Good News #1 - I'm back home and back into a cooking routine, so my blogging should resume some semblance of regularity.
Good News #2 - Masterchef Ireland starts tonight, for those of us who are interested in such things.
Good News #3 - I will soon be rejoining the ranks of the gainfully employed. I got the job I mentioned wanting weeks and weeks and weeks ago, and will be starting on Monday. The money is woejus, but it's better than nothing, right?
Oh, and in other exciting news, the rugby world cup starts this week. Ireland open against the USA on Sunday morning. I'm currently engaged in an attempt to get someone in my family to host a breakfast and invite us all over to watch it, but the silence is currently deafening. I rather suspect they're all holding out for an invite down here. Well, the joke is on them, cause I don't eat breakfast, so I don't really have any fabulous morning dishes stashed away in my repertoire to wow them with.
Anyway, today's recipe is what I call an "archiver" - it's something I actually cooked a week or two ago, but never posted at the time - was saving for a rainy day, as it were. Well, it's lashing out, so what better time to give you my version of quiche Lorraine - bacon & cheese quiche with a layer of caramelised onions at the bottom. This is almost outrageously addictive - Emmet once ate a whole one on his own.
Quiche Lorraine - should serve 4, with a nice green salad
180g plain flour 85g chilled butter, cut into cubes
45g chilled marg, cubed Half tsp salt
3-4 tbs iced water 150g bacon bits
2 large onions, sliced Handful fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 cloves garlic, finely diced Good glug olive oil
3 eggs 150ml cream
100g grated strong cheese Quarter of a nutmeg, grated
1. For the crust, sift the flour & salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter & margarine until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in just enough water to bind, gather into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and bung into the freezer for 15 minutes.
2. While your pastry is chilling, heat the oil in a large pot and brown your bacon bits. Remove the bacon from the oil with a slotted spoon & set aside. Turn the heat to low, add your garlic, onions & thyme, toss in the oil and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes until the onions are soft & caramelised. Stir back in the bacon bits & set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 190C and pop a baking sheet onto the middle shelf.
4. Flour a clean surface and a rolling pin, and roll the dough out to about 3mm thick. Transfer to a springform tart tin and trim the edges. Prick the base all over with a fork, line with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans or peas to weigh down (keep them in a tub for re-using). Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the paper & beans and bake until golden, about another 5 minutes.
5. Spread the onion and bacon mix onto the pastry base. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, cheese (I like to use Gloucestershire or Gruyere), nutmeg and a good grinding of black pepper. Pour into the tin and bake until puffed and golden, about half an hour. Allow to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then remove the sides of the tin and carefully slide the quiche onto a warm plate.
Today's Top Tip - use a permanent black marker to circle stains on your white clothes before washing them; this way, you'll know exactly where to check to see if your detergent has worked after you clean them.