Tuesday, April 10, 2007

quifflé, soufiche, or just quiche?

This is another quiche post.

No wait, a quiche that's part soufflé. I'm partial to quifflé. It helps me remember what this one was all about.

See, I took a few classes given by a true master in the craft of food. Having learned quite a bit, I've been anxious to apply that knowledge in the kitchen. And if ever there is a savory canvas to imbue with flavor, in which to use my newly acquired confidence in egg whites, where I could put their magic construction powers to work and be able to calibrate what the fluffy results truly were, quiche is it for me.

Wait, quifflé. Yeah, I like that. I'm gonna go with that for the purpose of getting on with this post, and after you check it out, let me know what you think.

I assembled the ingredients and did most of my prep. With room temperature eggs, bacon, three grated cheeses, chopped onions and mushrooms, and whole wheat flour from the farmers market, this was a very local venture. A few pinches of "small craft batched" salt and things were coming together nicely. The monkey and I had raided our garden for the parsley, green onion, thyme, and peas. The frozen butter hunks were ready for a whirl and the yogurt couldn't wait to jump in the savory mingle. I chunked up the bacon into what I believe are called lard-ons, no lardons, and got out the arm shaping iron.

Is there anything else in the world as pleasurable as the smell of frying bacon?

Is there a stupider rhetorical question that I could ask in a post?

Anyway, I fried the lard-ons with the onions and mushrooms and near the end added my herbs. It was looking damn fine. The monkey was getting a bit squirrely, so I needed to put her to work.......

Peas to the rescue! The ramekin comet "peapod" was being transported through space after nimble little fingers helped "free" the captives.

Whew! Thank god for an active imagination. It can really come in quite handy when cooking with little folk.

With the custard portion of our filling nearly complete and the crust awaiting the whole nine yards of backfill (with visible chunks of butter still, I was so happy), it was time to decide if my arms needed more of a workout. Since I can't afford going to the gym anymore, I beat the eggs whites by hand, to a pretty stiff peak and started drooling thinking about how fluffy this quifflé might turn out.

I gently plopped part of the fluff onto the custard and began folding.

I said folding, not mixing. Folding.

I added the rest of the fluff and continued folding. When I thought it was getting somewhat close to being a consistent texture, I stopped. If you think about it, just putting it in the crust will in effect mix it some more, so stop right there.

I popped the pie into a pre-heated oven and after 15 minutes gave it a check.

It was looking nice and "floofy," (as the monkey called it). But it was browning already. It had already risen considerably, and I got the impression that the early browning was partly a function of the egg whites at high temperature and the fact that the loft achieved had pushed it closer to the roof of the oven than I had anticipated. I turned down the heat, removed the rack it was on and put it on the lower one.

This picture does not do it justice. This version had nearly twice the loft of my typical quiche. Egg whites are your friend. Try embracing them sometime and play around with their capabilities. Your mouth will love you, I promise.

Did I forget to mention I made a green olive sordough loaf to go with this one? I'm sorry. I had made a black olive loaf earlier in the week and gave some to Aunty who commented "Nice D, but you know I'm more partial to green olives......how 'bout if I give you some greenies in exchange for giving me a bit of the next loaf?" Like, duh.......I may be stupid sometimes, but I'm not dumb.

Did I mention I'm calling this a quifflé?


4 ounces bacon
8 ounces cheese
1 cup yogurt
5 large eggs
1 smallish yellow onion
6-10 brown mushrooms
1 green onion
1 big handful of garden peas
a few sprigs of parsley and thyme

Cube and fry pig. Add allium and fungus. When pig is lightly crispy add herbal clippings. Remove from heat and set aside. Finely grate your cheese selection and separate your eggs, and I don't mean put them in different parts of the room. Throw together the pig and garden fry, the yogurt, cheese, and egg yolks. Put the peas in last. Beat the tar out of the egg whites. Mind you, that's not beating the hell out of them, just the tar. If doing this by hand, make sure to cuss some when your arms feel like falling off. I don't know why, but it helps. So does beer. GENTLY fold the stiff fluff almost all the way in. With the sensitivity of a ninja, place this into the crust. If you're looking for guidance here, check my previous quiche post about it. Basically, same thing here. Bake on lower rack at 400 for the first 10 or 15 minutes. Turn down to 350 until the center stops doing the jello-jiggle. Tell your family it needs to cool for a bit while you scarf down half on the way to serving it at the table. Congratulate yourself on using old-school ovum-technology and enjoying your first quifflé.


chilebrown said...

I am impressed by the fresh peas. How about a green olive bread recipe? I will trade it for my sourdough jalapeno cheese bread recipe. 'Bacon Delivery Man'

Callipygia said...

Should I embrace the egg whites before or after beating the tar out of them? I think I need to make this just so I can say quiffle half a dozen times. Seriously this does look good, like a glorious sunflower out of the oven.

Monkey Wrangler said...

Chile: Mmmmm, jalapeño cheese bread. Like, hell yeah!.....I'll work on writing down the best version in a manner that makes sense (I hope) and email you the results.

Calli: Thanks for the question, I should have made it clear that egg whites should always be embraced BEFORE beating the tar out of them. They're too sensitive to be receptive to the love after the beating. Shuna says if you know their limitations and what they can do, and if you treat them lovingly and carefully (at room temperature nearly always) they can do amazing things for you. I'm believing this fully now.

You nailed it with the sunflower comment. (There you go with that pattern recognition thing - love it!) I thought the same thing when I checked it out and seem to have the plants on the mind since starting some seeds in the window last week.

Freya and Paul said...

I love the idea of the peas with the bacon and that you called it a quiffle! Looks yummy!

drbiggles said...

That's too hard.

Dude, you used the word imbue. What's up with that? It's almost as though you read books er somethin'.

Do you have any goat?


Monkey Wrangler said...

F&P: Thanks! Peas are good in just about anything huh? But making up words is even better.

Biggles: I think I saw the word imbue in a cookbook....must have been under a pretty picture for me to read it though.

And that goat......yeah, I got me some. Or shall I say, "I got yer goat."

I'm thinkin' goat calzone.
Got goatzone?

Magpie said...

Is there a stupider rhetorical question that I could ask in a post?

No. Bacon rules.

HipWriterMama said...

I made an aparagus and ham quiche this weekend and it was super tasty. Couldn't summon up the wherewithall to beat those egg whites though.

I discovered a neat trick...put the oven on high enough to 450 degrees by mistake, the quiche will automatically gain the volume of a quiffle but will have a rather ungainly color. It's probably a good thing we didn't have company.

Monkey Wrangler said...

Magpie: Mmmmmm, bacon..........arrrhhh. With you on that. Thanks for droppin' by the ranch! (Looks like I got some reading to do.)

Hey Hip: I've done that mistake on purpose a few times and it does work well, but it always seems like it deflates back to normal. That is one of the reasons I tried beating the whites, in order to retain some loft, and I think it kinda worked, except for the premature browning. (Like your's?)

HipWriterMama said...

Yeah, the incredibly browned quiche totally pouffed up, breaking the pie crust and all. But when I took the quiche out of the oven, it went back to normal.

I thought maybe the quiche would be uncooked in the middle. But it was fine. Much too browned. The crust broken. But it tasted good.