Before you ask, I don't quite know what possessed me to make a crust with those green strips sticking out at the top, but there it is. We all just have to live with it....besides, they didn't really make any difference to the overall taste of this quiche. A little bit of aesthetics (or eyesore, whichever side you're on) never killed anyone, it just makes you see things in a different way.
This week's recipe on French Fridays with Dorie, our funkylicious online cooking group, is Spinach and Bacon Quiche...or rather, it was supposed to be. Due to dietary needs, I couldn't incorporate bacon into the dish, so I had to go with an alternative that was just as smoky and delicious - tofu strips marinated in smoky barbeque sauce. Now, meat purists would probably throw their arms up in the air and shriek their disdain that "Tofu is NOT meat...It's from a plant, for heavens sakes!" Agreed, but once the strips were fried to crispness, sliced and mixed in with the rest of the filling, you couldn't really tell any difference. If it makes anyone feel better, let's just call it tofu bacon and move on...
Delicious impostors: Tofu strips slathered in Smoky BBQ sauce and water spinach
As for the other main ingredient, I didn't have regular nor baby spinach on hand so I used its cousin, water spinach, instead. Water spinach or kangkung is a regular feature in many Southeast-Asian dishes and they usually can be found in Chinese supermarkets. We always seem to have a bunch of these lying around in the kitchen somewhere so it was just convenient to utilise them.
And the crust... oh yes I know you're all waiting for an explanation for this madness. I mean, it wasn't like I planned it or anything. On a whim, I pinched off about half-a-fistful of my regular dough, kneaded in a teaspoon of matcha (green tea) powder and rolled this dough into thin ropes about the size of French green beans. The ropes were cut into 1-inch strips and lined upright at intervals alongside the edge of the tart pan. I then made thicker ropes with the regular dough and also lined them alongside the edge of the pan. Using my well-practiced press-into-and-upwards technique, I smooshed the regular dough against the edge of the pan and on top of the matcha strips until the regular dough reaches the top of the pan. In the process, the green strips will be pushed up at the top as they are being squished, such are the laws of physics. Anyway, don't bother reading this paragraph twice but just look at the pictures above and below and you'll probably get everything that I've just said in a glance.
I'm glad to report that everyone in the house loved this quirky-looking quiche. At first, my teenage son eyed the strips with some suspicion (despite the fact that I've been his mother his entire life! Did he expect that I'd changed? LOL). After finding out that the matcha hardly affected the overall taste of the tart, however, he happily dug into it.
I tried my best to stick to Dorie's recipe this week, I really did. But as you can see, I am born with renegade genes that simply wouldn't let me follow exact orders. Like the striped crust, I guess I'll just have to live with it.
This recipe comes out of Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Around My French Table (pages 160-161). If you have the book, do join us every Friday as everyone in the FFWD group tries to cook the same recipe. To check out their quiche creations, click here.