Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Golden onion quiche

I have always wanted to join a regular cooking event. One that would compel me to make challenging recipes every now and then. But most of the events were either closed to newcomers, or they were too challenging for a beginner like me. Nada is the one who told me about this event, A Sweet Punch, which started a few months back. A Sweet Punch is just what I have been looking for.
So, when I heard about it, I was so excited, I quickly sent them a mail asking them to make me a member. I recieved a mail the same evening, and I was so glad to be a part of this event. But the immediate next mail almost gave me a heart attack. It read "Savoury September: Golden Onion Quiche"....


I am in 5th grade. I decide to make a lemon tart pie all by myself. I prepare the base and press it into a pyrex dish. I squeeze the lemons for making the pastry cream. And then I begin grating the rind of the lemon peel. It is so difficult, I decide to simply cut the peel into cubes and add them to the cream. The pie turns out really bitter and the tart base refuses to come out of the dish.

I am in 8th grade. My aunt, Noorialama is coming to visit us and I decide to make a chocolate tart for her. I follow the instructions word-to-word. The tart turns out too sweet and the base is crumbly and "buttery".

I am in 9th grade. I am simply going through my dictionary, trying to learn new words(Yeah, I know. I was so jobless!!). I come upon this word, Quiche[kee-sh] which refers to a rich unsweetened custard pie, often containing ingredients such as vegetables, cheese, or seafood. I was excited to try it out. I surf on the net, trying to find a recipe. After a lot of searching, I had an idea of how it should be and decide to make my own quiche, using the basic quiche ingredients. Fearing that the quiche may not come out of the pan, I line the pan with a parchment paper. The end product smelt of eggs and the parchment paper stuck to the base. I resolve never to bake anything that has a tart shell. 

I am in 10th grade. My aunt, Jeshalama sends me a lemon squares recipe by Martha Stewart and asks me my opinion on the recipe. I decide to try it out despite being skeptical about it. The lemon squares couldn't be better. They were the perfect treat for a lemon-lover(which I am not, but this is what Nada told me). Anyway, I decide that this would be my last tart.

Back to reality

I really didn't know what to do. But Nada's encouraging words gave me the himmat to accept the challenge. Ria had posed this challenge. Nada has been blog-surfing alot lately and Ria's blog is one of the few blogs that she follows religiously. She keeps telling me that Ria's bro is so lucky and that she wishes she too had a sis who would prepare goodies for her everyday(obviously referring to me).

Coming back to the quiche, another problem I faced was the pan. I wanted a tart pan with a removable base, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Last Sunday, I accepted defeat and decided to use my regular round cake tin.

The preparation was quite easy.
First, sieve maida, baking powder and salt. I like to use a newspaper while sieving. It reduces the number of dishes to be washed and is great for the messy cook in me.
Then I added frozen butter cubes, though the recipe called for grated butter.
Mix it well to form a crumbly dough.
Add in the eggs and cold water if required---I didn't.
Form a soft dough. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll it so that it is a little larger than your tart pan base.
Now comes the tricky part- transferring the dough into the pan. Everytime I lift it, the dough would fall apart. Finally I cut them into 4 quarters and joined them in the pan. Trust me, once it is baked, no one will know it . ;) You are supposed to trim the edges, but I did not have any loose dough hanging outside the pan.
Keep it aside. In a saucepan, heat some olive oil.
Add chicken or whatever you wish. You could use paneer, mushrooms, name it.
Next, I added sliced onions, though the recipe called for diced ones. Saute it till it becomes golden brown. I know, mine are not caramelised, but I was too lazy. So, I was satisfied with this colour. And yeah, I added some salt while sauteeing to speed up the "browning" process.
Beat 3 eggs. Mix with milk and mozrella cheese. Pour into the onion mixture, along with a generous sprinkling of pepper. Pour this into the quiche pan.

Bake till a skewer poked into the center of the quiche comes out clean. Remember, undercooking the quiche will give you a quiche smelling of eggs.

Cut them into wedges and serve.
Verdict: A very filling dish. Had it for Iftar. Tasted better the next day. Definitely a keeper.

Serves 4


For the pastry:
Maida -200g
Butter (frozen) -100g (preferably unsalted)
Baking powder-1/4 tsp
Salt-to taste
Beaten egg-1
Ice cold water-as required ( which will be a few drops)
Sieve maida ,salt and baking powder together. Grate in the butter and mix it with the flour with your fingertips till it resembles coarse sand.
Add in the beaten egg and water and gather it into a soft dough.
Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and lift it up carefully and line the tin that you will be baking it in.If it breaks up and you need to do a patch work, big deal! It wouldn't be seen outside! ;)
Which ever tin you are using, make sure the dough comes a little way up the sides, so that it can hold the filling in.

Boiled and shredded chicken-1/2 c ( you can substitute it for paneer or other veggies of your choice)
Onion-250 g ,chopped
Milk-1 c
Cheese-100g (cheddar will work fine)
Beaten eggs-3
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil- as needed.

Heat oil and slightly fry the chicken/paneer til it is golden brown. Add in the onions and fry till onions have caramelised.
Switch off the flame.
Add milk, cheese, beaten eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.
Pour into the pastry case and bake for 25 mins or till golden brown .
Let it cool in the tin completely . Serve it in wedges.