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-   -   "Christmas Quiche" Challenge (http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f17/christmas-quiche-challenge-87968.html)

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 09:02 PM

"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. :smile:

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?

taxlady 11-22-2013 09:41 PM

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.

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 09:48 PM

I'm thinking savoury flans/tarts may not be that common in North America Taxy! :lol: Or maybe they are just called something different?

Oldvine 11-22-2013 09:50 PM

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.

taxlady 11-22-2013 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KatyCooks (Post 1321398)
I'm thinking savoury flans/tarts may not be that common in North America Taxy! :lol: 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.

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 10:03 PM

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!

taxlady 11-22-2013 10:05 PM

You could always decorate it with cooked sprouts. Maybe give them a surprise and cut them in half and fry them in browned butter.

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321405)
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?

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321409)
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.....

Whiskadoodle 11-22-2013 10:13 PM

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.

Whiskadoodle 11-22-2013 10:16 PM

Maybe on your trial quiche, you could half, quarter and leaf some sprouts in different sections and see which work best in the quiche.

Mmm I love quiches, so any would be good w/ me, but it 's the presentation and challenge which seems to make this want to go over the top. Fun, eh?

taxlady 11-22-2013 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KatyCooks (Post 1321410)
That sounds interesting. (Not for my present challenge of course).

But how about a recipe for future reference?

It's really yummy. Here's the recipe: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...tml#post933328

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 10:20 PM

Just for clarity. Whiskadoodle - when you say "green onion" do you mean what I would call "spring onion"? It has a long green stem with a tiny white "onion" bulb at the bottom?

Whiskadoodle 11-22-2013 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KatyCooks (Post 1321417)
Just for clarity. Whiskadoodle - when you say "green onion" do you mean what I would call "spring onion"? It has a long green stem with a tiny white "onion" bulb at the bottom?

Yes these are them. I like the tops, as I said.

The bulb seems too sharp for my tongue, esp in something that has layered flavors in a quiche, I want the bacon/ smoke taste, I like to saute a sweeter onion, some veggie or another, good swiss cheese and the silkiness of cream and eggs. well, a nice flaky crust too, but I don't always achieve that:ermm:

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle (Post 1321415)
Maybe on your trial quiche, you could half, quarter and leaf some sprouts in different sections and see which work best in the quiche.

Mmm I love quiches, so any would be good w/ me, but it 's the presentation and challenge which seems to make this want to go over the top. Fun, eh?


It IS fun Whiska! When they said I should do it, I think they had no idea I was totally up for the challenge! :lol:

A sectioned quiche had actually crossed my mind by the way - and now I think I will definitely do that!

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle (Post 1321418)
Yes these are them. I like the tops, as I said.

The bulb seems too sharp for my tongue, esp in something that has layered flavors in a quiche, I want the bacon/ smoke taste, I like to saute a sweeter onion, some veggie or another, good swiss cheese and the silkiness of cream and eggs. well, a nice flaky crust too, but I don't always achieve that:ermm:

I thought so. Thanks for confirming. :smile:

I am a little daunted by the pastry. It is hard to get right. And while I feel fairly confident about a "normal" quiche filling, getting the ratios and flavours right for this "unusual" one is my personal challenge! (I don't want people to feel embarrassed eating it in front of me!) :ermm: (They are really nice people I work with so they will be polite, but I would much rather they genuinely liked it!) :lol:

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321416)
It's really yummy. Here's the recipe: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...tml#post933328


Duly copied and pasted thanks! It sounds really tasty. (And properly "wintry" food.) :yum:

taxlady 11-22-2013 10:46 PM

Is it a special pastry, or could you buy a ready made one?

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 10:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321427)
Is it a special pastry, or could you buy a ready made one?

From the "hearty" sounding filling, this recipe seems to be one that requires a pretty "sturdy" pasty case Taxy. We have what is called a "hot water crust" pastry here (for pork pies) and I wonder if that is the sort of pie crust that is mentioned in the recipe? (And no, I would have to make it - but there are plenty of recipes for it.)

Edit: Just realised you were talking about the Quiche and I was talking about the recipe you just sent! :lol:

No. The pastry for the Quiche is just a standard shortcrust (savoury) pastry. But I really want to try adding the powdered sage to it to see how it turns out. :smile:

taxlady 11-22-2013 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KatyCooks (Post 1321432)
From the "hearty" sounding filling, this recipe seems to be one that requires a pretty "sturdy" pasty case Taxy. We have what is called a "hot water crust" pastry here (for pork pies) and I wonder if that is the sort of pie crust that is mentioned in the recipe? (And no, I would have to make it - but there are plenty of recipes for it.)

Edit: Just realised you were talking about the Quiche and I was talking about the recipe you just sent! :lol:

No. The pastry for the Quiche is just a standard shortcrust (savoury) pastry. But I really want to try adding the powdered sage to it to see how it turns out. :smile:

:lol: You wrote that you were "daunted by the pastry", so I thought maybe a store bought one would solve the problem.

The tourtière just takes a regular pie crust. You want it flaky enough that you can eat it with just a fork.

KatyCooks 11-22-2013 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321436)
:lol: You wrote that you were "daunted by the pastry", so I thought maybe a store bought one would solve the problem.

The tourtière just takes a regular pie crust. You want it flaky enough that you can eat it with just a fork.

I am not averse to a store-bought pastry from time to time - but this has to be all home made!

It's a matter of personal pride! :chef:

I'll post a pic of the first attempt over the weekend. (Good, bad or inedible). :wink::lol:

Steve Kroll 11-23-2013 12:52 AM

A quick search on "Christmas Quiche" brought up the recipe below, which looks very festive. I'm not suggesting you replace your ideas with this one, but I'm thinking that if you want your creation to LOOK as well as TASTE like Christmas, then the cherry tomato and rosemary design on top might do the trick.

A-Z Quiche: merry christmas quiche

http://turkeyfeathers.typepad.com/ph...e/100_2117.jpg

Whiskadoodle 11-23-2013 01:25 AM

Well clean my glasses, will I ! I was hoping to see something like this when I googled a few hours ago. The one you show is the first one one I now see. The rest of them didn't look very seasonal. Inspirational that's what this shows, which is what Katy is asking. Good on you Steve.

I'm going to bed now.

Harry Cobean 11-23-2013 05:47 AM

haven't read every reply in detail.so i apologise in advance if someone has already mentioned cranberries,but i would use stewed cranberries(al denté so that they retain their shape)for the red element.what is more christmassy than cranberries??.for the green i would use lightly steamed "rings" of leak from the green part,steaming retains the colour.dried sage is disgusting imho,tastes nothing like the fresh leaf.so i would use fresh lemon thyme leaves in the pastry to give a zesty lift & fry fresh sage leaves,for seconds only,to retain their colour & crisp them up.use those as decoration/flavour.
for the onion i would use caramelised rings of my beloved echalion shallots,lovely & sweet:yum:!!
that's my tuppenny worth for,ermmmm,what it's worth katers!!,good luck with the challenge matey,and remember,as bryan adams sang "winnin' really is the only thing"it really is,in my book too:boxing:!!
BRYAN ADAMS - WE'RE GONNA WIN - YouTube

Harry Cobean 11-23-2013 07:36 AM

chrimbo quiche part 2!!as far as the meat goes,i would buy some turkey mince(breast or thigh,you choose...ooh errr missus:ohmy::rofl:!!)& make some small turkey mince balls.i'd buy some good quality cumberland sausage(they have sage as part of the seasoning)split the casings & make the filling into sausage meat balls,same size as the turkey mince balls.then i'd cut up some dry cure sweet smoked streaky bacon,into lardons,fry them to render the fat & brown me balls(get's worse dunn'it?)in the bacon fat.so you then have the stuffing element(the cumberland sausage meat balls)the turkey element(the turkey mince balls) & it ain't chrimbo without bacon,so you have the bacon lardons.
taa dahh,done:cool:!!

menumaker 11-23-2013 09:00 AM

Paxo stuffing ( sage and onion) makes a great quiche / tart casing Katy. Trust me, it just works. If you are keen I will post the recipe. I would then finely slice the sprouts and red onion and saute together. Saute off some chopped turkey breast and the bacon ( smoked naturally) and then layer up with the sprout/onion layer about half way up. As in layer of turkey, then sprout/onion, sprinkled bacon pieces and cover with the egg mixture and bake. Warm through some cranberry sauce and when the quiche is cool, just spoon a layer of the sauce over the top.
Serve with some cocktail sausages on the side............that's my idea anyway. Hope it helps?

GotGarlic 11-23-2013 10:15 AM

I have a tradition of making a quiche every year with some of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Personally, I think only quiche Lorraine *requires* bacon. I make mine with sautéed diced yellow onion, diced turkey, roasted red peppers and Havarti cheese. I include thyme in the egg mixture, but sage would work just as well. Both go into my Thanksgiving stuffing.

Roasted red peppers may not be a traditional Christmas ingredient, but they have a milder flavor than fresh and look pretty in the quiche. I'm not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes; they're too leathery for my taste.

My mom likes to make quiche with Swiss chard, so there's another green option.

You could make a wreath on top with pastry leaves, herbs and chopped roasted red peppers or some little red fruit, like cherries or cranberries. All you need is a leaf-shaped cookie cutter: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/past...0000000522630/

Kayelle 11-23-2013 05:07 PM

Interesting ideas, all of them. If I was making a Christmas quiche I'd have ham (traditional for Christmas) with sliced green scallions, and red sun dried tomatoes for the Christmas colors.

The last thing I'd ever use would be Brussel Sprouts, as they are one of the most hated vegetables in the world according to a google search, and I'd sure agree.

Dawgluver 11-23-2013 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayelle (Post 1321614)

The last thing I'd ever use would be Brussel Sprouts, as they are one of the most hated vegetables in the world according to a google search, and I'd sure agree.

+1

And I didn't even need a Google search! But it sounds like Katy is determined to use them.

GotGarlic 11-23-2013 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawgluver (Post 1321631)

+1

And I didn't even need a Google search! But it sounds like Katie is determined to use them.

+2..

Kayelle 11-23-2013 06:57 PM

:wink: Here's a quotable quote for you Dawg and GG..

Brussels Sprouts- The Hannibal Lecter of food. This number one villain is downright sinister. Put it in your microwave and you will need a new one. Put it in your mouth you may never be the same. As I've gotten older, I've broadened my taste, I love asparagus on the grill, spinach in an omelet and broccoli in my salad. Brussels sprouts, as long as I live you will never win me over so just keep your vitamins A, C and folic acid because it's not happening, ever. :ohmy::lol:

Dawgluver 11-23-2013 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayelle (Post 1321636)
:wink: Here's a quotable quote for you Dawg and GG..

Brussels Sprouts- The Hannibal Lecter of food. This number one villain is downright sinister. Put it in your microwave and you will need a new one. Put it in your mouth you may never be the same. As I've gotten older, I've broadened my taste, I love asparagus on the grill, spinach in an omelet and broccoli in my salad. Brussels sprouts, as long as I live you will never win me over so just keep your vitamins A, C and folic acid because it's not happening, ever. :ohmy::lol:

:lol: Absolutely poetic, Kayelle! Love it!

However, our dear Katy is determined to use BS in her quiche. In which case, I am totally useless.

GotGarlic 11-23-2013 07:10 PM

Good one, Kayelle! :rofl:

I have to wonder if the new co-workers are pranking her with the suggestion :wink:

taxlady 11-23-2013 07:18 PM

I have the definite impression that Brussels sprouts are more appreciated in the UK.

GotGarlic 11-23-2013 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321639)
I have the definite impression that Brussels sprouts are more appreciated in the UK.

Maybe. Maybe there's an inside joke about sprouts in someone's dish at a past potluck.

J/k, Katie :wink:

pacanis 11-23-2013 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321639)
I have the definite impression that Brussels sprouts are more appreciated in the UK.

Without backtracking, didn't Katy say the two who requested the quiche also requested brussels sprouts be in it?
I've never eaten a quiche, so don't know what would make a good ingredient and what wouldn't, but if someone asked me to make something specifically for them I'd tend to cater to that person(s).

taxlady 11-23-2013 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pacanis (Post 1321645)
Without backtracking, didn't Katy say the two who requested the quiche also requested brussels sprouts be in it?
I've never eaten a quiche, so don't know what would make a good ingredient and what wouldn't, but if someone asked me to make something specifically for them I'd tend to cater to that person(s).

Katy did mention that sprouts had been requested.

PrincessFiona60 11-23-2013 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayelle (Post 1321636)
:wink: Here's a quotable quote for you Dawg and GG..

Brussels Sprouts- The Hannibal Lecter of food. This number one villain is downright sinister. Put it in your microwave and you will need a new one. Put it in your mouth you may never be the same. As I've gotten older, I've broadened my taste, I love asparagus on the grill, spinach in an omelet and broccoli in my salad. Brussels sprouts, as long as I live you will never win me over so just keep your vitamins A, C and folic acid because it's not happening, ever. :ohmy::lol:

Beautiful!!!

pacanis 11-24-2013 05:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321665)
Katy did mention that sprouts had been requested.

Ah, thanks. It's nice to see the old memory still working once in a while :lol:

KatyCooks 11-24-2013 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taxlady (Post 1321639)
I have the definite impression that Brussels sprouts are more appreciated in the UK.

They are very much "Marmite" here too Taxy! :lol: (you either love them or loathe them). But they just about always show up on a traditional Christmas meal table regardless!

Luckily, I like them very much!


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