March 3, 2010
A Little Bit Of Effort
I found myself getting rather hungry around midday. I wanted something healthy, filling, nutritious and yet delicious. Is that asking too much? I guess I could have jumped into the car and perused the shelves and glass windows of the local bakery or gone to the local burger joint or even to one of the many drive-throughs of today. All of sudden I found myself weighing up which effort was going to be the better option. Is the effort of getting myself to look a little decent and driving somewhere for my tummy fix or is the effort of searching the refrigerator shelves and making something the way to go. The latter won out. Let's see where this culinary journey takes me.
I have puff pastry in the freezer. I have eggs, cheese, milk, cream, butter. I have a little continental polish sausage. I spy fresh parsely from yesterday's farmer's market. Ooh, there are those little sweet baby roma tomatoes. I have two spring onions and brown onions. It is all coming together in my mind.
I chuck the frypan on the gas burner and get one and a half chopped brown onions and the two chopped spring onions into the pan with a generous blob of extra virgin olive oil. I pan fry this on a low heat because I do not want to burn them and I would also like to achieve a little sweetness from them, so longer but slower cooking is necessary. After ten minutes they are done. I chop a little polish sausage and toss them into the cooling onion. This helps to release some of the sausage flavour without being too overpowering.
Next I turn on the oven; grab a baking tin which has six tart shell holes. I grease them with butter. I get one and a half sheets of puff pastry; cut into six squares and cram them very rustically around the tart shells. Butter around the edges and the tops of the pastry. Cover with a teatowel. Now the mixture.
Beat three eggs, 1/3 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of milk. Whisk well. Add a little salt and pepper. Place some grated cheese into each puff pastry shell; be generous. Divide the onion mixture evenly into each shell and place over the grated cheese. Top with cut up baby roma tomatoes and sprinkle generously with parsely. Pour over the egg mixture and distribute evenly. My god, the amount is just perfect.
Place into a moderate oven and bake for about twenty minutes or till the egg is cooked through.
I like to take them out and place them onto a wire rack; return them to the oven and crispen all the outside of the pastry. This takes some skill and patience and tolerance of high heat as they are scorchingly hot. For me though it is essential as I love a crispy pastry on the outside.
I rest the quiches near the kitchen window to cool down. In the meantime I take out some beautiful farmer's market lettuce and drizzle this with my homemade mustardy dressing. I pop a quiche onto the plate with my salad; arm myself with a knife and fork and then guess what. You most probably think that I ravagingly dig in. But no. I actually take a moment to admire my creation. I smell it. I look at the rustic tart with all the vibrant colours staring back at me and I marvel that this little baby took me less time to achieve than driving anywhere and scoffing something that has been churned out by god knows who or what.
I am so pleased I made them. And another guess what. Everyone was home. One by one they started to disappear. Issy did the same as me with the lettuce but the rest were simply devoured straight from the rack. Everyone was contentedly full. No one had to dash anywhere for a feed and I feel very satisfied with my choice of using up leftovers or whatever I could find in my fridge. Besides, I truly feel it is good be be "hungry" and work towards feeding yourself. Isn't that how it used to be in the good ole days. All it takes is a little bit of effort.