Cocktail Quiche

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When you have guests over for drinks and a small bite, nothing can be more stressing than the thought of what nibbles to make. This recipe for mini mushroom and spinach Quiche is ideal for a party or even dinner at home with family. The portabella mushrooms add a lovely meaty flavor to these Quiche.

Ingredients

Portabella mushrooms 8-10 large nos finely chopped

Button  mushrooms 15-20 small nos finely chopped

Green garlic finely chopped (fresh garlic with the leaves included), 1/3rd of a teacup

Green Onion finely chopped (spring onion, bulb and leaves), 3/4th of a teacup

1 bunch fresh spinach 2 teacups chopped roughly

1 medium spice green chili finely chopped

Pepper powder 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Cornstarch or some thickening agent like wondra flour 1 & 1/2 tablespoons

20 tartlets cases or ready quiche pastry cases pre-baked

2 large eggs beaten well

125 gms grated Parmesan cheese

Olive oil 2 tablespoons

1 knob of butter

Method

Add oil to a skillet. Let it heat but not burn. Add a knob of butter to it. Now add the garlic and let it saute till golden. Add the green onions and chilli. Saute till the onions turn translucent. Now add your mushrooms and saute for another minute or so. Add the spinach and pepper. Saute well. The mixture will now leave water.

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Let most of the liquid dry. When only 1/4 of the liquid is left take some of the liquid aside and mix wondra or cornstarch well with it, making sure there are no lumps. Add this to the mixture and stir till it all comes together and thickens. Turn off the gas and let the mixture cool. Season with salt to taste.

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Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees. Take a baking tray and line it with tin foil. Now place the empty tart shells on the tray and spoon in some mushroom and spinach mixture till the tartlet is 2/3rds full.

In a bowl add the parmesan cheese to the beaten egg. Mix well. Fill the top of the tarlets to the top with this mixture. Now bake in the oven till the egg and cheese mix cooks and forms a crust. This should take 10-15 minutes. The tarlets will brown too a little.

Remove from oven and serve hot.

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You may add 2 tablespoons of chopped smoked bacon to the mushroom mix, but be sure to add less salt , as bacon tends to be a little salty.

Cheers!

 

 

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Raisin Tart

This amazing recipe is from one of my favorite chocolate cookbooks. The flavors and textures of this tart are heavenly and every time I make it I get many compliments. The original recipe calls for black or red cherries but I substitute it with black raisins and it tastes just as good if not better. Serve this with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Ingredients

175 gm plain flour

A pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon caster sugar

115 gm unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

Vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream to serve

 

 

 

Tart filling

125 gm unsalted butter at room temperature

125 gm caster sugar

2 large eggs beaten

2 teaspoons kirsch or 1 teaspoon almond essence

125 gm ground almonds

75 gm plain chocolate finely chopped, plus 40gm extra melted to decorate

400 gm black raisins or cherries pitted

You will also need a loose – based flan tin, 24cm diameter buttered, baking paper and baking beans or any dried beans

Method

To make the pastry in a food processor, put the flour, salt, sugar and butter into the machine and process till crumbly. You can even do this by hand but do not overwork the mixture. With the machine add 3 tablespoons of iced water through the feeding tube till the pastry comes together. If you have dry crumbs add a little more water till you have firm dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

Unwrap and put the pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out a large circle about 4 cm more than your flan tin (i.e. 28cm diameter)

Lift the pastry gently and line the prepared flan tin. Press into corners and fluting and remove excess pastry from the top of the tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and chill for another 15 minutes.

Line the pastry tin with a piece of baking paper that contains baking beans or any dried beans. Bake the pastry in preheated oven at 190 degree centigrade for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes of baking remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool.

To make the filling, put butter, sugar into a mixing bowl and using a wooden spoon or electric beater, whisk till light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and kirsch or almond essence. Fold in the ground almonds and flour.

Scatter the chopped chocolate on the pastry base and top it with raisins. Spoon the almond mixture on top and spread evenly. Bake in preheated oven at 190 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes till golden and firm. Remove and let it cool.

To finish, drizzle the melted chocolate over the top with a fork and leave it to set.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.