Monday, October 26, 2015

Bell Pepper Quiche | Baking Partners October '15

Its back to school again now that festival is over. Actually its just a break.. Diwali starts in two weeks. In between there are weekends, government holidays, sports/annual day.. and then wind up everything for december and new year. Anyways, now that I am getting time to post so I thought I would start with Baking Partners Quiche challenge suggested by Arthy of Cook with Arthy Shama.

 Normally quiche is an open faced savoury pie, consisting of filling topped with eggy custard which is baked to set and then cut into pieces and served. As usual I went for eggless version, making the custard using tofu. You can actually go completely vegan with this by replacing the butter in the dough with olive oil which will make it more healthy too. The tofu using idea is from Vaishali's Coriander Quiche, a recipe I had bookmarked long ago.

I stuck to the given recipe for the crust as given by Arthy and made filling with different coloured bell peppers or capsicum that I had got through a friend from an organic farm. When you know you are not eating some posionous stuff then cooking is more easy and obviously enjoyable.


All Purpose Flour: 150gms /1 cup
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Cold Unsalted Butter: 85 gms ~7 tbsp (cubed )
Cold Water: 1-1.5 tbsp

Bell Peppers: different colours: chopped  into small pieces 1/2 cup total  atleast
Onion: 1/4 cup chopped
Salt,Spices & Seasonings of your choice : as per taste

Egg: 1 or Tofu (100g) + little water + salt + 1 tsp riceflour and dash of chilli flakes creamed together to form a thick custard

Cheese: for sprinkling at the bottom (optional)


In  deep bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add in small cubed chilled butter and pinch and fluff to get a coarse sand like flour. Add in cold water 1 tbsp at a time and mix well until a soft dough is formed. Be gentle with the dough. It might not come together at first but don't put too much force/pressure on it.

Put the dough in a cling wrap and refrigerate it for atleast two hours or overnight. Take it out on the day you are planning to bake and let it sit for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

Roll out the dough within butter paper or plastic film to a large pie crust or mini ones based on the size of your pie pan. Place it on greased pie pan or mini ones as per choice . Shape them according to the edges of pie pan and press down the dough so that it touches the base and sides of pie pans.

Prick the shaped dough throughout the base and sides using a fork so that it doesn't rise during baking. Refriegerate the pie pans for 15-20minutes. Meanwhile you preheat the oven to 190C.

Take out the piepans and fill them with dried beans or rice. We r going for blind baking. That is baking the pies without any filling and the dried lentils will ensure there isn't any uneven rising.

Bake the pies for 15-20 minutes until the edges start browning and they leave the sides of the pan. Take out and let it cool. You can even refrigerate them for use at a later time if your filling is not ready.

Heat little olive oil in a deep pan and saute onions, followed by bell peppers adding salt and seasonings as per taste. Saute until the raw smell goes and keep aside for cooling.

Prepare your custard by grinding together tofu, water, rice flour and spices till it is thick but free flowing custard consistency.

Spread the cheese on the base. Then spread the filling followed by custard and more cheese as per taste.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for about 20-25 minutes until the filling is firm or set. Take out let it sit for a while and then serve ..

A simple eggless quiche with the same taste of a regular quiche. I didn't find any difference in taste and looks from the regular one. Those who don't prefer tofu can try with paneer as well.

I used to enjoy spinach and corn quiche from Cakewalk in Indiranagar, Bengaluru every time we used to go that side. That too was eggless and I remember questioning the staff on how they could claim it to be eggless. But they used to swear it was egg free.  Ofcourse now I am planning to recreate the same at home.

Meanwhile hop over to Swathi's to see who all made a quiche to go with their tea or as sides /main.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Roasted Butter Nut Squash Apple Soup | Bye Bye wintry Nights

Sometimes I buy ingredients and then wonder how to cook it. This used to happen on a regular and by the time I decide from a list of recipe, the vegetable would have said bye bye to this world.  Finally I purposefully stopped buying such vegetables and even different types of lentils and this worked well and I was happy that one headache was dealt with.
Till a  few days ago when my hand accidentally picked up a lovely butternut squash from the grocery store near home. Now my mind wandered from soup, snacks,breads and even kheers!. I know, some of you might have started laughing already about how undecisive I am . But this status went on till  I chanced upon  a cookery show on TV where the host - a lovely model turned chef/restaurateur was cooking a roasted pumpkin soup. It looked soooo hassle free  that I decided to try it with butternut squash. 

And not just that a little search in my cooking bible FoodNetwork and up popped Ina Garten's roasted apple and butternut squash soup. Both recipes are almost similar and I incorporated the easier methods from both and got a perfect soup to beat the chills.


Butternut Squash/ Pumpkin : 1 medium -large size 
Onion: 1 big one
Apple: 1 medium- big 
Garlic: 1-2 cloves

Salt , Pepper : as per taste
Fresh/Frozen Thyme : as much as u want
Chilli Flakes: as per taste

Olive Oil: for drizzling

Vegetable Stock: 3 cups +

Roasted Cashews / Other nuts/Scallion greens : for garnishing (optional)

Halve the squash lengthwise, remove the seeds and other fleshy things, slash it lightly with knife  and keep it ready for baking in a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper and chilli flakes and also add as much thyme in and around the squash. Drizzle with oil and make sure the oil and spices go deep inside the marks made. 

Drizzle onion and apple with olive oil and add to the baking sheet. Cover garlic cloves with foil and place in baking sheet. 

Roast the items in a preheated oven at 200 C for about 25-35 minutes until the juices burst out of the apple
and the squash becomes fork tender. In between make sure to check the garlic within the first 10-15 minutes and remove it from the oven as it might burn. You can even roast the garlic directly above the gas flame or saute it as you like.

Take out the roasted items and let these cool a bit. Scoop out the fleshy tender part of the squash onto a blender jar. Squeeze out the onion and garlic from the skins and ad it to the jar. Apple you can either remove the peel or simply deseed and add to the blender.

Once the items are ready in the blender/mixer/ food processor bowl, add in enough vegetable stock and blend to a fine puree.

Add the puree to a deep bowl and add more stock and heat it on medium. Bring it to a slight boil and then let it simmer till your choice of consistency is reached. Adjust the salt and spices or add more seasonings of your choice. The soup thickens on sitting. 

Warm it little if serving at a later time. Serve garnished with more thyme, roasted nuts, scallion greens etc.

A hearty soup to beat the chills. Its very filling and you can do more to this basic simple recipe. Like adding your choice of spices, additional ingredients like oats, rice etc and turn it into a hearty meal itself. You can avoid apple and instead add honey or stevia or your choice of sweetner and even cream .

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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