Saturday, 8 June 2013

Asparagus and Bacon Quiche


Asparagus and Bacon Quiche

The British asparagus season is very short and starts at when the weather in the UK normally isn't that summery. This bacon and asparagus quiche is designed so that it can be served warm on colder days but still makes a great cold lunch or picnic dish for when the weather is good.

Asparagus really is a luxury item because of the short growing season and the fact that a lot of growing space is needed for a relatively low yield. Therefore you can understand my delight when I saw it reduced and snapped up a bunch quickly.

I use cooking bacon for this recipe. Some supermarkets now sell it pre-packed but you can also find it on butcher's and deli counters. Yes, it is cheaper but you normally get a mix of smoked and unsmoked bacon and big chunks which I think gives a better taste and texture when in dishes. Alternatively, you could use leftover gammon.

If you don't fancy the asparagus and bacon combination or the asparagus has gone out of season then use the pastry base and quiche but swap it for different ingredients. Another favourite of ours is smoked salmon and red onion. If you'd like an accompaniment to the quiche may I humbly suggest potato salad with chives.

As this uses seasonal British asparagus I am putting this forward for Ren Behan's Simple and In Season.

Simple and in Season 

Equipment: 9in (23cm) flan case/tin, frying pan, rolling pin

Ingredients

6oz (170g) Wholemeal plain flour (I use Doves Farm)
3oz (85g) Butter or pastry spread (like Stork)
2-3 tbsp (30-45ml) Cold water
About 5 spears of asparagus (around 125g in weight)
10oz (300g) Bacon, cut in chunks
¼ pint (150ml) Milk
¼ pint (150ml) Low fat natural yoghurt
3 Large eggs
Salt & pepper to season, as required
4oz (110g) Cheese, grated (I use Cheddar)

Method

1. Either by hand or in a food processor mix the flour and butter together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the water and then stir or process again until it comes together in a ball. Add more water if required.
3. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put in the fridge.
4. Heat the oven to 170°C.
5. In a frying pan fry off the bacon in its own fat. Drain off any excess liquid if necessary.
6. Take out of the frying pan and put on a plate with some kitchen towel on it to soak up any fat.
7. Beat together the milk, yoghurt and eggs. Add 2oz (55g) of the cheese, seasoning to taste (I just use black pepper) and stir.
8. Roll out the dough to fit the flan tin.
9. Fold the pastry over the rolling pin and lift into the tin.
10. Trim the edges off with a knife.
11. Press down the sides with a fork and then stab holes in the base with the fork.


12. Arrange the bacon and the asparagus on the base.


13. Pour over the liquid mixture and then put the rest of the cheese on top.


14. Cook for 25 minutes until the quiche has set.


Serve either warm or cold ( makes a great 'leftovers' lunch the next day).

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