Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Healthiche Quiche: ham, spinach, ricotta, feta, tomato.



Yields: 
one 23-inch tart
















I have always loved an easy-peasy recipe that yields yummy result, with minimum effort and very few dishes to wash (I always try to use as few utensils as possible). Quiches are one of several food that requires very little effort, not only this type of quiche in particular, but all kinds. The best thing about a quiche is you can put anything you want in it, you are only limited by your imagination here. You can put bacon, sausages, minced meat, ham, chicken breast, salmon, mushroom... you name it! It can be served hot from the oven or at room temperature, so its a perfect party food to cook in advance!

Quiche is an open baked tart filled with savory custard filling. The traditional recipe uses egg and cream as the custard base, but because I wanted to make this a low fat quiche, I substituted the cream with milk and it's just as good.

For the crust, you can make your own shortcrust pastry. I was planning to make my own crust; but, when I walked down the isle of my supermarket to grab the butter, I found a frozen shortcrust pastry that says "25% less fat", so I changed my mind of making my own shortcrust pastry and grab them. Lol, actually I was just too lazy and that "25% less fat" is very helpful to make this quiche lower in fat.

ps: Find a good shortcrust pastry recipe here.

For the filling, instead of using bacon (which is classic for a Quiche Lorraine), I used a double smoked ham. Besides the savory custard and meat, quiche also contains cheese, and cheddar is the classic. But I decided to use ricotta and feta cheese, reduced fat feta cheese. For the veggie, to give it a nice green color and also a healthy kick, I used wilted spinach. It's basically spinach cooked with a little bit of oil and a splash of water in low temperature. Don't forget to squeeze out the water of the wilted spinach to avoid soggy crust.


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 (25cm x 25cm) frozen shortcrust pastry, defrosted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup full cream milk
  • 120g baby spinach, wilted
  • 100g honey leg ham, roughly chopped
  • 100g feta cheese, fat reduced
  • 100g ricotta cheese
  • 1 tomato
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced).

Grease a 23cm loose-bottom tart pan, line your pan with the defrosted pastry and trim any excess. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake the crust in the oven. If you have never blind bake before, here is a tutorial...


Oh, what I wouldn't give to blind bake with Curtis Stone, lol!

Anyway, now take a mixing bowl and crack all your eggs into it, whisking lightly. Put in the milk and whisk again, just until combined. Put a pinch of salt and crack some pepper to season.

Arrange the ham on the cooled pastry and top with the ricotta and fetta cheese, both crumbled quite finely using your fingers. Continue by arranging the spinach evenly on the tart.

Once you're done with your custard base and the filling, take your tomato and slice it widthwise into 4 beautiful slices. Be careful not to squeeze the tomato while slicing, to keep the pretty round shape.

Now pour the egg-milk mixture into the tart and then top it with the sliced tomatoes. Season the sliced tomato with a bit of salt.

And as easy as that, put it into the oven and wait for 45-50 minutes or until dry, set and golden brown.

Cut a slice, and here's how it looks like...



You can serve this with salad on the side or a bowl of fries, or better yet, both. Its soft omelette-like filling with the golden crispy crust is enriched with the creamy ricotta and tangy feta cheese. And that roasted tomato on top is not just pretty in red, it is also super tasty.



You can wrap this quiche and put it in the fridge and it will last for about 3-5 days, but don't worry, a quiche this good won't last that long, lol! Just kidding with the arrogance, but really it's pretty good.

Although it's not the most healthy food, it's a guilt-free pleasure that I can eat few slices of these babies in one meal. Even my boyfriend who's not a fan of western cuisine ate half of the pan.



Do give it a go!

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