I’ve been a teacher for about 13 years. But nothing thrills me more than being on the other side! Okay, maybe not while I was at school… or maybe the last year or 2 at college! I’m talking about now. I enjoy being a student! The idea of entering a space with the specific aim to learn something new, or to do something you’ve done before in a different way… so exciting!
After I graduated, whenever I got a chance I would enroll in short courses or workshops – Comparative Mythology, Languages, Pottery, Dance, of course Theatre! But over the years I got caught up with work & home & generally life, that I didn’t really land up being a student “just because”!
Last year, call it a mid-life moment or an epiphany or whatever, I decided that it’s now or never! So I took time off, did not take on much work (it helps that I freelance!) & enrolled in a baking course. Those 6 weeks at baking class were something else! And I promised myself that I’m not going to lose out on any opportunity to learn… new techniques, new cuisines… whatever catches my fancy!
So I attended a workshop on South East Asian Cooking, Bread Making & yesterday I spent 2 hours learning more about making Quiches at The Pantry, a French style cafe-bakery, courtesy Brown Paper Bag Mumbai.
I did a bit of reading up on Quiche and was pretty surprised to find out that the French dish has its origins in Germany. In fact the word “quiche” has its roots in the German “kuchen” (cake).
A Quiche is a pastry crust with a filling of eggs and milk or cream which, when baked, become a custard. Quiche Lorraine is originally an open pie with a filling of custard with smoked bacon or ham and cheese, usually Gruyere. The bottom crust was apparently made from bread dough originally, but that has since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust.
It is a versatile dish, perfect for a light meal, part of a brunch, a miniature one would do well as an appetizer & you can play around with the ingredients. Spinach, Mushrooms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Corn, Smoked Chicken… mmmm! The seasoning is fairly simple too, salt, pepper, a bit of nutmeg. So it is really important that one uses fresh & really good quality ingredients especially the cheese. The surprise ingredient for me in the Spinach Ricotta Quiche that we made was Sesame Seeds… I didn’t think that they would use that in French cooking!
I’ve made shortcrust pastry before & quiches too. Usually one uses ice cold water & butter & you leave the pastry to rest for at least an hour so that it binds well… but yesterday since the cafe was converted into a teaching space & there was a time constraint, the ingredients were at room temperature & we could not leave the pastry to rest. And guess what? That worked too 🙂
And what was awesome too was that the recipe booklets that they gave out, had proportions for single, individual servings. So if one afternoon I get a sudden craving for a Quiche, it would be pretty easy & quick for me to experiment a bit with the filling & rustle one up! And when I do, I will post recipe & better pictures 🙂