Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spinach & Corn Quiche

The Quiche which is now considered predominantly a French dish, originated in a region in ancient Germany which was renamed Lorraine when it became part of France. Ergo - the term "Quiche Lorraine" ( "quiche" from the German word "kuchen' for cake).
Larousse Gastronomique describes it as "An open tart filled with a mixture of beaten eggs, creme fraiche and pieces of bacon, served hot as a first course or hors d'oeuvre". The cheese and onion additions, among others, came much later and it was the Quiche Lorraine which became fashionable in the United States in the 1970s as an appetizer. Since it adapts well to a variety of ingredients, soon innovative quiches with fillings like anchovy, olives and ham became the favourite of creative cooks. However, it was done to death in that decade and by the Eighties it lost its favoured status.

The quiche, however, remains a favourite of mine since I discovered it, and it's a bad restaurant which manages to put me off with an "eggy" smell or by smothering it in cheese. An interesting filling with a nice crust is all a good quiche needs and though I hesitated making the crust for a long time sticking to "crustless" quiches, I finally took the plunge. I'm so glad I did - it was really much easier than what I thought it would be.

This quiche from Jugalbandi had the most amazing crust and this quiche on Sunita's World a very interesting filling - so I did what any self respecting Gemini who had to choose would do - I combined and adapted both the recipes! :).

What I got was a lovely quiche with a nutty crust and a great tasting filling. Spinach and corn seem to be the most popular quiche filling and it's easy to see why, once you eat just a slice of this quiche. I kept the egg and the cheese to the minimum and let the sesame seeds in the crust and the spinach in the filling do the talking. This made for a great meal with soup on the side and I even had a leftover slice for a snack the next day.

1 &1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats and 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and powdered
1/4 cup chilled water
5-6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

1 cup sweet corn
1/2 cup chopped spinach
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp Freshly crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp dried herbs
salt to taste
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp cheese grated

1. Rub all the ingredients for the crust together, in a large bowl, except the water. Adding the water slowly, mix the ingredients together till just combined into a smooth but not sticky dough, taking care not to knead.
2. Lightly grease a pie dish (preferably with a removable bottom) and place the ball of dough in the centre. Pat with both hands downwards and outwards till it spreads to cover the bottom and the sides of the pie dish. Prick all over with a fork, wrap in cling wrap and chill for half an hour.
3. Pre heat the oven to 220 C, remove the pie dish from the 'fridge and cover with foil. Fill it with kidney beans (rajma) and bake blind for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Cool and keep aside.
4. While the crust is baking you can start on the filling. Heat the oil and saute the onions till they turn soft and translucent - 5 minutes. Add the garlic, basil leaves, dried herbs, chilli flakes, corn and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the spinach and coriander leaves and saute for just a minute and remove from flame. Cool the filling.
5. Break the eggs in a bowl and beat along with the eggs and a pinch of salt. Pre heat the oven to 180C
6. Spoon the cooled filling into the baked crust and smooth over with a spatula. Pour the beaten eggs and milk over the filling covering it evenly. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes till set, at 30 minutes, remove the pan, sprinkle the grated cheese over the quiche and bake for the last 5 minutes. Let rest for a bit and then cut and serve warm.
7. If you need to warm it, use the grill or oven and not the microwave.

PS - I made this again on the weekend, this time using the tofu filling in J&B's recipe and it was equally fabulous! I substituted the chard with spinach and the basil and thyme with coriander and mint leaves, made the crust a day before -perfect for an appetizer though my spice quotient left some of my guests gasping! I blamed the really fresh red chilli flakes I got from Dilli Haat for that! ;)

So go on, try this one out, don't let the idea of French cuisine daunt you - its as easy as pie ;)


Happy cook said...

I love quiche and this looks so so yummy delicious.

Arch said...

Yours looks so perfect and arrived on your blog at the perfect time - i am inspired enough to try this asap ! Love the look of it !

Cham said...

Did i like the crust or filling ? I remember when Bee posted with tofu filling! Looks delicous with corn too :)

Cynthia said...

For some people, the crust is the reason they eat quiche :)

Raaga said...

A colleague was asking me about spinach quiche just this morning. I have pointed her in your direction :)

this looks great. Have made pies and tarts, but will try quiche now... the time for one dish meals is here... and how!

Asha said...

YUMMO! So healthy and tasty Miri. Good one girl! :)

Anonymous said...

I love the crust of a quiche whatever filling

sandeepa(Bong Mom's CookBook)

Miri said...

Cham, I made the tofu one also on the weekend and it was simply great!

Sia said...

superb miri. that is one perfect looking crust and filling.

Sunshinemom said...

My internet connection is so slow, I am not able to view the pics, but I remember the one at Jugalbandi, and also Sunita's. Glad you gave your thumbs up. I too have a quiche recipe and hope to make it soon!

bee said...

glad you liked it, miri. i'm making this again today with watercress.

bee said...

miri, i've tried this by blind-baking the crust and without. there's no difference. you can just prick and bake it without the beans.

Miri said...

oh thanks for that tip Bee - saves a good one hour off the process!