The sun is shining today on the isle or Ireland, gently flirting with a 19°c. The Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and all the Hirundinidae (Swallows and Martins) are back from Africa. My blind cat “Wilson” decided to make friends with my neighbours cows and after two months, we finally have a Government that nobody really wants or democratically voted for. An Independent politician from Co. Kerry has joined the climate change deniers’ list with a fine statement that I expected to hear from a pub pillar after a couple of scoops, just not in the Daíl (National Assembly). As you can see, all is good in “Iwerzhon”, so good that I decided to turn off the radio, enjoy watching my cat making new friends and make a quiche… Just like that!
To start, I decided to make my favourite, fool proof short crust pastry, where I put 200g of flour, 100g of cubed butter, 1 egg yolk and two ice cubes in a blender. Pulse the lot for a couple of minutes and put in a bowl. Mix with the tip of your fingers while adding a little bit of water. Knead gently, make a ball and in the fridge it goes for a bit. Roll the dough and lay on a buttered and floured dish…
For the star ingredient of my quiche, I use one of my favourite Irish cheese, St Tola “ash” from Inagh, south of the magical Burren in Co. Clare, west of Ireland. It is very delicate in flavours, yet rich on the palate but not too strong. The dusting of alimentary ash used in the ripening process is made of vegetable carbon. An old technique used by cheesemakers. It will bring a bit of drama to this dish… I crumble it in a bowl where I have beaten 4 eggs and 25cl of raw fresh cream. I have added some Beetroot relish from Janet’s, a friend of mine in Co. Wicklow and 1/2 a finely chopped courgette. Salt and pepper to taste.
I then pour the mix into the pastry cast and bake at 200°c for about 25 minutes…
While the quiche bakes and then cools, I like to prepare a few roots to go with; a couple of potatoes, a small parsnip, two types of beetroot, a garlic bulb cut at the base and some sea salt on top, all rubbed with olive oil. It will take around the same amount of time( 25 minutes at 200c). But don’t sweat it, it is actually better if the quiche cools a bit so don’t feel under pressure to have them ready at the same time.
Well, our quiche is ready, time to take a picture and sip on a glass of Gavi… Hell, why not?
Just before the roots are fully cooked, I toss them in a bowl, adding dried herbs from the garden, thyme, rosemary and parsley… It actually works well with dried dill too but it may not be for everyone!
I put the roots back in the oven, with a bit of space between the wedges and give them another five minutes blast…. The rosted garlic cloves will give them an amazing flavour!
The quiche is now ready to serve, the crust is beautiful and neat ( if you don’t mind me saying…), the reward when you keep a short crust pastry cool in the making!
Serve to the “chip-chap-chip-chap” call of the Chiffchaff, a nice way to say “bye for now” to the winter and a “careful now!” to the summer… We’ve been there before so many times!
And here is Mr Wilson with his cow friend…
Keep Well, Eat Happy