Friday, March 04, 2005

Quiche Lorraine

First you must make the dough for the crust. I like it with a flaky crust and will explain how I do it, in case you are unfamiliar with it.

Here are the ingredients for the dough:

1 generous cup (150 g) flour
½ teaspoon (4 g) salt
7 tablespoons (105 g) very cold vegetable ghee (from India, Pakistan, or Turkey or substitute Taplonee masla in Russian)
water (very cold)

Put all ingredients except the water in a chilled metal or ceramic bowl. Rub together using the tines of a fork. Avoid ever touching the mixture with your hands as they are warm and would melt the ghee. The effect you want to achieve is to have many areas in the dough where the oil (still hard) is present in high concentration but only a thin layer.

When the mixture has achieved the proper texture, add the water in increments until the mixture will hold together. Now you may take it very briefly in your hands to form it in a ball and put it in a plastic bag. Put the covered dough in the refrigerator to rest for between a half hour to an hour.

When you are about ready to take the dough out, you can make your custard for the filling. Here are the ingredients for the rest of the quiche.

250 g (1/2 pound) coarsely grated cheese

(About the cheese, a good, all around choice would be Emmenthaler, Gruyere or Gouda. These are three rather distinct flavors so the choice depends on the taste you prefer. All three, however, harmonize nicely with the bacon or ham.)

125 g slab bacon or prosciutto cut in slices a little less than 1 cm thick (a little less than a ½ inch)

For the custard, 6 large eggs,
A heaping teaspoon of flour
200 ml of milk (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons of sour cream or crème fraiche
(Beat these ingredients together until frothy and full of air bubbles just before pouring in the crust and putting in the oven.)

OK here is the cycle of events that occurs in my kitchen. When the crust dough has been resting in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, I preheat my oven to 210 C. (about 400 F.). While it is preheating, I cut the meat and grate the cheese. Next I put all the custard ingredients in a bowl reedy to be whipped or beaten (whip me, whip me please they cry). Then I take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out in a thin crust to fit the size of my pan. Once it is in the pan, in goes the meat (evenly spaced and lying flat) and then I cover it with the grated cheese. Next I beat the custard mix until it is really frothy (oh my, oh my) and pour it over everything. Then it is in the oven for 50-60 minutes until nicely brown on top and well set. And Voila! Let it cool enough to handle, slice and serve while it is still a little souffléd, if possible.

Just a note about nutmeg and pepper: I always freshly grate or grind for the tastiest and most aromatic result. Niki, help me a little here; in Russian, whole nutmeg is called muskatnaya areckhee, how is it called in Romanian? Any way, they sell special graters to make this wonderful spice product be at its best. Buy one (if you don’t already have it) and use it religiously. For the pepper, I use a Greek or Turkish hand coffee grinder to freshly grind the little whole peppers. This I also do religiously.

I hope you enjoy this simple and delicious dish!


Gama said...

I love Quiches, love them, love them, love them.
Damn I'm hungry I need to go and eat dinner... Is time.

Have a good weekend!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks Gama! As always, let me know what you whipped up!

Julie said...

Ok, I can do the whole quiche thing, but can I not use a ready made crust? They are pretty good, ey? I have tried twice and mine suck!! Thanks for the recipe, you are such a sweetheart!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Sure Julie, ready made's are fine. Enjoy and thanks for the kind comments!

Julie said...

Oh Russell, you are a sweetheart, if you lived close, we would be best friends!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Julie, let me know how your quiche comes out.

Syl said...

Ah, I've access to all the ingredients and a yen for a fine dish...who better borrow from than The Chef.
Stay warm...and thank for sharing your recipes, poems, and thoughts!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Enjoy syl! As you know, the more I give away, the more I have. Lydia sends a big thank you!