CHEDDAR AND CHORIZO QUICHE (serves 4-6)
Approx. 300g shortcrust pastry (sufficient for an 8" flan dish, approx. 1" deep)
4 large eggs
250ml soured cream
a good pinch of ground black pepper
1 tsp vegetable stock powder (or vegetable bouillon powder)
40g finely sliced chorizo, sliced into small ribbons
50g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp char-grilled red pepper (from a jar), rinsed and sliced small
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine.
Your first job is to part-bake the pastry case. So, pre-heat your oven to 180degC/350degF/Gas 4. Then, cut a square of pastry that is significantly bigger than the baking dish or tin you will be using and gently sink it into the tin, making sure there are no bubbles under the pastry and it is pressed gently into the corners. Trim off the excess with a sharp knife.
Cut a piece of greaseproof paper that is correspondingly bigger than the baking tin and crumple it up as though you're going to throw it away, then smooth it out again. You'll find when it comes to laying it over the pastry, it will fit better now! Lay it over the pastry and lightly smooth it across the base. Pour in your baking beans in an even layer. Place the tin centrally into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. You can use this time to make the filling.
Break each of the eggs into a cup and pour them into a large bowl. Doing this ensures that if one of your eggs is off or even slightly dodgy, you don't lose the lot! Add the soured cream, black pepper and stock powder and give everything a good whisk to combine. Add the chorizo ribbons, grated cheese, red pepper and parsley and stir until everything is combined.
Remove the pastry case from the oven and gently lift out the baking beans by holding the greaseproof paper. Set the baking beans aside to cool down.
Using a slotted spoon, spoon the solids from the mixture into the pastry case and distribute them around evenly. Pour the leftover liquid into the pastry case. You may find that you have slightly more than will go in - and better to do it this way around than find your quiche is full of egg mixture and there's no room for the chorizo!
Gently place the quiche into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the filling has risen, turned golden and feels fairly firm when pressed.
Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. If your tin is a loose-bottomed one, you can now remove the quiche from the tin and place it back onto the cooling rack. Serve whilst still a little warm with a crunchy garden salad.