Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quiche . . . quiche?

Eggs have been our culinary challenge in Cooking 1 Skills Development. Our goal is to master about a dozen different ways to cook an egg. Attention is the in details; more like the devil is in the details. We take this for granted when we go out to a restaurant and order "cook to order" eggs in so many different techniques and methods. Boiled eggs are a guessing game with three standards: soft boiled, medium boiled, and hard boiled. The only way to discover the results is cutting it after peeling. Fried eggs are even more of an individual artistic expression combined with exact cooking: sunny side up, basted, over easy, medium, hard.

I never gave eggs so much thought until writing my mis-en-place and production sheets covering the whole gamut of egg cooking over the past two weeks. Last night while writing up the work for quiche I realized that I have to make my own gluten free mealy pie dough. I am a culinary student and I cannot just go through the motions; make it with gluten filled items and not be able to taste it. The program at The Midwest Culinary Institute is one that we are working
symbiotically as a custom gluten free program; we are learning from each other about the culinary gluten free world. I looked over the recipe for the pie dough in "Professional Cooking" and slept on how I was going to make it gluten free with the physical properties needed. I woke up extra early and went to work on the pie dough on a mission: tapioca flour, millet flour, brown rice flour, shortening, salt, and egg whites (in place of cold water for the protein). There was no time for me to tinker with it, so I scooped it into a bag and went to school. Since the quiche required a long cooking time, we started this first. My Chef was hopeful for my dough; asking me the formulation and offering technique for molding into the pie pan for optimum results.

After the morning fog lifted and the quiche was in the oven, I realized that I could not remember the last time I eat quiche, easily over seven years. Many years back, one of my favorite meals would be quiche with a mixed green salad. We kept checking on the quiches. That hour was filled in anticipation, waiting to see and taste the results. (I forget to bring my camera.) The pie was a delicate golden color and my GF dough looked great; it did not burn, like some GF pie doughs would. Resting the quiche is critical for a clean cut without the delicate custard drooping or sagging. When cut, it was clean and acted like a normal mealy dough. Taste? Wow, I really missed quiche! The custard was perfect, and the crust was great: mealy with a mild, slightly sweet crumb from the millet. I cannot wait to make it at home for entertaining friends. The Chef, who is Scottish, suggested I use this dough crust recipe for shortbread. That is genius. Next recipe development - gluten free shortbread!

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure


Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

I am really just warming up to eggs, and have been wanting to trial making a quiche. Do you have any dairy-free suggestions for quiche? So many seem to rely on cheese for flavor and I don't like to use cheese alternatives.

Erin Swing said...

Eggs are an amazing, versatile, and complete protein that is underrated. I didn't make my quiche in class milk-free. I will work on one, but I would imagine unsweetened soy milk or better yet soy creamer would work well and I just purchased this "melting" soy cheese that I have not tried yet. But, if you can do goat milk - I would highly suggest that route. Yum, I can image the taste right now a goat-y egg custard with goat cheddar or mozzarella and some fresh chervil and chives. How decadent! I think I'll make a Quiche Chevre this weekend for a special treat for my friends.

Erin Swing said...

Alisa - Another suggestion would be to nix the cheese and replace it with some savory goodness like mushrooms (esp. shiitake) and/or some concentrated meats like cooked/crisped bacon/pancetta/prosciutto , bresaola, or even hot dogs or sausage.

Shelly said...

Welcome to the foodie blog roll! Eggs, gota love them! I am finding new ways to use eggs every day!

Warm n Wonderful said...

Would you care to share your pastry crust recipe for a fellow celiac sufferer?