A Cheese Lover's Christmas

A Cheese Lover’s Christmas

Bord Bia have a new “Discover Farmhouse Cheese Programme” and they’ve given us a recipe to share with our readers for the perfect quiche. There is only so much turkey and ham we can eat over the Christmas period after all. A great quiche might be just the way to use up leftover meat too.

You’ll find more information about Irish farmhouse cheese by clicking here.

To make a quiche you will need:

  • Shortcrust pastry
  • Eggs
  • Milk or Cream
  • Other fillings depending on which quiche you choose

Method

Making pastry:

Sieve 250grms plain flour into a bowl. Add 125grms of butter or hard margarine (125grms is half a block of margarine or quarter a large block of butter). Using the tips of your fingers (or a food processor) rub in the butter or margarine to the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add some chilled water and with a knife stir together to make the pastry. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes before using it. It will hold in the fridge for a day or so if you are busy. You can also freeze the pastry and defrost before using. This will make about three 9” quiche or 12 mini quiche. Roll out the pastry and line greased quiche tins. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to fill and bake it. Pasty is best kept chilled, this will prevent it shrinking as it bakes.

The egg mixture:

This is what will set the pie. It is a custard mix. For each 9” quiche crack three good eggs into a bowl. I like to use a mixture of organic duck and hen eggs for a creamy rich mixture but use whatever your preference is. Add 125ml of milk or a milk and cream mixture and beat together. Add some salt and pepper to taste but be careful with the salt if you are using ham or bacon in your filling as these already contain salt.

The filling:

You can use a wide variety of foods in different combinations but some things just go well together. Pick your filling from below and put it into the pastry case. Top with the egg mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 25 minutes. The egg mixture should be set but not rubbery and the pastry cooked through.

Possible Fillings:

  • Cheddar and Chive: Mix together grated Farmhouse Cheese and fresh garden chives. You can include the purple chive flowers too.
  • Goats Cheese, Spinach and Red Peppers: Spread the bottom of the pastry case with red pesto. Cover with some baby spinach leaves. Add some thin slices of Goats Cheese, for example Cooleeney Gortnamona Goats Cheese and top with some grilled red peppers (these are available in jars from local delis and supermarkets).
  • Cheese, Tomato and Herb: Grate some Guoda Cheese, for exapmle Killeen Gouda or Kilmora into the pastry case. Top with sliced tomatoes or halved baby tomatoes. Sprinkle with some oregano or marajom.
  • Bacon, Cheese and Onion: Gently sweat some chopped onion and bacon lardons in a pan. When cooled add to the pastry case and cover with a grated hard cheese such as Cáis Na Tíre sheeps cheese or Killeen Gouda.
  • Blue Cheese and Broccoli: Break the broccoli florets into small bite size pieces and steam until cooked. When cool add to the pastry case and crumble in a blue cheese such as Cashel Blue or Crozier Blue. Sprinkle with some slivered almonds.
  • Brie, Red Onion and Cranberry: Sweat some chopped red onion in a pan with a little oil. When cool add to the pastry case. Add some sliced Farmhouse Brie, for example Cooleeney Tipperary Brie, a sprinkle of dried cranberries and some dried thyme.

Tips

Serve warm with some salad and/or chips. These are also good chilled and mini quiche are great for children’s lunchboxes. When chilled you can place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months, a great standby for when unexpected guests arrive.

Photo Source: “Discover Farmhouse Cheese”

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