Monday, 1 November 2010

Never Give Up - Make A Quiche If You Must

I am a woman with a mission. A mission to drive these sad, sad sentiments away. T.S.Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, and September is often said to be the saddest one but for me, neither can even begin to compete with November. Yeah, I know, now it's not just a question of a certain time of the year being simply unpleasant in it's essence, but it's certainly not helping my present situation. So, mission it is. This morning, I finally returned the keys of the old home, and was actually feeling quite relieved and even sort of, well, sort of nice  so I decided to hop into a cafe for a bite. And while I was sitting in there, lost in my thoughts, munching my way through the goat cheese quiche I realised that I am, after all, a food snob. Granted, I already knew that I am a literature snob, but that at least was sort of a given considering my chosen vocation, but what, food too?? I hang my head in shame, I do. 

Image by katep 

But hang on, I eat pizza. Just the other day I took my Daughter to a pizza place for a genuinely garden variety foodie experience. I have been known to eat at a burger place. Ok, maybe  not eat the actual burgers but the veggie sort at least. And I do microwave. As soon as I can dig it out, that is. And when I forget to eat, which, unfortunately, tends to happen a lot, I eat pretty much whatever there is in the fridge. Olives straight out of the jar? Done. Tomato in one hand and a piece of bread in another, who has time to dig out the knife when you have teeth? Been there. But the point, I believe, is that I genuinely love good food. And while I can, and unfortunately do, eat bland, overprocessed muck, somewhere in me there's a nasty little food snob just waiting to raise it's eyebrows in horror at the goat cheese quiche that should really call itself an egg pie.

So, what I am going to do tonight is a quiche. A proper goat cheese quiche. See, there she is, that nasty little creature... Anyway, I still hold fond memories of the best quiche I ever had the pleasure to taste, in a small cafe in Geneva, Switzerland. Crumbly yet moist crust. Brilliant blend of cheeses. Light enough on the eggs, just so consistency, perfectly golden on top. Words fail me. Sigh. I went searching the net for a picture that would carry even the slightest resemblance to this cheesy perfection, and came up with this one.

Quite nice, indeed. And even the recipe here at Jo's Kitchen seems quite right. Obviously, it is possible to leave out the onions and add a greater variety of cheeses but generally, yes, yummy. 

What I am going to do, however, is make the basic crust like Jo's and then add some chopped vegetables that I have just quickly cooked in some olive on on a frying pan, on top. Broccoli, tomato, sweet bell pepper and zucchini work nicely. Next, I am going to whisk together  one egg, a carton of double cream ( yes, double cream, I don't do light ), a splash of milk and some grated gruyere cheese. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, some fresh basil leaves and pour on top of the veggies. And then the goat-cheese, or chevre. A quiche is not a goat-cheese quiche if it has three, maybe four, miserable slices of said cheese on top of it. Do you hear me, cafe-that-shall-remain-nameless? So be generous, and if you wish, do add some other grated cheese on top as well, I'm thinking your plain old emmentaler would work just fine. So this is what I am going to do. And when I am done, I shall post pics right here.

Veggies on the way.

Could've used a little less time in the oven, but getting there. At least there's plenty of 

Fantastic, if I may say so myself. And the entire quiche got eaten at one go. No leftovers. And no, I didn't eat all of it myself.                                                        

And since I am being all foodie snob, and am on the topic of cheeses, I can not pass on mentioning this.

Queijo Amanteigado da Serra da Estrela

I have been known to bring this in my suitcase, not wrapped well enough, so that all my clothes ended up smelling, well, interesting would be one way to put it. I was wiser the second time... But what I am talking about here is a cheese produced in the Serra da Estrela  region of Portugal, from sheep's milk curdled by infusing cardoon flowers in it. The cheese can be either amanteigado, or literally 'like butter', or curado, again literally 'ripened'. Either way, delicious. Check out the blog of Sónia Meirinho from which the photo is taken. And here comes foodie memory two of the day. I remember ducking into a little alleyway hole-in-the-wall cafe in Porto for some cheese of this sort, some crumbly, fresh bread and a glass ( ok, maybe two... ) of fresh, cold vinho verde. Oh my, just now I must say that I was far, far away from a gloomy November afternoon at the Arctic Circle...

I don't know for how long I'll manage to keep my mind off things that just make me sad, but damn if I'll try. Even if it means baking and cooking from here to eternity with some serious reading and writing thrown in for a good measure. Who knows what I'll end up trying in my probably very misguided 'just-how-hard-can-it-be' bravery. After all, there's a wall bearing the unfortunate marks of my just-how-hard-can-drilling-a-few-holes-be. But on the other hand, I have managed to bring an entire Beetle (the car, not the bug) back to life from the brink of death by rust simply because I refused to believe I couldn't do it. So, lace bobbing? Porcelain painting?? Nordic walking??? Hardly. Traveling around the world? I wish. So we'll have to wait and see, but generally, displacement middle name. Just to mold? Not me.

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