Monday, 13 May 2013

foragers quiche

... i'm more than a little chuffed to announce that i'll be demo-cooking at this years Lincolnshire Show... this is the big one folks... for all the demo-cooking that i've done before has led me to this, the grand-daddy of all fairs, markets and shows in the county, this is the county show to be at.  The Lincolnshire Show is one of the UK's biggest county shows, it's heritage dating back to 1868, as popular for its displays of agricultural farm equipment and animals as its incredible stalls celebrating everything from Lincolnshire cheeses to local fashion designers and crafters.  As you can imagine the highlight for me every year is the Food Court and this is the place i'll be calling home for the 19th and 20th June...

...I reviewed the show last year so for me to actually be a part of the proceedings is an amazingly proud moment in my food life and to be counted amongst other local chefs such as Rachel Green and the Fanny to my Jonny, Amy Claridge also appearing in the Demonstration Kitchen just makes it all the more exciting and a little nerve wracking!... i've decided to make a foragers quiche using locally foraged vegetables, alongside local cheeses, eggs, flour and cream of course but as well as the quiche, in some moment of madness decision making, i'll also be showing the good folk of Lincolnshire my low-knead bread baking to try and encourage people to get bake their own...

wild garlic and nettle quiche with a lincolnshire poacher and ground elder pastry crust
this is a version of the quiche i'll be making - obviously by the end of June the wild garlic will be gone - but a visit to our local bluebell wood today to forage for wild garlic inspired me to use it in the quiche... if you've not used wild garlic before I urge you to hunt some down, even if it's not so wild, as it has the most incredible deep and sweet garlic flavour without being overbearing as garlic can often be... a word of waring though - if you do find a patch of wild garlic make sure you don't over pick from it... leave plenty in the site you found it, a little wild garlic will go a long way and you want to leave some behind for mother nature... as for the nettle and ground elder... feel free to go as crazy as you like but remember not to forage close to the side of a busy road or where you know dogs have been...

for the pastry
8oz flour
3oz butter
1oz lincolnshire poacher - finely grated
a handful of ground elder - finely chopped

for the quiche filling
a bunch of wild garlic - washed and spun dry
roughly 10 heads of nettle (just the top four leaves picked wearing rubber gloves!)
5 whole lengths of spring onion - finely sliced
half a bulb of fennel - finely sliced
4 eggs
300ml single cream
100ml soured cream
salt and pepper
butter and olive oil

start with the pastry by crumbling the butter into the flour in a large bowl with your finger tips - be light and quick - then add the cheese and ground elder and stir, then add a little cold water and bring it together into a dough with your hands.  Pat it out, wrap it in cling film and then pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

in a large pan that has a lid add a little olive oil and garlic and saute the onions and fennel gently for about 10 minutes until they're soft, then turn off the heat add the wild garlic and nettles, add a little salt and pepper then pop the lid on and let them sweat until they're soft, this should take about 5 minutes.

once the pastry has been chilled for 30 minutes roll it out on a floured surface and line your quiche dish or fluted tin.  Cover with some scrunched up baking parchment and some baking beans and bake the pastry on 160C for about 15 minutes, then remove the beans brush the pastry with a little beaten egg and bake again for a further 5 mins until golden... this method with insure you never have a soggy bottom!

the baked pastry case with no soggy bottom!

in a large bowl beat the 4 eggs with the creams, season and then add the soft vegetables and stir before pouring into the pastry case.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and risen

eat and of course enjoy!



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