Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Garden Stuff Quiche

NAME: _Spinach'n'Stuff Quiche

A quickie quiche

garlic chives
a carrot 
(I don't grow those, had to use a supermarket one, and everything below this is store-bought as well.)
sheet of puff pastry
a tomato (optional)
cream cheese
grated cheese
salt and pepper to taste
(See Notes: for why this is so open ended.)   
Cut the stems out of the spinach, silverbeet, and rocket leaves. Wash everything and shake dry. Chop all the stems into 1cm slices and throw in a frying pan (I had the wok out and used that, it's hardly critical) with about a tablespoon of olive oil, start on low heat. 

Meanwhile, chop all the leaves up and get them ready to go, grate the carrot into longish shreds. About now I generally sprinkle a bit of water over the stuff in the pan and let it evaporate, then add the leaves and carrot, toss everything until it starts to wilt, sprinkle a bit more water. When the desired wiltedness is reached (hint: I prefer a bit of body left in the veges, you may, too. Keep an eye on it.) turn off the heat and move the pan to the side, put a lid over and let it cool down./

If you want to save time, then while the above is happening, use your second pair of hands to line a pie dish with baking paper and then the puff pastry, and then put it in the oven at about 190C long enough to part bake the pastry. Take it out at that stage but leave the oven on. 

In a bowl mix about four eggs, two spoonfuls of cream cheese, and a spoon of thickened cream.  Mix well or even use a mixer. Salt and pepper to taste can be added at this stage, also your grated cheese. Adjust the cheese mix to taste (I generally use a few spoons of tasty cheddar and about half as much parmesan) and mix that into the egg with a spoon, then still with a spoon mix in the wilted vegetables and fill the pastry with the mixture.

If you're wanting to make a nice appearance, slice the tomato into 2mm thick slices and dot them around on top of the filling, and then, also optional but highly recommended, a light sprinkling of some more of whatever cheeses you used. 

Put back in the oven and give it 25 - 35 minutes until it gets browned on top, leave to cool and set for 10 - 15 minutes before cutting and serving. 
A few extra leaves of rocket on each plate make a nice touch.
I found that for two of us, the vegies I collected were under a kilo, and what I had was just what I picked before cooking. One pack of frozen spinach would do much the same thing and not need pre-preparation. But not taste half as nice... 

I had a dozen leaves and stems of an Asian spinach of some sort with leaves + stems being some 15cm in total, some young leaves of silverbeet about the same size, a few of rocket, and a single bunch (one plant) of garlic chives.

The pie filling mixture generally doesn't need much seasoning, but you may want to try different cheeses depending on the green ingredients. I had garlic chives to impart a strong flavour. 
Today, I'm going to ask you to please visit one of my other blogs and have a read:
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And as always,


Saturday, 12 March 2022

Sourwhat? And is it an animal?

I'm going to make a few people who've perfected their sourdough skills over the last two years, angry. Probably. But I have a bread maker machine, it's 15 years old or more, and it still hasn't taught me any of the breadmaking skills i acquired myself - but is used quite regularly in our house. And we buy bags of premixed bread mix for it. There. I've 'fessed up. 

And fair enough - I can bake bread in the oven using more traditional techniques, and the only problem with my sourdough is that I always kill it because I'm scatterbrained and forget it. I could put it in a more prominent position but then I'd lose some of my valuable kitchen real estate for other cooking & processing projects. 

I'm going out on a limb here but: the bread machine's electric, I don't need to run my gas oven for an hour to make a loaf. We'd pay between $3 and $8 for a loaf of bread depending how 'artisanal' the originating company imagines itself to be, and the bread mix works out at $1 a loaf. The loaves keep much better than store bought if wrapped in a clean tea towel and then sat in a bread bin, it's a far better size than commercially-baked loaves for two of us, and it works out that we get between six and eight weeks' worth of bread on demand out of each bag.

The procedure for handmade bread, on the other hand, uses the gas oven as previously mentioned, a stand mixer that I have to find room for and then wash and put away plus a bowl and a proving basket, it's dependent on the vagaries of the weather and temperature, and therefore I don't do it as much and then without the good old Breville we'd end up buying commercially baked bread.

Okay - enough of that. I've said my piece, and with all sorts of  stuff getting expensive due to climate and pandemic it's a viable option for saving a few bucks that I thought I should point out.

Now on to another thing that worries me - the way we've become and are becoming disconnected from our food sources and food knowledge. I present just one story from News Of The Weird:

Can't Possibly Be True

In a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, researchers from Furman University asked children ages 4 to 7 to identify whether certain foods come from plants or animals, and which things were OK to eat. The results were shocking, as Oddee.com reported: About a third of the kids thought eggs came from plants. Forty percent thought hot dogs and bacon were vegetables. Almost half thought french fries were animal-based. More than a third thought chicken nuggets were plant-based, even though the word "chicken" is right there in the name. Another third said fish were not OK to eat. Seventy-six percent said cows were not OK to eat. We have some work to do, folks. [Oddee.com, 11/10/2021]

-- https://www.uexpress.com/oddities/news-of-the-weird/2021/11/12#:~:text=Can%27t%20Possibly%20Be,OK%20to%20eat

By the way, NotW is a great source of off-the-wall and offbeat news, almost as good as going to my News Stand and subscribing to a newsletter there so you can keep up with ALL my blogs and posts. 



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