My left knee has suffered quite a lot of damage over the years. I still remember 10 years ago when I was at Crown Casino Melbourne’s arcade (I know that no 19 year olds should be hanging around arcades, still..) because it was one of the very few arcades in Melbourne that housed a Para Para Machine. Speaking of which, does anyone remember the Para Para dance? I was quite an expert! I was even creating my own little moves back then.
The accident didn’t happen when I was actually dancing. I was about to walk in to the ‘stage’ when I felt something pop. Next thing, I was on the ground crying in pain. Turned out, my left knee cap had dislocated (patella dislocation). That led to a visit to the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Emergency Department and a few days being confined to bed.
Unfortunately this would not be the end of it. From time to time (more frequently in the first two years, now around once a year or less) my knee cap still pops out of place (it does go back easily), though nowadays it doesn’t hurt as much anymore. That is until it happened again last weekend. Totally embarrassing as it happened when I was leaving Capital FM’s 1st Anniversary Party. Again I wasn’t doing stunts, just walking normally when it popped. That attracted quite a bit of unnecessary attention. But I was glad that there were people willing to help. This episode is pretty bad as I’ve been limping for a week now and only now able to recover full range of motions. This indicates few months of vigilant knee rehab exercises to strengthen the muscles for support.
Ok. What does my left knee have to do with Quiche? Absolutely nothing. I just happened to have made it few days ago.
Quiche is something Frank and I both enjoy. Me, for the love of savoury pastry and the creamy filling; Frank just loves that it’s vegetarian AND delicious at the same time (and because “Real Men Eat Quiche!”). It’s easy to put together, provided you are well practised with pastry making (or just use store bought), and so good for you. This time, I’ve used Mushrooms, Spinach, Red Capsicum, Onion and Zucchini for that extra festive touch.
1 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
125g Butter (use the best butter for better tasting pastry), room temperature, cut in cubes
2 teaspoons Icing Sugar
1 teaspoons salt
Half a beaten egg
100g Mushrooms, Sliced
Handful of Spinach, chopped
1 small Red capsicum, finely chopped
Half brown onion, thinly sliced
1 small Zucchini
1/3 cup Cream
1/4 cup Greek Yoghurt
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt to taste
Dash of Truffle Oil to garnish
To make pastry, mix flour, icing sugar and salt together then rub in the cubed butter until mixture resemble breadcrumbs. Add egg (add 1/2 first, and pour in more as needed) to draw the moisture and mix until the dough just comes together. Form pastry into a disc, enclose in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 30mins
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until 4mm thick and use to line 23cm tart pan with removable base. Trim the edge, then put the whole thing in the freezer for 15-20 mins.
Preheat oven to 180C. ,take the pastry out of the freezer, prick with fork, then fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove beans and paper, and bake for a further 5 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
To make the filling, first sauteed the onion, mushroom, red capsicum, zucchini and spinach until cooked. Beat eggs with cream and yoghurt then add in cheese and mix well. Season with cayenne pepper, mustard, salt and pepper.
When the pastry is ready, distribute the vegetables evenly, then pour the egg mixture over evenly. Bake in 160C for 20-25 or until the top is golden brown. Serve warm. A sprinkling of Truffle oil just before consuming.
This would be perfect for a Vegetarian Christmas lunch/dinner, or even a side to cater for your vegetarian friends. You can always substitute with almond meal for the pastry too but just be mindful that it will be a bit more crumbly. I know I have ‘bastardised’ the recipe adding all these unauthentic ingredients, but as long as it agrees with my palate, it’s good in my book! What’s your favourite Quiche filling?