Monday, June 13, 2011

Goats Cheese & Red Pepper Quiche

There are some foods that are more powerful than their taste alone. In fact, some foods can be very bland in taste but still evoke a memory. A memory of happy times... and so, this becomes the reason why this food is in your repertoire. I have so many foods that fall into this category, whether it be the crispy skin of a jacket potato taking me back to bonfire night,  a vinegar soaked chip conjuring up images of rainy beaches and vinegar soaked chip paper, or simply, best butter on a freshly baked farmhouse loaf eaten at my granddad's seersucker covered table... all blissful times, relived in the first taste of these simple, yet delicious foods.


Now, this past week, the sun was shining and the girls were playing on the lawn, when my eldest asked for a picnic to be brought out. In my mind, I conjured up all manner of picnic foods... however, the girls were more than happy with cheesy puffs, turkey sandwiches, and grapes... Not me, though... once the seed had been sown, I had to make the perfect picnic food...and nothing says picnic to me like quiche...


When I was little, my mum would knock up a cheese and onion quiche in an afternoon... perfect to eat alfresco. This simple dish conjures up images of tartan blankets, wicker hampers, bowls of strawberries, elderflower cordial and hazy sunshine... Granted, life was probably not like that, and this is more likely a scene from Darling Buds of May (50's style feel-good sitcom), but you're getting the picture...
Anyhoo, quiches have evolved from the days of Quiche Lorraine, and much more sophisticated combinations are being put together. So, while I love the old school combos, I decided I'd bake a red pepper and goat's cheese quiche. I am a fiend for goat's cheese and feel I could eat it all day long, given the chance. So, being able to serve it up in quiche form, coupled with the sweetness of red pepper, is just pure bliss for me.


So, later that afternoon, I donned my pinny (apron), channelled my inner fifties house wife, and baked the perfect picnic food. Even the hubby (not a quiche fan) loved it. I savoured the salty goat's cheese juxtaposed against the sweet red pepper and red onion, all wrapped up in fluffy eggs and crusty pastry... Mmmm... If only I could have persuaded him to drag out the hamper and blanket onto the lawn... second thoughts, I think he'd have thought I was just plain barking...
I'd love to hear what your favourite summer / picnic food is. I could do with expanding my repertoire...
Take care all.
Lx

 Recipe for Goats Cheese & Red Pepper Quiche

Ingredients
25g butter
2 eggs
1 red onion,finely chopped  
280ml half & half or light cream
200g goats cheese (I used the kind with rind on but you can use crumbled too)
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced length-ways

280g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
140g cold butter 
8 tbsp iced water

Method
  1. To make the pastry, tip the flour and butter into a bowl, then rub together with your fingertips until completely mixed and crumbly. Add approximately 8 tbsp iced water... just enough to bring everything together with your hands until just combined. Roll into the pastry into a ball. Try to handle the pastry as little as possible.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round about 5cm larger than your quiche dish / tin. Use your rolling pin to lift it up, then drape over the tart case so there is an overhang of pastry on the sides. Using a small ball of pastry scraps, push the pastry into the corners of the tin. By using the pastry to push into the corners, you'll prevent tears in your pastry case. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 20 mins. 
  3. Heat oven to 400F/200C/gas 6. While the pastry is chilling, heat the butter in a pan and cook the onion for approximately 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until they become sticky and golden. Remove from the heat.
  4. Lightly prick the base of the tart with a fork, line the tart case with a large circle of foil, then fill with baking beans (no baking beads, then use dried beans or rice). Blind-bake the tart for 20 mins, remove the foil and beans, then continue to cook for 5-10 mins until biscuit brown.
  5. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl, then gradually add the cream. Stir in the onions and half the goats cheese, then season with salt and pepper. Carefully tip the filling into the case (leave enough room for the peppers. Add the sliced red pepper and the rest of the goats cheese, then bake for 20-25 mins until set and golden. Leave to cool in the case, trim the edges of the pastry, then remove and serve in slices.

13 comments:

  1. That looks so yum. I love to picnic, I find finger food is what works for me. Enjoy

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  2. A wonderful combination of flavours! English summers are so fleeting as an adult - I remember summery summer hols go on forever as a child! I like your mention of Darling Buds of May, my granny would cook up large hams for doorstop sandwiches with lashings of Colman’s Mustard – fond times!

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  3. Morning- i have a cup of tea in hand- kiddos all dropped at school and raining outside after a glorious day of english sunshine yesterday!

    We are on the same page dear friend- last night I made myself a big ball of Shortcrust pastry...I had to attend to little miss.audrey though, and the hubster was out for dinner, so I popped it into the fridge -have just taken it out now- and sat it on the benchtop to get to room temp....!
    Will this work?
    I know I should have make the quiche last night but just couldn't fit it in!!
    So...I have my baked veges ready and the milkman delivered my eggs this morning...I'm going to add some goats cheese now!

    Love this post as it's all the things I love about england and do for our kids...

    Melissa xxx
    PS- I use *In my Kitchen -food for family & friends* By Annie Bell for recipe's like this- have you heard of it? It's English but I actually was given it in Oz!

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  4. We usually bring portable food, like grapes and cheese and crackers on picnics. I'm definitely trying this quiche for next time. This looks and sounds absolutely amazing!

    Lisa
    http://chicmagnifique.blogspot.com

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  5. Sounds scrummy.
    You had me at
    goat's cheese....
    Love the image of
    you in your pinny,
    whipping this up.
    Thanks for the recipe!
    xx Suzanne

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  6. When we were newly married we lived 40 miles north of San Francisco. Being very poor, we could only manage to get into the city once in a while. On our 6 month anniversary we took a picnic lunch to
    Golden Gate Park. It was 47 years ago, but I still remember what we had for lunch: cold roast chicken, a loaf of SF sourdough bread and butter, strawberries, and Champagne. It was very romantic.

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  7. Looks so yummy!!
    Lovely post of memories!

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  8. Sound and looks wonderful, I love food you can cook a big batch and eat the next day too :) x

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  9. Looks like a great picnic. The quiche look so delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe at Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays.

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  10. Your quiche looks delicious! I love red pepper and goats cheese!

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  11. The quiche looks delicious! I love goat's cheese too. A quick picnic type snack I make is squares of filo pastry, with a dollop of soft cheese with herbs (roulade)on - fold the pastry over to make a triangle and bake, 'til pastry is brown. Abby x

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  12. ooops, meant to say Puff pastry, not Filo! The chese is Boursin. Abby x

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