Monday, May 17, 2010

Courgette Quiche

Courgette or zucchini is only used in our kitchen for making 2 dishes - courgette quiche or lasagne. Honestly I have no idea what courgette is before living in Belgium. I guess that has to do with the fact that courgettes (more commonly known as zucchini) are not so commonly found in supermarkets in Asia.

A quiche, according to wikipedia, has its origins in French cuisine. It is a baked dish that is based on a custard made from eggs and milk or cream in a pastry crust. Usually the pastry shell is blind baked before the other ingredients such as chopped ham, vegetables or cheese are added to the egg mixture. Again, I have not heard of quiche before coming to Belgium. So I can only conclude that, I have opened my eyes to a wider variety of food and cooking methods now than before, which is a good thing. :)

Back to my courgette quiche. This is a recipe which I have cut from a supermarket magazine (you know those magazines that try to sell you some ingredients by dangling a recipe in front of you, saying "please try me"). I do collect this kind of recipes every now and then as I find them invaluable when you run out of ideas on how to cook a particular ingredient. I think this is a pretty healthy and nutritious dish, it includes eggs, ham, feta cheese, greek yoghurt and loads of vegetables (courgette, tomato, basilicum). Ideal for young children (and adults too) who don't like veges as the veges are nicely "camouflaged" in the quiche and the quiche itself looks very colourful and appealing. The 2 star ingredients of this dish are the feta cheese and basilicum, which go very well together and give the quiche a delightful flavour and a rich aroma. :)

INGREDIENTS (for 3 persons)
1 ready-made pastry dough
150-200g cooked ham, cut into small pieces
1 courgette, cut into small pieces
2 big tomatoes, sliced thinly
5 eggs

200g greek yoghurt
100g greek feta cheese, crumbled
4 stems of fresh basilicum, chopped finely
cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste

1. Lay the tart pan (28cm) with baking paper. Roll out the pastry, put it in carefully and prick all over with a fork.

2. Sprinkle the cut tomatoes, courgette and ham evenly across the pastry.

3. Crumble the feta cheese on top, followed by the chopped basilicum.

4. Beat the yoghurt thoroughly with the eggs in a big glass bowl and season with cayenne pepper, pepper and salt. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the quiche.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 35-45 min, until the custard is nicely baked in the pastry crust. 

Note : If you think that 5 eggs is too much for your cholesterol, you can reduce to 4 eggs, but you have to increase the amount of yoghurt (or milk) accordingly. There should be sufficient custard (the egg-yoghurt mixture) to cover the ingredients of the quiche.

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