Feb 24, 2010

with leeks and stilton

Quiche is one of those dishes that hover on the periphery of my kitchen repertoire. I know about it, I don't really mind it, and I've had some extremely good ones made by other people. But it's not something I usually crave. Until Thursday, that was.
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I "discovered" two large leeks in my shopping bag, just as I was about to go collect a fresh harvest of groceries. They had rested there from my the previous week's expedition to the greengrocer, somehow overlooked, then forgotten. The outer leaves displayed light mould, but two sheaths in the flesh was still white and pure. With them thrust to the centre of my attention, my opportunistic Stilton craving spoke up and suggested a quiche.

I split the leeks down the centre and fan the stalks open under running water to wash then (a Nigel Slater trick). An onion is chopped finely, then fried until translucent. The chopped leeks join the onions on a reduced flame along with a good pinch of thyme, salt and pepper. When suitably done, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool, while cubing a bit of Stilton (100g was enough for me) and mixing an egg or three with cream and a bit of milk. Mix it all together, pour into a dish lined with pastry. 50 minutes later it was slightly golden and just firm.

The cheese mellows while baking, combining with the cream and eggs to provide a rich yet fluffy background to the restrained leek flavours, while the buttery shortcrust provides a crispy contrast. I had my first slice while still warm, then went back for another. One more thin slice before bed time. Friday was basically spent systemically consuming sliver after sliver, until nothing remained.

I will remember this one.

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