While I am away visiting my parents in Malaysia, I have asked a couple of friends to guest post for me. Today, we have Ruby of Tomayto Tomahto with this elegant Crab and Asparagus Quiche.
As with most group-oriented activities, blogging tends to create a sense of camaraderie among rookies who started at the same time. After a while we can still relate to the trials and tribulations associated with the time of our start up. I first discovered Ruby’s blog through a friend way back in the “early days”. The title of her blog caught my attention as I often wondered how tomato should really be pronounced. Having grown up in Malaysia with British English and currently living in the Midwest, my accent as you can imagine, is a pretty mixed bag. I was naturally intrigued.
I started visiting Tomayto Tomahto and became mostly a silent reader. It was not until the end of last year that I decided to get better acquainted with Ruby when she started her Facebook Fan Page. I am glad I did and we got to know each other a little better. Like me, Ruby is a transplant into her current place of domicile. In her case, it is rural England. We can both relate to the thrills and spills of adapting to a different culture. Naturally, these experiences influence the food that we cook and provide interesting new dimensions to our cuisine.
I hope you will visit Ruby soon. Her posts are always beautifully written with the most interesting stories and anecdotes. It is often accompanied with a tantalizing recipe and gorgeous images. I know you will enjoy them as much as I do. She has a regular column at Honest Cooking – A Bite of Britain. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
And now, please welcome Ruby…
I honestly can’t remember when the blogosphere first brought me Biren. She’s one of those faithful blogger friends who seems to have always been there. As ex-pat moms (although of different origins and living in different countries), we already had much in common, but added to that is a shared no-nonsense approach to cooking. That, and the familial warmth that shines through her writing, keep me coming back. Having so much respect for her blogging skills, I was naturally delighted when she asked me to do a guest post! So, thank you Biren, for entrusting me with your readership while you travel. And to Biren’s readers, thank you for giving this your attention even though your beloved blogger is off galavanting around the world. I hope you won’t be disappointed!
Here in the UK, asparagus season is almost as eagerly-awaited as the summer’s first Pimm’s. And not just by me. As spring ripens, I often find myself standing in the produce aisle alongside other asparagus hunters tut-tutting at the imported offerings. Peru? Chile? Mexico? When oh when will the British asparagus be on the shelves? And then, one day it is. And the gorging begins.
I can’t swear that British asparagus is any better than that grown elsewhere, but it is definitely fresher when it hits our shelves, and that makes all the difference. I like to showcase it, grilled or barely-steamed, to make the most of the beauties while we have them. But at the very beginning and end of the season, when the pickings are slim, I turn to recipes that use asparagus as a garnish rather than in the lead role. Recipes like my crab and asparagus quiche.
Quiche is a wonderful recipe to have in your repertoire because it sounds so fancy, but is really quite simple. It almost feels like cheating, actually, to serve something that looks and tastes this impressive but was done in the blink of an eye. Well, your guests don’t need to know how easy it was. If you don’t tell them, neither will I!
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups (500 ml) half and half (single cream)
- ½ tsp salt
- Pinch of chili powder (optional)
- 1 ½ cups (12 oz or 340 g) cooked crabmeat
- ½ cup (115 g) grated mild cheddar cheese
- 10-12 small spears asparagus, trimmed
- 1 pastry crust (I made a spelt crust using this recipe)
1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas 4.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs together with the cream, salt and chili.
3. Stir in crabmeat and cheese and pour into prepared crust.
4. Arrange the asparagus in a pattern on top.
5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Notes for Next Time:
1. You can use fresh (cooked) crab or canned. This time I bought two whole crabs and got the kids involved in cleaning them. They had a ball, even took the empty shells into school for show and tell, and the meat was fabulous. But I’ve also made this with canned and it was perfectly fine.
2. You can take this basic recipe and vary it infinitely. Swap out the crab for cubed ham, or replace the asparagus with baby corn or ribbons of red bell pepper. For an easy Quiche Lorraine, omit the crab and chili and use 1 cup grated Gruyère and 1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon. So long as you maintain the ratio of eggs to cream to filling, you can’t go very wrong.
3. Don’t feel like you have to make the crust from scratch – there are some great ones ready-made in the stores. I made mine because I wanted to try a spelt crust with this, and the one I’ve linked to worked really well. I used wholewheat flour instead of white, but other than that I followed her directions (which is why I’ve linked to her site rather than reproducing the recipe here.)
4. I used a 10-inch tart pan, which gave me a wider, flatter quiche than if I had used a standard 9-inch quiche pan, and with the shallower rim, I wasn’t able to use all the filling. I just used the extra to make another small (single-serving) quiche afterwards. My crust was a bit thick on the bottom, especially in relation to the shallower filling, because I was afraid of making the spelt dough too thin. But it held up great, so next time I will make it thinner, and I’d recommend you do the same, so the earthiness of it doesn’t overwhelm the delicate crab flavor in the filling.
Thank you Ruby for a most delightful post. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and I would love to have a slice of your quiche. Hopefully I will get a chance to try out your recipe upon my return.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)