Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Quiche Lorraine

I prepared this tart after watching the video of Rachel Allen:Bake on UKTVFOOD. I have never made anything similar to this one before and thought of giving it a go. I took the Recipe and its contents from UTVFOOD website. You can also watch the video there. The show is amazing since she present it so well that even a beginner can follow. She makes it so easy and even the complicated stuffs looks so simple and delicious. The tart turned out perfect, it was mild and creamy and kids will love it. It is normally served as lunch or dinner. Quiche Lorraine has a crispy shortcrust base baked and then filled with creamy filling.

Quiche Lorraine

Serves: 6
Prep: 25 min, plus 30 minutes chilling Cook: 1 hr 15 min

For the shortcrust pastry

200g plain flour, sifted

100g butter, chilled and cubed

a pinch of salt

1 medium egg, beaten

For the filling
1 tbsp olive oil

175g chicken breast, cut into strips

100g onions, peeled and chopped

4 eggs (2 whole, 2 yolks)

250ml double cream

1 tbsp chopped Parsley

1 tbsp chopped Chives

50g Cheddar cheese grated

50g Gruyere Cheese, grated


watch video here.

For the shortcrust pastry:

1. Put the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor and process briefly.

2. Add half the beaten egg and continue to process. (You might add a little more egg, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together.) If making the pastry by hand, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then, using your hands, add just enough egg to bring it together.

3. With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cm thick, then wrap it in cling film or place it in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or, if you are pushed for time, in the freezer for 10–15 minutes, before using.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. 5. Line a 19cm high-sided tart tin with the shortcrust pastry and cover the base with baking parchment. Fill the tin with baking beans and bake blind for 15-20 minutes until the edge of the pastry is firm and is just starting to turn golden. . Remove the beans and parchment for the last five minutes until golden

For the filling:

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken strips for 5-6 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Sweat the onions gently in the same oil for a further ten minutes, or until softened. Keep them aside.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the two whole eggs and two egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl together with the cream, herbs, cheeses, chicken strips and onions. Mix well and season with salt and black pepper.

3. Pour the filling into the pastry base and return to the oven to bake for 30–40 minutes, the top turn golden brown or until the centre has set. Serve warm with a green salad.


Alisa is one of the most served dishes during the Muslim weddings in Kerala. Apart from weddings, it is also one of the favourite dishes served before lunch or dinner as a starter. During weddings, Alisa is made in huge steel pots and then served just before the main course that is normally a Mutton Biriyani or Chicken Biriyani along with fried chicken, salads, curd with vegetables, pickles etc. Alisa is served by scattering fried onions, fried raisins and fried cashews all fried in clarified butter or ghee. This brings that extra taste to this dish and is very important. Omitting this part doesn’t bring the full flavour of Alisa. Since this dish has very less oil, it is suitable for diet conscious mates as well. As alisa is quite filling, we used to make it at home for dinner mainly.

The important thing to be noted while making alisa is getting the right wheat. In Arabic it is called ‘Hab Hareez’. I don’t really know what this specific wheat is called in English, but, the wheat that is used for making alisa is skinless or the bran has been cleaned off. It is neither pearl barley nor boiled wheat. Because I tried these and cooked for very very long time and still they dint get cooked. Finally I had to grind it and then cook the ground wheat! I wonder what they are actually used for! Maybe for feeding pigeons or something. Lols!

1 cup Skinless wheat
1 medium Onion
4 large cloves of garlic
500 mls hot water
¾ tsp Salt
A good piece of Chicken (1 leg piece+1 thigh piece)
4 Cloves
3 Cardamoms
1” Cinnamon sticks

For garnishing:
2-4 tbsful Ghee
½ medium Onion
1 tbs Raisins
8-10 Cashews
Sugar As required

1. Soak wheat for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
2. Set the flame onto medium and pressure cook wheat along with chicken, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic and water for a minimum of 1 hour to 1 ½ hour or until the wheat is completely cooked. At this stage all wheat grain will be soft to touch and puffed up.
3. Add salt and stir well. Take out any chicken bones and beat well with the hand mixer (while hot) for about 10-15 minutes until all the cooked wheat is ground and the mixture looks grainy and thick. Don’t make it like puree. You can also use food processor for grinding the mixture. But if using a food processor, take care alisa is not too hot for the processor and it requires less time.
4. In another pan, add ghee, when it is hot, add rains. When they starts to puff up remove, drain in towel and keep aside. Don’t keep raisins for long because they can turn bitter.
5. In the same oil, fry cashews until golden. Take it out and keep them aside too.
6. Again in the same ghee, fry onions until golden. Turn the flame off; add the fried cashew and rains in the ghee.
7. Take 1-2 ladleful of alisa and spread it on a plate and spread little bit of ghee with back of your spoon and sprinkle raisins and cashews.
8. Sprinkle sugar on top and serve warm. Dive in!

It is normally served with sugar, but you can have it with curry as well. Never tried so far.
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