Saturday, February 9, 2013

Veggie goat's cheese quiche

I think progress and innovation stems from very clever lazy people, who are just pretending to be hardworking.  Who else would spend their life trying to figure out how to make things easier, less strenuous and more simple?  The huge revolution in the way of living of the -- so-called -- "Western society" is proof of how much easier life is now for the average person.  All thanks to clever inventions -- simple solutions saving time and hard work.

My mind often takes the same approach to cooking, trying to figure out the simplest way to prepare something -- at the same time not giving up on taste, quality and the home-made-factor.

What I cook very often is a result of what I happen to have in the fridge.  There is no elaborate planning, no trips to specialty stores to get exotic ingredients, no thorough research in the Internet or cookbooks to find the perfect recipe or at least some inspiration.  Leading a busy life with limited free time and strength to engage in hours and hours of shopping, preparing and cooking forces you to be creative.  

And all the better -- after all few of us have the luxury of both time and resources.  And it's not that I don't like being in the kitchen.  It's just that in the little time I have left after work, I like doing other things too.  That's why I often try to figure out ways to spend as little time cooking as possible.

The key to success is having the right basic ingredients at home.  Vegetables, grains, eggs, flower, spices, oil or butter will often get you a long way.  Sometimes you are allowed to cheat by buying ready made pastry -- who would have the time to every single time make the pastry from scratch after returning from work?

That's how this quiche happened.  My family came to visit and I wanted them to have a proper meal, but at the same time not spend hours preparing it.  This semi-fancy, semi-home made dinner was the work of a few moments.  I simply chopped some veggies, whisked together the batter, and voila - dinner was served.  

Go ahead and experiment yourself!  It's amazing how much time you can save with some lazy-mindset-thinking -- and at the same time come up with great dinner ideas.  

  • 1 package of shortcrust pastry (not sweetened)
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 250 g of champignon mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 package of creamy goat's cheese (150 g)
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 ml of milk
  • 2 tbsp of flower
  • a handfull of grated gruyère cheese (optional)
  • handfull of sunflower seeds
  • handfull of pumpkin seeds
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C.  Put the shortcrust pastry in a tart tin, make sure the edges stick nicely to the tin.  Puncture wholes with a fork on the bottom of the pastry.  Bake for 6-8 minutes until slightly golden (it might rise a bit, but don't worry about that).  Take out of the oven and set aside.
  • Saute the onion with a tablespoon of olive oil for a few minutes.  Add mushrooms, saute until golden brown.  Put on the pre-baked pastry.
  • Whisk together the milk and flower until smooth.  Add goat cheese, eggs, salt and pepper and gruyere cheese if you're using it.  Pour over the mushrooms.
  • Decorate quiche with peppers and sprinkle with seeds.  Bake around 30 more minutes.
  • Serve with fig preserve, sprinkled with additional seeds.
Bon appetit!

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