tin, always metal, and cook the pastry shell first. So, on our return, I put a baking sheet into the heating oven before I rolled the rested pastry out on a floured board to approximately an inch wider than the base of a 22cm non-stick fluted metal tart tin, flipped the pastry into the tin, and gently pressed it in & up the sides, leaving a little overhang, as pastry shrinks when cooked.

I pricked the base with a fork several times, covered it with greaseproof paper and a couple of handfuls of dry beans to weight it, and popped it on the heated baking sheet in the oven at 180F/350F for about 20 mins until it was cooked but blonde. Then I removed the greaseproof and beans and cooked it for a further 10 mins so that it very lightly browned.

I then placed a large handful of steamed & chopped asparagus on the base, and poured over a mixture of three beaten eggs, seasoned 150 ml double/heavy cream, 150ml sour cream (I prefer creme fraiche but it's super expensive over here), a little grated gruyere and a couple of heaped tsps of Dijon mustard. Over the top I scattered two handfuls of grated gruyere.

(Too much cheese in the actual mixture stops the eggs fluffing up. Oh and cheddar is too greasy when it melts. I also added three of the eggs yolks left over from meringue making. Completely over the top and totally unnecessary but makes the quiche super rich.)

I then fried & caramelised two diced shallots, and after fifteen minutes I scattered them over the top of the quiche - any earlier and they would have inevitably sunk to the bottom.

The quiche is cooked when it looks all fluffy and golden brown and still a little wobbly in the middle:

It sinks once you take it out:

I then chopped up some romaine lettuce, toasted some chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan and made a very Dijon mustardy vinaigrette with olive oil & Balsamic vinegar.

The beets were super simple. One bunch baby beets, stalks chopped off, very well scrubbed, tossed with olive oil & Maldon salt and shoved in a Pyrex dish, and covered with foil. I forgot the garlic but popped in two crushed cloves half way through. They cooked for about 45 minutes. Then I peeled them (don't wait 'till they get cold as the skin sticks), sliced a log of local goats cheese and the beets, layered them up, & poured over the cooking juices.

Y made his classic remoulade, which is simply two raw grated celeriac, tossed with a seasoned mustard & mayo dressing and chopped cornichons.

Eton Mess for pudding, recipe & pics to follow.