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Old 11-22-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
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"Christmas Quiche" Challenge

So, as some of you will know, I started a new job a few weeks ago (which is going very well). They have a tradition there of having a "potluck" lunch just before Christmas, where everyone brings in something edible (some people cook, some bring in bought goods).

I said I would make a Quiche. But then a couple of colleagues challenged me to make it a "Christmas" themed Quiche!

So I am going to give it a go and will do a practice one this weekend. At the moment I am thinking of something involving "stuffing" (Sage and Onion), and also Brussels sprouts. (Obviously there will also be bacon and cheese as it wouldn't be a Quiche without those elements.)

For the Sage element, I wondered about grinding some dried sage with a pestle and mortar and adding it to the actual pastry. (I also have some fresh sage which I thought I might use to decorate the top).

Has anyone tried adding dried/powdered herbs to pastry?

Any thoughts on the sprouts? I was thinking of steaming them first and maybe quartering them, or maybe separating the leaves and sprinkling them through the filling? I don't want a very strong sprout flavour as sprouts are not loved by everyone. (The two people who challenged me both said I should put sprouts in however.)

For the onion element - shallots, white, or red onion? Whichever I use, it will be thoroughly caramelised beforehand so it is nice and soft and doesn't spoil the soft eggy filling.

The bacon will, (naturally) be smoked.

Sprouts and sage are both pretty strong flavours (as is smoked bacon) - but should I be thinking of something to sweeten/lighten the flavours? A tiny bit of lemon or orange zest maybe? (Zest is quite "Christmassy".) Or is that overkill?

So, for my test quiche this weekend:

1. Sage - in the pastry? Good plan or no?
2. Sprouts - leaves, quarters - something else?
3. Onions - what type?
4. Zest - yes or no? Or maybe just on top?
5. Any way I can include tomatoes (for a red accent)? Chopped sun-dried in the filling perhaps? Or slices on top?
6. Any other ideas?

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Old 11-22-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
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I add ground cinnamon to my apple tart crust. I have used ground cloves and ground ginger in the crust for pear tart. It works fine. I have never tried with a savoury dish.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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I'm thinking savoury flans/tarts may not be that common in North America Taxy! Or maybe they are just called something different?
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #4
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I would go with a quiche that displays red and green, maybe sun dried tomatoes and green onions (and forget sauteing them). Green and red peppers might work if you like peppers. I don't see much in your list that makes me think "Now that's a Christmas quiche!". Mine would be a basic swiss cheese, bacon, green onion quiche that my family likes with some added bits of red sun dried tomatoes and maybe, even some spinach.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatyCooks View Post
I'm thinking savoury flans/tarts may not be that common in North America Taxy! Or maybe they are just called something different?
They aren't uncommon. I'm just not a big fan of quiche. I do make a fabulous "tortière", which is a French Canadian meat pie. Hmm, maybe I'll try adding some of the sage to the pie crust next time. It's a Christmassy/wintery dish.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:03 PM   #6
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Possibly a cultural divide there Oldvine. Red peppers are lovely (and no doubt would work superbly), but they simply don't appear on a traditional UK Christmas dinner table. (Whereas few tables wouldn't include sprouts and sage and onion stuffing).

I'm sort of committed to the sprouts (since they were requested), which does rather limit my options.

I do get what you say about going with the red and green colour scheme though.

If the sprout version doesn't taste good this weekend, I may well revisit the whole "Colours of Christmas" theme for the next attempt!
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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You could always decorate it with cooked sprouts. Maybe give them a surprise and cut them in half and fry them in browned butter.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
They aren't uncommon. I'm just not a big fan of quiche. I do make a fabulous "tortière", which is a French Canadian meat pie. Hmm, maybe I'll try adding some of the sage to the pie crust next time. It's a Christmassy/wintery dish.

That sounds interesting. (Not for my present challenge of course).

But how about a recipe for future reference?
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:11 PM   #9
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You could always decorate it with cooked sprouts. Maybe give them a surprise and cut them in half and fry them in browned butter.
Fried sprouts are very tasty. This is not a bad idea at all Taxy! Anyone who doesn't like sprouts can just get rid of them!

(I can't do the "surprise" frying element at work - we have a small kitchen with a sink, fridge and microwave. ) But I wonder how the sprouts would work just as a "garnish" on top? Interesting.....
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:13 PM   #10
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I google images 2 things -- christmas quiche and brussles sprouts quiche. Lots of pictures, and already I think you could do Better than what I saw.

I'm thinking if you include brussel sprouts, very lightly saute leaves, you could toss them in a litle butter and maybe add some lemon or lemon zest to the pan. Maybe the zest would stick to the brussel sprouts when you spoon them into the pie shell. Just like tucking in a little elusive extra taste. I would make a circle wreath on the top after it is filled and before you close the oven door, make a wreath of fine snipped green onion tops. Pull a couple pimentos from an olive jar and strategically place some "holly" berries on the wreath. Alternately, use some quartered or sliced sun dried tomatoes.

I often just use green onion tops on all kinds of things, and use regular or red onion for the onion body parts. I think green onion bottoms are too "oniony" by themselves and don' always know what to do with them.

You could just lay a sprig of fresh sage in the center after its baked for a decorative garnish, maybe with a sprig of rosemary which looks kind of piney. Or a sprig of any green herb mix. And remnember flat leaf and curly leaf parsely is your friend. These stay put on top of a quiche instead of sinking too.

Alternates to brussel sprouts, spinach or chopped broccoli, Although I think your first set ideas do say the flavors of Christmas.
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