Wednesday, July 18, 2007

la quiche lorraine, an old French recipe...

Everybody eats Quiche Lorraine in France, and perhaps you too ! La Quiche Lorraine was created during the middle of the sixteenth century. It came from Lorraine, a French region in the north east of France, near Germany. The word « quiche » comes from the German word « küchen » which means cakes. There are thousands of recipes of Quiche Lorraine, but most of them are made of eggs, milk or cream, hams or "lardons " (strip or cube of bacon) in a pastry crust.
We eat it warm like an entrée or for a one plate dinner with just a walnut vinaigrette salad ( 1 teaspoon of french mustard, 2 pinch of salt, pepper, 5 tablespoon of walnut oil and 1 table spoon of balsamic vinegar), it’s a simple family meal. We also like to bake little quiche for appetizers or buffet. It is a very easy and quick dish, especially if you buy the pastry.

For the pastry or buy pie crust in your store
1 cup of all-purpose flour
¼ pound (1 stick) of unsalted butter diced, at room temperature
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of water
1 egg

Pour the flour into a bowl and make a kind of fountain. Pour into the fountain water, salt, and the butter cut up in little chunks and the eggs. Combine with your fingers or use a food processor. Do not overwork the dough or it will become tough. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the fillings : a béchamel
6 oz of fully cooked diced ham
less than ¼ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of milk
salt and pepper to taste
nutmeg to taste
4 oz shredded gruyere or parmesan cheese
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 ° F.

To prepare the crust : on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin two or three times, rotate the dough and roll out again until you have get a circle. Fit the dough in a tart pan on parchment paper; stick the dough with a fork. Then put the ham or bacon in diced pieces on the dough.

Make a béchamel : in a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. When butter starts to foam, add the flour, mixing well and immediately with a wooden spoon. Cook 2/3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add milk little by little, stirring gently with a wire whisk or wooden spoon until smooth and thickened Add the shredded gruyere or parmesan, mix well. Out of the heat, add the eggs and mix well. Add nutmeg, pepper and salt. Fill the dough as full as possible with the béchamel and bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and serve immediately or let cool to room temperature. Cut into wedges to serve.

If you have some quiche leftover, just warm it in the oven to serve, the dough will stay crunchy !

The addition of onion to Quiche Lorraine makes Quiche Alsacienne. Without eggs, an open-face onion tart with anchovies and black olives is a Pissaladière Niçoise, a relative of pizza.