13/03/2006

Quiche

(To serve 2-3 people)

200g flour
100g margarine
cold water to mix

1 onion, sliced
olive oil
few mushrooms, sliced (optional)
50g cheese, thinly sliced
3 medium eggs
200ml milk (regular or soya)

Method:
For the pastry: rub the margarine into the flour with fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (or use a food processor). Add a small amount of cold water (preferably refrigerated) and mix with a knife until it goes together roughly. With floured hands, gather together into a ball and knead for a few seconds. If possible, put in the fridge for half an hour to rest, but this isn't necessary.

Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface using a floured rolling pin, until it's the right size for a large quiche dish or pie plate (or two smaller ones). Line the dish with the pastry and trim the edges.

For the filling: cook the onions (and mushrooms, if used) gently in the oil, in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave, until the onions are soft. Spread them over the pastry. Put the sliced cheese on top.

Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, then stir in the milk. Pour over the top of the cheese and cook at about 200C (400F) for half an hour or a bit longer, until firm, risen, and slightly brown on the top.

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We usually just serve this with some vegetables, such as broccoli or stir-fried courgettes, and it serves two hearty appetites. For three (or even four) people it could be served with baked potatoes and more veg. Alternatively it's very good eaten cold with a salad. Sometime we double the recipe so as to have some cold for the next day!

I usually use 50g wholewheat flour with 150g plain flour in the pastry. This gives a slightly crunchier texture and is of course more healthful than using just white flour. Any sort of margarine can be used (we ensure we use one without hydrogenated fats). Indeed, any other pastry recipe could be substituted, or even shop-bought frozen pastry, thawed.

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