My lunch girls, have been clamouring for an afternoon out for ages. Without meaning to be pricey I must have withdrawn from my lunch and /or coffee engagements; reasons ranging from fatigue to flat tyres ………… eventually they threw up their hands in despair and like good chums decided to plonk themselves in my living room (no permission asked or appointment taken). How nice is that….they could have kicked me out of the lunch group instead. Oh they were decent enough to give me a 2 day notice with strict instructions not to slave in the kitchen, a cup of tea and digestives would be great. Cup of tea and sweetened saw-dust for my girls?? I would have heard a few disappointed murmurs at a later date. The weather being the way it is, tea was out. Cold coffee and Lamingtons and my mini quiches sounded just the thing to please my “care two hoots for the waist line when good food is around” friends.
Spending a morning with your girlfriends is one of the few pleasures of life. Nothing beats chatting aimlessly, venting your ire, crying over a bad haircut, discussing your mean teenager and using politically wrong language without being judged, without a harsh opinion or comment. On the contrary girls are so full of praise for your catty comments, they verbalise so many “oohs”, “aahs” and “yes you should have kicked his ….”, and then there are so many hugs going around for being brave, mean, greedy, lazy and all the other uncalled for behaviour. Where your male soul mate would just say “hmmm”, “oh”, “ok”, the female counterparts are so much superior in their efforts to make you feel wonderful, loved, beautiful and on top of the world. All it takes is cold coffee, lamingtons and quiche!!
Carried away with my unexpected morning affair!! Let me get to the Quiche on hand. Simply short crust pastry, spinach and corn filling and cream, eggs and nutmeg. Obviously there is a twist…..I flavoured the pastry dough with garlic powder and oregano (you pick your spices.) The cases were lined with thinly sliced gruyere (go ahead and use cheese slices, its so much easier). My recipe for the pastry makes the dough quite crumbly and difficult to handle, if you have a recipe which you are comfortable with go ahead. The quiche is light, healthy (I like to believe so) and the right accompaniment with the cold coffee. No fuss cutting it and the eternal embarrassment of the pastry falling off the filling. (LOL)
Life couldn’t be happier or simpler, a group of chatty, nutty, emotional females, sitting with their feet up on the chairs, sipping coffee without counting the calories, eating with their fingers, not bothering about my unwashed hair and flour dusted Tee, laughing, raving and ranting about their blessed life and promising to start the diet after the last bite of Quiche.
SPINACH AND CORN MINI QUICHES
PLAIN SHORTCRUST PASTRY
250 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano (any other herb will do)
125 grams chilled butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
3-4 tablespoons cold water
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add in the garlic powder and oregano and mix. Add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until crumbly.
- Combine the egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Add to the flour mix. Cut with a knife to form a dough, adding another tablespoon of water if necessary.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together gently to form a dough. I find it very handy to turn out the dough onto a plastic wrap and bring it together with the help of the wrap, wrap it tightly and then gently press it together to form a dough ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.
- Roll out the pastry between two sheets of plastic wraps or grease proof paper. Using a plain cutter or a jar cap cut rounds of the pastry to fit 12 cupcake tins. If the dough breaks in places, patch it up with little bits of dough.
- Refrigerate while making the filling.
50 grams Gruyere/ strong cheddar/ cheddar slices
1 tablespoon butter/ Olive oil
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
1 cup spinach, shredded
1/2 cup steamed corn
200 ml cream
50 ml milk
Freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 190oC
- In a pan melt butter with a dash of oil. Fry onions on low heat until tender. Add the spinach and corn. Continue stirring on low to mediun heat until the spinach wilts and any extra moisture dries up. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Remove the dough lined cupcake tins from the refrigerator. Line the bases with the cheese slices. Divide the spinach and corn mix between the 12 cases
- In a bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, pepper and nutmeg. Laddle the cream- egg mix into the pastry shells.
- Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned and set. Serve hot.