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29 June 2010

Blue Cheese, Cranberry and Pecan Lunch Quiches


Many years ago, when I was just starting to cook in my first tiny kitchen, I made a quiche. This was before the wave of quiche mania swept across the US in the late '70s. This wave was so ubiquitous that there was even a book called "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche". (Heh, to which a friend of mine replied that REAL men ate whatever they pleased...)

But I digress. I made a quiche. I made this quiche for a dinner to which I had invited a guy that I had a huge crush on. (or, to be gramatic-y, on whom I had a huge crush). I made a Quiche Lorraine, because at that time this was the only quiche I had ever heard of (or of which I had ever heard) I'm sorry, this morning I can't seem to banish my evil twin, Battleaxe Grammatica. Perhaps because I'm reading a wonderful book, "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue" by John McWhorter. If you're a wordie as well as a foodie, I recomment it highly. 'Course, if you're a wordie, you probably already have it.

Anyway, back to the quiche. My friend was very impressed by the quiche. I mean, imagine (if you can) that you'd never had one, and you will understand. He was even more impressed a few months later when the quiche craze was in full swing. He was convinced that I had started it. Do I have to say that I let him believe that?

In the intervening years, quiche has become such a cliché for brunches and ladies' lunches that we don't make it that often anymore. When I came across this recipe in The Avoca Cafe Cookbook, I knew I had to try it. This is not your grandmother's quiche. (ok, unless you're French, your grandmother probably didn't make much quiche, but you know what I mean) The first thing that I noticed is that it doesn't have a crust. Instead, it uses phyllo. What an interesting idea! Next, it has blue cheese instead of the traditional gruyère. And dried cranberries for tangy counterpoint to the blue cheese. and PECANS, my favorite nut. I HAD to try it.

I changed it, of course. I added leeks and rocket. I didn't have phyllo, and I didn't want to buy a big roll of it when I only needed a couple of sheets. Instead I used 'brick', which I'd never seen before I came here. Brick is like phyllo, but not as parchment-like. It's more like a super-thin crepe. It's also stronger than phyllo, but more porous. It's used here to make aumonières, little pouches filled with great stuff. Come to think of it, this recipe would make some awesome aumonières... If you don't have brick, you can of course use phyllo. Or puff pastry, baked as in this recipe.

I had high expectations for these, and they were exceeded. These were delicious. The flavors mixed together extremely well, and it wasn't too eggy as some quiches can be. I'd serve these to company. Heck, I'd serve these to the queen. They were simply splendid. You must make them. Now. Go.


Blue Cheese, Cranberry and Pecan Lunch Quiches
¼ leek
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup rocket
8 pecan halves
2 sheets Brick
melted butter
2 eggs
4 Tablespoons cream
2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons blue cheese
salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 180 C / 375 F
  • Clean the leek and chop it coarsely. Sauté it gently in the olive oil. You want to 'sweat' it, not brown it.
  • Chop the rocket coarsely. The pecan halves too.
  • Brush the sheets of Brick with melted butter and cut each one into four pieces. Line four muffin tins with two pieces each. You'll have to push them down a little, because the brick will try to pop back up. They'll behave better when you get them full.
  • Mix the eggs and the cream, salt and pepper to taste. Remember, though, that the blue cheese can have a lot of salt in it, depending on which one you choose.
  • Assemble the quiches: in each of the lined muffin tins, place some leek, some rocket, some cranberries, some blue cheese and some pecan pieces. Pour the egg mixture carefully over it all.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serves 4 as an appetizer and 2 as a main course.


NOTES:
  • I used Roquefort in these, because I really like blue cheese. You can use something milder, of course. A mild Gorgonzola or a Danish Blue would also be good here.
  • If you're using phyllo, cut it to the right size (about ¼ of a big sheet), butter it and use three of four pieces to line each muffin tin. You'll bake it a little bit longer, I think – probably 25 minutes or so to brown the phyllo. Keep an eye on it.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.






'Nother note: My big project is still kicking my you-know-what (rhymes with that). I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, so I'm hoping to be back on a more regular basis soon. I can't wait to see what you've been up to! Thanks for sticking with me through this.



20 comments:

zurin said...

thats looks fabulous! I love phyllo altho ive nevr used it in baking myself but Ican imagine the texture contrast in your quiche. what a brilliant idea :)))

Carol at Serendipity said...

Kate,

Looks wonderful! Your photographs are always amazing.

Carol

Susan @ The Spice Garden said...

Go get that big project out of the way! With entries like this, you're sure to have a group of followers salivating, as they await your return! These mini quiches look wonderful, Kate! Oh.. and the combination of tastes is so tantalizing!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

These little quiches are so charming in their little ruffled cups. What a lovely presentation and recipe.

Kathy said...

These flavors rock! I love the flavors and read with expectation!!! I am glad that the combination was a success. I have to try them.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Fabulous flavours Kate! Love these little quichelettes!

Also cannot wait to see what you have been up to - did you mention a top secret project???

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

PS: and of course we would stick through this with you!

The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

Those teensy quiches are unbelievably cute, and look scrumptious!

Barbara said...

Quiche Lorraine was my first too, Kate. My kids still like it best. I love trying new twists and your recipe looks delicious. The phyllo cups are so delicate. (I saw Giada using won ton wrappers stuffed into custard cups, but don't think it would be as light and pretty.)
Anxious to try this!

Pookie and Pierre said...

These look so good... I love anything with blue cheese and learned something new... have never heard of brick!

Stella said...

Hey Kate! I'm really curious about blue cheese with cranberries. I can feel my tongue curl thinking about the sharpness of both. I'm sure it's great though. I'm used to cranberries and a mild goat cheese, so maybe my palate needs a lesson (smile).
I love brick too. Is that brick like the Moroccan or Algerian pastry?
Great post as always, Kate. I just did quiche too by the way...

Hungry Dog said...

These just look gorgeous. Brick, huh? Never heard of that. Seems like a misnomer for something I expect is light and flakey. But that's neither here nor there. These look downright delicious.

Linda said...

Those look simply gorgeous and delicious!
Beautiful pics Kate!

The Gypsy Chef said...

Kate,
These are beauties. I even have some brick in the freezer, a gift from Uju.
Nice job on the pics. They are bright and crisp.
I've made baby quiches before as apps for parties, even used phyllo. Which is my idea of cheating, but never with blue cheese and cranberries. What a terrific combo.
Oh yeah, I'm ordering the book off Amazon!
Pam

~~louise~~ said...

Oh I so remember "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" and the quiches' of the 70s.

I do believe you have brought them into the 21st century with this recipe, Kate. Those babies look scrumptious!!! I think I can smell them form here...

I'm with the others, waiting patiently for that project to end.

Happy 4th Kate!!! (Yes, I know you're in Belgium:)

Sophie said...

MMMMMMM,..Lovely filled cups!

Your filling is very flavour some!

Happy 4th of July!!

Simply Life said...

oh that's adorable and looks so delicious!

Juliana said...

Oh Kate, the quiches look delicious and they are soooo cute...what a great meal :-)

Happy Cook said...

Well I still have a small kitchen and I still whipp up some excelent food :-) tha tis what my hubby says when i moean about my kitchen .
These look so so good for my next party i am gonna try this.

Rich said...

Kate, I am thoroughly enjoying rummaging through this site of yours. These quiche look and sound wonderful - this is certainly no cliche quiche (unintentional alliteration; I love that)!