I can’t believe Christmas is only two weeks away. I am so disorganised this year…… Having increased my work hours in October, I have been really struggling to fit everything in and even finding time to cook has become difficult.
We finally managed to get the tree up at the weekend however and hopefully this week, I’ll manage to go get a few presents. The Christmas cards were written yesterday (although they are yet to be posted) and at some stage, I will work out what we are going to eat……
Whatever your Christmas meals consist of, you can pretty much guarantee that at some stage you will be wondering what to do with leftovers. Many people go for bubble and squeak, or just eat as many turkey sandwiches as they can bear…… I like to make quiche with my leftovers!
You can put pretty much anything in quiche and whilst it may feel a bit of a hassle to make pastry from scratch, whether you are gluten free or not, there are an increasing number of ready-made options and mixes available. Although I do mostly make my own pastry, like anyone I welcome time-saving alternatives. Admittedly I will be pretty fussy about any standby pastry that I use, but for the quiche here, I used Silly Yak ready to roll pastry that I find works particularly well in quiche. If you have never used it, you will find it in the chiller cabinet at Tesco.
One of the things I love about quiche is that it gives you an amazing meal in one. You might choose to serve it with salad, veg or potatoes, but this is by no means essential. I am always more than happy with a big slice…… warm or cold…… served all on its own.
Last year I made an amazing Christmas Dinner quiche with turkey left-overs which I never got round to blogging (it got eaten before any photos were taken), but did subsequently re-produce a Sunday Roast Dinner version which I made in support of the Joseph Joseph Don’t Waste It campaign.
The quiche I have made here, is with left-over Autumn pumpkin (although you could use any squash) and Sunday lunch chicken. I’ve added some bacon which I found nearing its use-by date in the fridge and toasted pine nuts for texture and depth of flavour. The whole lot is paired with Gruyere cheese for extra nuttiness and interest.
Frankly, it’s a delicious combination and although Gruyere is more expensive than cheddar, it is worth the extra for the difference in flavour that it adds. It works amazingly against the soft pumpkin and crunchy pine nuts and with the saltiness of the bacon, succulence of the chicken, crispness of the pastry and creaminess of the eggs, you are sure to enjoy every mouthful.
I am sharing my Chicken, Squash and Gruyere Quiche with the following linkies :
Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching for Spice.
Chicken, Squash & Gruyere Quiche (makes equivalent 1 x 25 cm/10 inch quiche)
- Prepare the pastry, roll out and line your flan tins as in this recipe (being really careful to repair any potential cracks) and chill for about 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 5.
- Line your raw pastry cases with baking paper and baking beans and blind-bake by cooking for 10 minutes, before removing the baking beans and paper and baking for a further 5 to 10 minutes, until golden and crisp.
- Remove the pastry case from the oven (leave in its tin) and turn the oven down to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Filling : Prepare (ahead of time) your pumpkin, bacon, pine nuts and chicken :
- Pumpkin : Take your pumpkin flesh, season with salt and pepper and then roast for about 40 minutes in a hot oven. Once cooked, cut into small chunks.
- Fry the bacon until golden and crisp. Set aside on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
- Chop your cooked chicken into small chunks.
- Toast your pine nuts either in a hot oven or under the grill for about 10 minutes, turning 2 to 3 times.
- When your pastry case is ready, sprinkle the bacon, chicken, pumpkin, pine nuts and a little parsley onto the bottom.
- Add a layer of grated cheese, reserving a small handful to sprinkle on the top.
- Beat the eggs, cream, milk and seasoning together until light and airy.
- Pour the egg mix over the fillings in the pie case (don’t over-fill). Top with the reserved cheese and a sprinkle of parsley.
- Bake immediately for about 30 minutes until the top is firm and set and there is no ‘wobble’.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy.