Wednesday 9 April 2014

Wild Garlic Quiche

 It is the season of Wild Garlic, a lovely food season where people (like me) can pretend to be scouring the wild for their tea and returning home victorious to a well earned pint after a hard day's searching, foraging and gathering.
I may have exaggerated a little there as I am quite fortunate to know of a good stash of wild garlic a mere 2 minutes walk from the OH's flat, but hey when finding food in the wild (local park) it's something to be slightly pleased about.

Anyway, it's a relatively simple plant to find. It grows like wildfire and it has very nice and edible little white flowers attached to it. It also has a very distinctive strong smell and chances are you will smell it before you see it. There is about a month left of the season so you still have plenty of time to find some.
 As well as obtaining some wild garlic, the kind folks at Barber's 1833 recently sent me some of their excellent cheddar to sample. Matured for at least 2 years, it is a delicious cheese with a rich taste that only comes from decent cheese that has had time to develop its flavour.

Pondering what to make with it (before I ate it all) I did think about making a classic rarebit but with spring in the air and the clocks going forward, I only had one option and I had to make the first quiche of the year.

Using a standard quiche base of eggs cream and milk, I grated a good chunk of cheddar in, alongside sliced up wild garlic leaves. I also added nutmeg to the pastry to liven it up a bit. The end result was delicious, cheesy, creamy quiche with the cheese balancing well with the wild garlic and not getting completely drowned out, a perfect spring time treat.

200g plain flour
100g butter
1 egg yolk
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

100g Chedder Cheese, grated
8-10 leaves of Wild Garlic, rolled into a cigar then finely sliced
150ml double cream
100ml milk
4 eggs
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper

You will need a 20cm fluted, loose based tart tin

Add the butter to the flour and rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
add the water and stir with a knife to combine, then knead together quickly to combine until a soft dough.Wrap tightly in clingfilm and leave in fridge for at least half n hour.
Get two sheets of cling film, spread one across the work surface, place each mound of dough in the middle and spread the other sheet over the top. Roll out gently in between the two sheets of cling film (this method stops any excess flour being added to the pastry and drying it out). Remove the top layer and using the bottom layer drape the pastry gently into the tin and press gently into all edges. 

With a rolling pin, roll it over the top of the tart tin to take off the edge.  
Prick the base with a fork to stop it from rising in the oven. Return to the fridge. 
Preheat the oven to 180C and place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

Push up the edges of the pastry slightly to compensate for shrinkage.
Bake blind for 15 minutes then for a further 15 minutes normally to dry out and bake the base.
Once baked, brush the base with egg white to create a seal.
Lower the oven temperature to 150C

In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cream and nutmeg until fully combined. Season to taste.
Stir in the cheese and wild garlic and pour into the tart casing.
Bake at 150C for 30 - 40 minutes until slightly golden.
Allow to cool before serving.

Sunday 6 April 2014

Amazing Graze

Yesterday was the start of the second annual music and street food festival held in of all places, a church.
Run by the food heroes of Manjit's Kitchen, Amazing Graze is a collection of great street food, quality beer and an eclectic mix of musical acts, ranging from DJ sets to HipHop to Acapella. It is running today as well so still time to get yourself down there.

We were there for a good few hours merrily drinking and eating away a pleasant Saturday afternoon (with a brief interlude to shout at a certain horse race results). The street food itself, ranged from the usual pulled pork and paella to something a bit more adventurous from the makers of Leeds finest breakfast, The Greedy Pig.

The Pig, having escaped from their usual little cafe, had on a 6 option tapas menu, using all the parts of an animal that usually get neglected.

Naturally I had to try them all and between me and the OH we ordered the lot. The OH went for a terrine, meatballs and Ox heart kebab.
I went for the Ox heart kebab, thick chunks of tender spiced heart, griddled to perfection.
Scotch Quail eggs, quail eggs wrapped in sausage meat and liver and finally one of the finest pieces of offal I have ever tried with the Ox Tongue Taco, thinly sliced spiced tongue with salsa, curd cheese and pumpkin seed.
After a few hours and a few beers, the final tapas arrived with Stu from the cafe in the form of Black Pudding wontons, a product so simple but so good, crispy wonton pastry with a black pudding filling served with sweet and sour onions. Superb.

Having digested a bit, I decided to opt for a relative newcomer to the street food scene, Banh mi Booth, their van is still currently being built but this hasn't affected the food, with them offering an excellent selection of Vietnamese sandwiches (banh mi) and noodle dishes. I went for the pork and received a very large sandwich filled with pork, vegetables, herbs, chillis and a fried egg to put the final nail in the food coma.

After a few more beers, we decided to call it a day and headed back to town but not before getting an ice cream (caramelised banana sorbet (left) and golden syrup (right)) for the road from the always excellent Gingers Comfort Emporium.