It's getting harder to be excited about the stodgy winter vegetables, and though I've been on a root veggie kick lately, I'm starting to count down to the delicate greens of spring..Enter the bok choy, or pak choy! It's actually a member of the cabbage family and is in its peak season in winter. But unlike the rest of the winter veg, it quite reminds me of a spring vegetable with its tender leaves and juicy crunchy stalks.
Another thing it reminds me of, is home; it's one of the most common vegetables in asian dishes. This time though, I'm sharing something more exciting than the usual stirfry or soup. Quiche!
Basic Quiche Ratio
(I realised if I go by weight, this actually also fits in with Michael Ruhlman's ratios)
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup of a mix of whole cream and milk (preferably grassfed and not ultra-pasteurised)
about 1/2 cup of grated cheese, e.g. swiss or feta (There's no cheese in this one though, and apparently, according to Julia Child, we should skip cheese if there's bacon already)
See Sambal Asparagus and Gruyere Crustless Quiche for custard ratios for crustless quiche. Either way though, there's always more liquid than eggs. Quiche should be luscious and custardy, not like a hardened frittata!
Bok Choy and Bacon Quiche
Makes an 8" quiche, 1 1/2" high
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup of whole (full-fat please!) grassfed single cream
2 large shallots
6-8 slices of bacon from happy outdoor-bred pigs
4-5 bunches of baby bok choy
pinch of grated nutmeg
lots of freshly ground black pepper, and sea salt to taste
1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees celsius.
2. Get your pastry ready first. So that while it's in the oven for the 20 min pre-baking and out of it to cool down, you can get the filling ready!
3. Chop up your bacon and shallots, and slice thinly your bok choy, the stalks included, that's the nice juicy bit.
4. Saute the bacon till crispy, drain and set aside. In the remaining bacon fat, saute the shallots till softened and translucent, then add the bok choy to wilt. Season.
5. Scatter the cooked bacon, shallots and bok choy as evenly as you can over the pastry shell.
6. Whisk together the eggs and cream, season, and then pour it over the ingredients, into the pastry shell. I like to do this at the oven because I know myself and I know I'm sure to spill the filling while carrying it over.
7. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 35-40 min, or until puffed (it will deflate once out of the oven though) and golden. Remove from oven, let cool before removing from the tart case and slicing.
Sweet caramelised shallots, savoury bacon, and a rich velvety custard-- no wonder the quiche lorraine works. But this has added greens in it to make you feel slightly better about yourself what with all the other Christmassy treats. And bok choy works great here, kind of like the more commonly used spinach but with a sweet peppery crunch.
Yes, school has ended and I'm finally getting into the holiday mood! I'll be escaping the Christmassy tunes of a white Christmas for the rest of this week though; I'm off backpacking in Spain for a bit of sunshine and flamenco and seafood and paprika and chorizo and all things wonderfully spanish and delicious (: