Saturday, February 04, 2006

Friday night desertion: I don't drink-and-food-process

(picture above - I've given up battling Picasa and Blogger to join a photo to a story tonight)

Ok - babe, I can rise to the occasion because, yes, for two food-obsessed, cook-til-you-drop-and-beyond, chronicling over-achievers, we have shamefully neglected this little sister site of ours.

Tonight, oh shit, tonight is a bad night for me to start because Chris and I just said fuck it and got fish and chips... albeit from an uber-UNtrendy F&C shop on the southern end of King Street that lets you (get this) ring ahead to order!

However, last night I was unexpectedly alone with three children and no desire for take-away and, while I fed the littlies leftover pasta and salad the big one came home late from Guides and had eaten nothing. So as the Prof partied on down at the head teacher farewell at the Marrickville Tennis Club, I made the big girl (and me, half-cut) this:

Non-food processor Shortcrust Pastry Quiche

are you wondering yet what the secret is to non-food processor pastry? Could it be ice cubes around the mixing bowl? Pre-buttered fingers? A dash of cornflour?

As Eliza Doolittle would say: "Gaaaarrrn!!"

1 sheet Pampas extra large shortcrust pastry
7 eggs
5 slices pancetta
100g nice thick ricotta, Brancourts by preference
fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to about 200 C and let the pastry defrost on the benchtop while the oven heats.

Oil a pastry dish: my current favourite is rectangular with an oval cut out for the base.

Squoosh in the pastry sheet, cutting and pressing as required.

Blind bake: this can obviously be a pain but I have a jar of coup mix beans that I have been using for this purpose for at least eight years. Throw something similar on top of baking paper or some kind of greaseproof paper and stick it in the oven until the corners of the pastry start to brown.

Remove pastry from oven

Mix eggs. If you're not sure how many eggs your favourite dish can take, mix 2 or 3 first and tip them in to get a sense of proportion.

Neil Perry says don't add your salt and pepper to the eggs before cooking as it toughens them, and my own experience backs this up, so throw in a stack of herbs like fresh thyme (oregano, marjoram, basil, parsley, chives etc) to soak through the eggs while cooking.

Pour enough eggs into the par-cooked pastry to cover the base, then spread out the pancetta and top it with big crumbly bits of ricotta (and, if I hadn't been cooking for the Pea Princess, semi-dried tomatoes) and top up with more beaten eggs.

Bake until set and golden brown on top.



Blogger Kim said...

I'm fascinated you put the eggs in first.

My failsafe quiche uses filo then 6 eggs with a cup of cream. But I put the fillings in the dish first, then pour the eggs over the top.

I had no idea I could live on the edge and put the eggs in first. Amazing.

8:53 pm  
Blogger Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

The eggs went in first because (in my drunken state) i had decided it was very important to know how many eggs my favourite dish would take... So, mixed three, tipped 'em in, slapped in some filling, added a couple more eggs, thought, mmm, not enough, so chucked in two more.
Even though under the influence of a reasonably large helping of cheap wine at the time, I can now say with confidence that my rectangular flan dish is a seven-egger.

3:19 pm  

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