Leek, Potato and Mustard Greens Quiche with Pickled Jalapeño Pastry.

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Leeks are the last of my crops to be harvested. I keep them on the plot for as long as I can and now they have to come out and make way for my Courgette and Squash plants which are ready to be planted.
This variety of Leeks; Mammoth Giant didn’t do well at all, in this section of the plot. As the name suggests, they should have been a lot chunkier in diameter. In this year’s rotation of crops, hopefully the new position will suit them better.
Nevertheless I harvested them, and to my surprise these little Leeks still have a strong pungent smell and thankfully still edible !

For this recipe I have used:
Something Old: Leeks (from last’s year’s sowing)
Something New: Mustard v. Red Giant
Something Bought: Jersey Royals

I love Jersey Royal Potatoes, I do not like to buy potatoes but this one has to be an exception, you cannot grow them and call them Jersey Royals, that status only stands for Potatoes that come from the Channel Island of Jersey! 
Should you wish to try and grow this the variety; purchase a potato seed variety called International Kidney, grown as ‘First Earlies’, which means planting begins in early March and ready to harvest by mid May onwards; unlike the Jersey Royals which are planted in January and harvest begins in April! The Island of Jersey is bathed with warmer temperatures, unlike the weather here in London which is still too cold even in March, so these International Kidney potato seeds will be sown in containers in the Greenhouse, but that’s next year, lets enjoy this year’s vegetables first!
As I write this blog, I have already put this seed on my list of “New things to grow next year”.

Mustard Greens, never grown them before, but have eaten the small but mild leaf in my cut and come again salad mix. Last year, I received a free packet of Mustard:Red Giant seeds with my Kitchen Garden Magazine. After much discussion on UK Here We Grow I was advised that they are part of a brassica family and so treat them with the care as I would Cabbages, Kale etc. 
I decided to allow the leaf to grow bigger, in order to get a stronger and spicer mustard flavour and when eaten raw, it certainly shoots up your nose! The taste reminds me of fresh horseradish, and it certainly blew my head off!!  Adding Mustard leaf to this Quiche will give the dish a wonderful nutty flavour, but will not be overpowering because they will have been steamed previously making it much mellower in taste.

I am very thankful to Chef Todiwala for messaging me a lovely recipe for Mustard Greens. I challenged myself to grow this vegetable without a clue as to how to cook with it. So thank you Chef, I am very grateful for your advise. I used the process of quick steaming the greens and kept the slight crunch as you advised.

To bring some life in the pastry, I have used homegrown pickled Jalapeño slices, which I preserved last year. Should you wish use fresh red chillies, choose varities no hotter than Jalapeño, as you will loose the taste of the quiche’s filling and will be reaching out for the water to cool your mouth. I will use fresh red jalapeño chillies, once I start harvesting my own grown. At this time in the year, my many varieties of chillies are still green in colour or have just started flowering.

I love Quiches, especially during hot summer months, when evenings are too hot to eat heavy meals, a simple homemade Quiche with salad goes down a treat.

Pastry Ingredients:
200g Plain Flour
100g Cold cubed Butter
5 – 6  Pickled Red Jalapeño chilli slices
  1tsp Lemon Thyme (fresh, if possible)
*Salt to taste
Filling Ingredients
200g Potatoes (any waxy variety will do)
100g Leek
  4-5  Mustard leaves (you could substitute it for rocket leaf).
 50g  Gruyere Cheese, grated
150g Single Cream
    2   Free Range Eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste

Shortcrust Pastry:
  • Rub cold butter into flour, until it resemble breadcrumbs, add chopped jalapeño and slightly bruised/chopped lemon thyme leaves only, (bruising herbs first, helps release flavours).
  • To bind, add a tablespoon of cold water at a time,and use a butter knife to bring the mixture together, until you notice dough coming together easily. 

Do not make the dough too wet or you will face soggy bottoms!

  • Bring the dough together in your hands and wrap kitchen film paper and chill for 20-30 minutes. (this will give time for the filling to be prepped).
  • Roll out dough. Place the rolling pin in the centre of the dough and with one motion roll away from you, turn the dough a quarter turn, roll and repeat process until the rolled out dough roughly measures slightly larger than the loose bottomed dish. I have used a 20cm (8inch) non stick fluted dish.
  • At this stage, have the dish close at hand. With one hand take your rolling pin and hold it half way over the rolled out dough, with your other hand bring the dough over the rolling pin so you may control the dough with ease when laying it in the dish. 
  • Start placing the dough with a slight overhang. Roll out the rest of the dough over the dish. It will gently sink into the dish, without the need of tucking or pulling the dough.
  • Cut away any excess with a butter knife. And gently prick the bottom a few times with a fork.

  • Blind bake the pastry (i.e cooking the pastry without a filling) with either ceramic baking beans or use ordinary dried beans ( e.g kidney, barlotti etc). First place a sheet of greaseproof paper over the pastry, then carefully pour out the baking beans on top of the pastry to stop the pastry dough from rising.
  • Bake @ 200˙C for 10 minutes ; remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes.
  • Par boil the potatoes (keeping the skin on) in salted water. Once cooled, peel and grate.
  • Cut the Leeks in half, lengthways, and each length, cut into 1 to 2cm pieces.
  • Cut away the hard stalks of the mustard leaf and chop into pieces, (Not too finely cut as they will wilt during steaming) 
  • Steam the cut Leeks and Mustard Leaves for 4 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Bring together the grated Potatoes, steamed Leeks and Mustard Leaves. Add the cheese, roughly chopped jalapeño peppers and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place pastry dish on another baking tray and carefully spoon the potato mixture into the casing. DO NOT OVERFILL, keep the mixture loose. This will allow the egg custard to run into the gaps.
  • crack and beat 2 eggs in a jug and add the cream whisking all the time. Add salt and pepper and pour onto the potato mix carefully.
  • Place in a preheated oven at 200˙C and cook for 30-40 minutes. Check after 25 minutes giving the tray a gentle shake to see if the custard mixture is ‘wobbling’ or still runny.
  • If you see a wobble and is golden brown on the top. Turn the oven off at 30 minutes. And remove immediately. Remember it will carry on cooking even after it is removed from the oven.
  • Carefully remove quiche from the dish and serve either warm or cold.
Enjoy x

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