When I really don't have any time to cook and as I really can't bring myself to buy totally ready made food I still appreciate to compromise a little and so a cheat quick quiche for a satisfying and delicious meal with very few and the simplest of ingredients- really you cannot do more French than a quiche with a side salad.
The story of this recipe comes from my last vacation in Burgandy, when I was visiting my cousin with my parents - a lovely family time spent together I came from the UK they arrived from Brittany and we met there. We sampled fabulous wines such as Alex Corton in a local cellar, we also ate traditional Bourguignon dishes such as "Oeufs en Moeurette" which are fresh eggs poached in red wine and served in a deep wine sauce made with shallots, petits lardons and croutons, we also had "Escargots de Bourgogne", snails with a rich garlic shallots and parsley butter. One of our gastronomic pilgrimage outing is a restaurant called "Le Grenier a Sel" (Salt mill). There, I had a surprisingly delicious Carrot Gratin Dauphinois in accompaniment of a traditional "Fondue au vin" where every guest stick a cube of tender pieces of beef at the end of a litle spike and poach it in a common fondue pan filled with simmering red Burgandy wine ...delicious with a selection of dips like Bearnaise, Tartare, homemade Mayonnaise and incredible mustard and some
My cousin's home is right in the middle of fantastic vineyards doted with wild growing walnut trees in a small town not far from Beaunes. She loves good food and is really proud of her regions heritage but she is not a very enthusiastic cook however she does a couple or more specialties very well (Escargots being one of them); she is an incredible wine connoisseur though! She has the ability to find very good wines even in the dodgiest off-licence when she visits the UK.
Although quiche is not from Burgundy, but from Lorraine, our common side of our family comes from Besancon in the Doubs region which is East of France, so really not that far from Lorraine and Switzerland. I can safely say that Quiche is to my family what Welsh Rarebit is to UK households -and with a recipe as easy and effective as this one as easy if not easier, one cannot go wrong.
When she mad this after a whole day of going visiting places it only took 20 minutes to prepare and about 35 minutes to bake-enough time to have a well deserved aperitif. The thing with this recipe is that nothing stops you from using left overs as a filling. It doesn't have to be lardons, and it can also be made it a vegetarian version*. A vegan version is also good little more complicated but good alternatives-will talk about this another time!
So to the recipe:
1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
1 pack of 200 grams lardons (or pieces of bacon or even ham or gammon)
200ml (1 tub) creme fraiche
50 grams grated Gruyere, Comte or Emmental cheese
pepper, pinch of nutmeg (optional)
2 tablespoon of cornflour (optional)
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees C (fan oven) 200 degrees C
Unroll the pastry into a lightly floured pie dish/tarte dish making sure the sides around are covered.
With a fork prick the bottom and the side of the pastry.
Whilst you prepare the filling leave it to rest in the fridge
Beat the eggs, add the creme fraiche or sour cream and the cornflour if using (it should prevent curdling)
Add the grated cheese of your choice- some people add a little mustard
Add the seasoning (salt,pepper,nutmeg)
Pour the mix in the bottom of the pie dish
Pop in the oven for about 35 minutes
Serve with a green salad with a homemade French dressing with garlic.
*You could use all sorts of different filling, respecting the ratio, for example: left over roast or steamed vegetables, chopped bits of chorizo with roast peppers, you can also use drained and patted dried tomatoes, artichokes, courgettes, mushrooms, aubergine in oil- a mix as you wish-experiment!! And why not spring onions and cheddar or even crumble a little blue cheese with broccoli steamed or boiled for a few minutes. Smoked salmon works really well with this too! It is a good dish to recycle left overs! Sliced potatoes, with soft onions and cheese rosemary is delicious. Ah and what about goat cheese and red onion mamalade? Miam.