Last weekend I made the WORST.stew.ever! I have mentioned in a previous post how time consuming, near vomit inducing and disappointing my attempt was to make the Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables out of the launch issue of Australian Good Food, so I won't go through the details again. I will say that I think the downfall of the recipe is that everything is cooked seperately to each other (therefore can it really be called a stew? Nothing stews together!), however this factor also made it easy to recover from the botchy recipe and avert a total disaster by saving some components of the meal for another dish. I made these mini quiches to use up the piles of painstakingly prepared vegetables and even served them with a sauce utilising the red wine reduction made in the recipe. The lamb, well that is not my problem, Mum & Geoff can figure out something to do with that because quite frankly I would prefer my food to remain in my stomach once I have eaten it! Quiche is versatile as most of you would know, so if you don't have your own 'Gordon Ramsay fail stew' vegetables to use up, just use whatever you have on hand or your favourite vegetables.
Mini Spring Vegetable Quiches Makes 16
Peel & trim 10 baby carrots, 10 baby leeks (I couldn't find these, so I used spring onions instead), 80g peas, 120g shelled, skinned broad beans & 8 eschalots. Cook each vegetable seperately in boiling water and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. (Cook Onions for 8-10 minutes, carrots & leeks for 4 minutes, peas & broad beans for 1 minute). Heat 1Tbsp olive oil and cook onions until starting to brown. Sprinkle with 3tsp caster sugar & a pinch of salt and cook until caramelised. Add carrots, leeks & 2Tbsp balsamic vinegar, bubble briefly, then add 100ml chicken stock. Bring to the boil and add the peas & beans. Boil for a few minutes, until the liquid evaporates.
Preheat oven to 200C, spray a rectangle loaf muffin pan with olive oil spray & thaw 4 sheets puff or shortcrust pastry (I used half puff and half shortcrust). In a bowl mix together 4 eggs, 1/2C milk, 1/2C natural yoghurt & 1/2C cream. Chop up the cooked vegetables and add them to the mixture. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Line the 8 muffin holes with pastry and fill with egg mixture. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until set. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and return to oven until melted. Repeat with remaining pastry and egg mixture. Mini quiches can be served hot or cold and are great for lunches on the go. They can be frozen for use later, but they didn't last long around here - the 3 of us got through all 16 of them in just 3 days!
To make the red wine sauce to go with it, heat 150ml light red wine in a saucepan and boil vigorously until reduced to a sticky syrup. Pour in 100ml chicken stock and boil down until reduced by half, then whisk in 25g chopped cold butter. Season with salt & pepper to taste then stir in 1/2 bunch of tarragon leaves, chopped. Mix with a little tomato sauce to serve, if desired.