Archive for July, 2009

Recipe For Meatloaf – Ideal for a Cold Summer’s evening!

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The weather has been truly awful over the last few days – rain, rain and more rain.  It’s turned my mind towards thinking about terrines.  Terrines are really versatile – you can have the cold on a warm summers day served with new potatoes and salad, or warm them up for a meatloaf style supper indoors when it is tipping it down outside.

This is one of our mainstays – it is a meatloaf and is best served warm.  I’ll do another recipe for a cold terrine over the weekend.

3tbsp    olive oil
2          celery sticks, chopped into 1cm long pieces
2          onions, finely chopped
675g     minced organic beef (the best you can find)
2          free range eggs, lightly whisked
200ml   double cream
3tbsp    tomato ketchup (we like Meridian as Heinz is too sweet)
1tbsp    dark beer, such as a Sam Smith’s Yorkshire (optional)
30g       Parmesan, finely grated
Dash of red Tabasco sauce (not the green one)
½tsp     Steenbergs Terrine Spices (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200oC.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and then add the celery and onions.  Fry over a low heat until softened and the onions are translucent.  Leave the cool.

Put the eggs, double cream, ketchup, Parmesan and Tabasco into a mixing bowl.  Add the spices, salt & pepper and mix together.  Add the onions and celery and mix together.  Now add the beef mince and mix together thoroughly.

Spoon into a terrine, cover and place into a roasting tin.  Pour boiling water into the roasting tin until it’s about halfway up the terrine pot and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Serve warm with new potatoes and freshly picked beans or broad beans.

Herbs and Spices for Your Health

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Herbal medicine has historically been the primary approach to acute and chronic health problems – this remains the case still in many countries.  We often forget that herbal medicine is the most enduring form of treatment and is still used by 80% of the global population as a key component in healthcare.

In the UK, botany and medicine were closely linked until the 19th century.  Later, with the development of the NHS in the UK, there was an almost permanent break in use of herbs and spices in British medicine.  Yet, in Germany, doctors still routinely prescribe herbs to patients.  About 70% of Germany’s population has used herbal products while in the UK the corresponding figure is 20%.

Personally, I have every evening an infusion of freshly picked rosemary after supper and I use echinacea for colds during the wintertime and the Ayurvedic triphala herbal blend for the digestive system.

Aniseed aids the digestion and is good for small children suffering from diarrhoea.  With honey, the tea disperses flatulence and for asthma, the tea should be drunk warm; if fennel is added, it helps to ease bronchial catarrh.  Chewing aniseed induces sleep and a few seeds taken in warm water will cure hiccups.

All chillies are used medicinally as carminatives, stimulants and aids to digestion and relaxes a sore throat.  They are taken as a good source of vitamin C; also, for treatment of dropsy, diarrhoea, lumbago, rheumatism, toothache and gout.

Caraway can be used as a tisane to ease digestive and bowel complaints and it is safe to give to children who generally like the flavour.  The seeds can be chewed after a meal to dispel dyspepsia and sweeten the breath.

Chamomile has a soothing effect and is used a tisane for abdominal pains, nervous upsets, cystitis, dilated veins and rheumatism – it can also be used as a mouth rinse for toothache and inflammation.  Infusions can be added to steam baths or as compresses for skin troubles (boils, abscesses, eczema), conjunctivitis, haemarrhoids earache and cramp.

Cinnamon is astringent and carminative.  It is a strong stimulant for the glandular system, and being an antacid is helpful for stomach upsets and diarrhoea.  Cinnamon is good for colds and sore throats.  In earlier days, it was used as a breath sweetener, as a tonic for the whole system and was given as a sedative to mothers during childbirth.

Cloves help in treating acidity, thirst, nausea, dysuria, liver dysfunctions, semen disorders, colds and breathing problems.

Couchgrass has been used since the 16th century for cleansing the blood, rheumatic complaints, diseases of the bladder and as a diuretic.  It was much praised by Culpeper who used it for all kidney complaints.

Dandelion is recommended for diabetics since its sugars do not burden the metabolism.  Dandelion juice has a general strengthening effect on the body systems and is said to be a cure for various ailments such as eczema, blood diseases, loss of appetite and dropsy.  Dandelion juice, mixed with agrimony and made into tea, is a well known relief for rheumatism and arthritis.  Dandelion’s bitter principles are said to strengthen the stomach, improve digestion and have a beneficial effect on the liver, kidneys and gall bladder.

Fennel seed is a good digestive spice and is used for babies’ gripe water or chewed as a breath freshener.  It is helpful medicinally for earache, toothache, coughs and asthma.  Fennel seeds stimulate milk production in expectant mothers and are sometimes indicated as being good for weight loss.  The seeds are good for the eyes and maybe be infused in water to make a soothing eye lotion.

Garlic cloves can be crushed and infused in water or milk and taken for all digestive disorders and will keep high blood pressure down.  It has an antiseptic effect good for infectious diseases and inflammations of the stomach and intestine.  It may be used in the treatment of gall bladder and liver troubles, headaches, fits, faintness and skin blemishes.

Lavender has a tranquillising effect; even inhaling its scent will calm troubled nerves and depressed spirits.  The leaves and flowers can be used to make a tea for heart palpitations, headaches, fainting, migraine and insomnia.  For headache and faintness, a cold lavender compress may be applied to the temples.

Nutmeg was once used to protect against Black Death, but is now used as an expectorant and stimulant that is beneficial for insomnia.  It is helpful against flatulence and vomiting, and it helps the digestion generally.  In severe case of diarrhoea grate ½ nutmeg and take in a dessertspoon of rum.

Onions have antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, detoxicant, anthalmintic and antisposmadic qualities.  They should be included in the daily diet to discourage coughs and colds.  It helps in reducing blood pressure, cleansing the blood generally and in kidney troubles.  It also helps to promote digestion, stimulating the appetite and fortifies the nerves, heart and glands.  Raw onion juice rubbed on to arthritic and rheumatic joints is believed to relieve the pain.

The ancient Aryans considered black pepper as a powerful remedy for various used for disorders of the bodily system, while the Egyptians used it for embalming.  Nowadays, it is used in India for treating coughs and colds, fevers, lack of appetite, indigestion, worms and flatulence.  For a cold, take 5 – 15 grains of pepper, grind to a fine powder, taken with honey or sugar; or gargle several times a day with pepper powder in a solution of water to ease a sore throat.

Rosemary has a reputation for strengthening the brain and the memory if applied to the outside of the head.  This is because it has properties that expand the tissues to which it is applied so increasing the blood supply to those tissues.  Used as an infusion, it is beneficial for the heart and circulation – we often use it as a digestive after a rich meal.

Sage tea is used as a tonic for the nerves and blood, and used as a lotion, is said to improve the condition of hair and skin.  As a mouthwash, it helps to keep teeth white.  Leaves among clothes discourage insects and rodents.  Red sage tea is an old remedy for sore throats.

Turmeric is fundamental to Indian medicine with various properties, including the treatment of skin allergies, diabetes, blood impurities, anaemia, jaundice, fever, worms, stomach disorders, anorexia, coughs and Alzheimer’s.  Turmeric is used in India boiled with milk and sugar for a cold and as a remedy for flatulence and liver complaints.  Scientists have identified curcumin oil as a chemical trigger that induces haem-oxygenase, which operates as part of the human defence against free radicals.  Curcumin has also been shown to be a powerful antiseptic, to guard against liver damage and assist in cancer treatment.

Observer’s 50 best gourmet goodies

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

 

In case you missed it, Steenbergs was listed in The Observer in Caroline Boucher’s 50 best gadgets and gourmet goodies on 19th July:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/19/top-food-gadgets

Recipe – Sweet Oriental Duck

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Cooking your own Chinese style food is amazingly easy and tastes a load better than buying something from the supermarket.  There are some truly simple & quick meals that you can make.

Ingredients

4 duck breasts (about 450g)
2tsp Steenbergs Chinese 5 spice
4tbsp clear honey
Chinese egg noodles
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
350g mange tout, cut in half
4 spring onions, sliced lengthways
2tbsp sunflower oil
2tsp sesame oil

Preheat oven to 180oC.

While the oven is warming up, place the duck breasts on a roasting tray.  Rub ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice into each duck breast and then pour over 1tbsp of the clear runny honey.  Leave the marinade for about half an hour.

Put the duck in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.  In the last 5 minutes while the duck is cooking, boil the egg noodles until cooked.

Heat a wok or heavy frying pan over a high heat.  Add 2tbsp sunflower oil and 2 tsp sesame oil and heat until hot but not smoking.  Add the onions and garlic and stir-fry until soft.  Add the mange tout and stir fry for about 2 minutes.

Take the duck from the oven and thinly slice.  Put some egg noodles onto each plate and then neatly layer some of the sliced roasted duck breast on top.  Place some of the stir-fried vegetables around the duck breast.

Eat immediately.

Recipe – Fennel Braised In Milk

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

This is an unusual, but great, Italian style way of making fennel as a vegetable.  It’s really great with a traditional English roast chicken.

Ingredients

900g fennel bulbs
1tsp sea salt – more or less to taste
½ tsp organic cinnamon
½ tsp organic nutmeg, freshly grated
½ tsp organic black pepper, freshly ground
200ml full fat milk
120ml double cream
1tsp sugar

Clean fennel, remove bruised parts and the stalks.  Blanch in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then drain and cut into 2.5cm segments.

Put the spices and 150ml milk in a pan and add the fennel.  Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 20 minutes, or until tender.  Add more milk if the fennel looks dry and turn it around to ensure that it is cooked all over.  At the end of the cooking there should be no liquid left.

Pour over the cream and add the sugar.  Stir gently and cook for 5 minutes.

Recipe for Fennel Salad

Monday, July 20th, 2009

I love fennel.  It’s one of those underused but truly delicious vegetables.  I love its aniseed-like flavour and its texture.  It tastes delicious cold in a salad or warm cooked as a vegetable.  The Italians love it, so I love it.

To make a fennel salad:

To serve two, you’ll need:

1 fennel bulb
1 red onion or 2 spring onions
1 small handful parsley
½ lemon, squeezed
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Chop the fennel bulb into thin rings and put in bowl.  Slice the onion finely and separate into rings and put into bowl.  Pour lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper into a jug and mix together with whisk or fork.  Pour over vegetables and toss together.  Garnish with parsley.

Some facts about Ripon

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

 

A potted history if Ripon

 

The church at Ripon was originally established by Eata, Abbott of Melrose.  Eata is maybe best known as the original mentor of St Cuthbert, who came to his monastery in 651 after having a divine vision while shepherding his flock of sheep.  Intriguingly, Eata asked St Cuthbert to come with him to help with the new monastery that was being built at Ripon, but St Cuthbert did not like Ripon and sneaked back to Melrose as fast as he could.  Eata and Cuthbert later left Melrose and went to Lindisfarne.

 

In 661, St Wilfrid started rebuilding an Abbey in Ripon called St Peter’s, which was completed in 672.  He was 27 and hired craftsmen from France to undertake the stonemasonry.  In 664, St Wilfrid sat as an expert at the Synod of Whitby where he championed the cause of Rome over the indigenous Celtic Christian Church;  Rome came out on top at the Treaty of Whitby.  In 665, he became Bishop of York.  He died in Oundle but was buried at Ripon where he is the Patron Saint of the City.

 

In 715, the city was called Hrypis which translates as “place of the tribe called Hrype”.

 

In 886, King Alfred the Great supposedly gave Ripon its original Royal Charter.

 

In 924, King Athelstan granted the Church of Ripon the privilege of sanctuary, which extended a mile on either side the Church. These boundaries remain in the names of Kangel Cross, Sharow Cross and Athelstan Cross.   

 

In 950, this town and monastery were burnt by the Danes. Ripon monastery was rebuilt by Odo, Archbishop of Canterbury. Ripon itself was soon also rebuilt and began to flourish.

 

In 1069, Ripon suffered like the rest of the North during the “Harrying of the North” when King William I went through the North of England aggressively asserting his Rule.  In 1086, Ripum (or Ripon) was written about in the Domesday Book as follows:

 

“In the liberty of Ripon, there may be 10 ploughs – Eldred, Archibishop, held this manor – Thomas, Archbishop, now has in this demesne 2 ploughs and 1 mill of 10 shillings, and one fishery of 3 shillings and eights villeins, and 10 bordars, having 6 plough-meadows and 10 acres of coppice wood.”

 

In 1640, King Charles I signed the Treaty of Ripon with the Scottish Covenanters after the Second Bishops’ War.  The Covenanters wanted to replace religious rule by Bishops in Scotland with Presbyterianism, based on Rule by Church Courts; they were formed after Charles I introduced an Anglican-style Prayer Book into the Scottish Churches which upset the Scottish nobles and the Scottish people.  This led to the First Bishops’ War that ended with the Treaty of Berwick.  One consequence of the Treaty of Berwick was that a session was held in the Edinburgh Assembly which stated that Bishops could not hold political office as this was against the law of God and which in effect meant that absolute Royal power in Scotland was over.  This position was untenable for Charles I and so he prepared himself to wage a second war against the Covenanters or Scotland, but he was thrashed before he could start.  The Scots launched a pre-emptive strike occupying Northumberland and Newcastle.  The situation was resolved at the Treaty of Ripon, which was a truly humiliating setback for King Charles I that required him to cede Northumberland (including Newcastle) and County Durham to the Scots for a period and to pay them £850 to station their armies there.  The Treaty also required the holding of a session of Parliament, which became known as the Long Parliament, and was a precursor to the English Civil War.

 

In 1836, Ripon Minster became Ripon Cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.

 

In 2008, the traditional Ripon Pancake Race was ended because of Health & Safety concerns.  However, in 2009, the Ripon Pancake Race was reinstated. 

 

Other Ripons

 

Ripon Falls is the original source of the River Nile, being one of the natural outlets of Lake Victoria; it’s in Uganda.  It was “discovered” in 1862 by John Hanning Speke who named it after George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon (see below).  The construction of the Owen Falls Dam (now called Nulabaale Power Station) in 1954 resulted in Lake Victoria being artificially extended and the submerging of Ripon Falls, so this important geographical feature is no more.

 

In India, there are at least 3 places named after George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon, who was Viceroy of India (see below for more on Lord Ripon):

  1. Riponpet is a village in the Shimoga District of Karnataka in land from the sea; it is about 34 kilometres west of Shimoga and 10km south of Anandapuram. 
  2. The town of Ripon is in the Wayanad Plateau of Northern Kerala in Southern India.  Ripon has a wonderful tea plantation called the Ripon Tea Estate which produces a good Nilgiri Tea, as well as selling a bagged black tea into the local Indian market called Ripon Tea.
  3. The seat of the Chennai Corporation (originally Municipal Corporation of Madras) is called the Ripon Building.  It was built in 1909 – 1913 following the Indo-Saracenic design of Loganatha Mudaliar.  Lord Ripon is a popular Governor-General of British Inida as he is viewed as the Father of Indian Self-Government.

 

Ripon is a town in the Font du Lac County of Wisconsin in the United States of America.  It was founded in 1849 by a New York steamboat captain, David P. Mates.  Ripon has a population of 6,828.  Ripon is considered on of the birthplaces of the Republican Party in the USA – on 28 February 1854, 30 opponents of the Nebraska Act met in a schoolhouse in Ripon and decided to found a new political party, which they suggested should be called the Republican Party.  The Republican Party was centred on the concept of no further compromise with slavery whereas traditional conservatives were happy to enter into a comporomise with the Southern States.  These radicals was instrumental in creating the Republican Party across the northern states during the summer of 1854 with the first official meeting of the Republican Party taking place in Jackson, Michigan.  There is Republican think tank called the Ripon Society.

 

Ripon in the San Jaoquin County of California was originally called Murphy’s Ferry and is named after Ripon in Wisconsin, USA.  It has a population of 10,146 and is primarily agricultural and well known for its almonds.

 

Ripon is a rural electoral district within Western Victoria in Australia of 12,020 square kilometres and 49,928 people.   Towns include Ararat, Maryborough, Skipton and Stawell.  Ripon District is a centre of agriculture, wine making, timber industries, manufacturing, wool production, paper milling, knitting mills and tourism.

Chinese Tea Ceremony

Friday, July 17th, 2009

TEA CEREMONIES IN A MING DYNASTY STYLE

The following extracts are adapted from the Châ’a Shu, a manual prepared by Hsü Jan-Ming in the Ming Dynasty, when loose leaf teas were prepared in a teapot and drunk from cups. In previous dynasties, tea was in a cake form.

Infusion:

Have the utensils ready to hand and make sure they are perfectly clean. Set them out on the table, putting down the teapot lid inner face upwards or laying it on a saucer. The inner face must not come into contact with the table, as the smell of the table or food could spoil the taste of the tea. After boiling the water it should be placed in the pot, then you should take some tea leaves and throw them in. Now replace the lid on the teapot. Wait for as long as it takes to breathe in and out 3 times before pouring the tea into the cups and then pour it straight back into the teapot so as to release the fragrance. After waiting for the space of another 3 breaths to let the leaves settle, pour out the tea for your guests. If this method is used, the tea will taste very fresh and its fragrance will be delicious. Its effect will be to produce well-being, banish weariness and raise your spirits.

Drinking:

A pot of green tea should not be replenished more than once. The first infusion will taste deliciously fresh; the second will have a sweet and pure taste, whereas the third would be insipid. Therefore, the quantity of water in the kettle should never be too much. However, rather than have too little, there should be enough for some to be poured on the tea leaves after the second infusion, as it will continue to emit a pleasant aroma and can be used for cleansing the mouth after meals.

Guests:

If one’s guests are in a boisterous mood, it is better to give them wine to drink and, if they get somewhat tipsy, follow this up with a pot of strong (ordinary) black tea. It is only in the company of one’s own kind, just those with whom one can talk quietly about anything under the sun without formality, that one should brew up some good tea. The extent to which the serving of the tea is or is not completely informal will depend on the number of guests.

Tea room:

This should be close to one’s study – it is good to have a small tea room that is spacious, clean, well lit and comfortable. Against the wall place two portable stoves. Outside the tea room, there should be a wooden stand for utensils in which water is stored and a small table for the various accessories, as well as a rack for hanging teacloths. These objects should be brought into the tea room only when required. All should have covers to keep them free from dirt that might affect the tea.

Times for drinking tea:

  • In idle moments
  • Thoughts confused
  • Beating time to songs
  • When the music stops!
  • Living in seclusion
  • Enjoying scholarly pastimes
  • Conversing late at night
  • Studying on a sunny day
  • In the bridal chamber
  • Detaining favoured guests
  • Playing host to scholars or pretty people
  • Visiting friends returned from far away
  • In perfect weather
  • When skies are overcast
  • Watching boats gliding past
  • Amidst trees or in the garden
  • When flowers are in bud and the birds are singing
  • On hot days
  • After drunken friends have left
  • When youngsters have gone out
  • When viewing temples or scenic rocks

How to Make a Good Cup of Tea

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

There is nothing worse than a dishwater-tasting cup of tea.

We seem to have forgotten how to make tea – whether it’s the result of a lack of time or trying unsuccessfully to extract some flavour from tea bags. Why is this? Is brewing tea an art form that requires an indulgent muse or a sacrifice to some un-named tea god? Or is proper tea brewing the product of military discipline or a Zen-like calm?

Actually, all it needs is a little patience, some good quality tea, clean water and to follow some basic rules. The key in making tea is (as in everything) to practice, practice and practice again.

Granny used to make tea following the Mrs Beeton method:

The old-fashioned plan of allowing a teaspoonful to each person, and one over, is still practised.  Warm the teapot with boiling water; let it remain for two or three minutes for the vessel to become thoroughly hot, then pour it away.  Put in the tea, pour in ½ to ¾ pint of boiling water, close the lid and let it stand for to tea to draw from 5 to 10 minutes; then fill up the pot with water.  The tea will be quite spoiled unless made with water that is actually boiling, as the leaves will not open, and the flavour not be extracted from them; the beverage will consequently be colourless and tasteless, – in fact nothing but tepid water.  Where there is a very large tea party to make tea for, it is a good plan to have two teapots instead of putting a large quantity of tea into one pot; the tea, besides, will go father.  When the infusion has been once completed, the addition of fresh tea adds very little to the strength; so if more is required, have the pot emptied of the old leaves, scalded, and fresh tea made in the usual manner. (Beetons Book of Household Management, 1861)

But it is much simpler than that.  The key is to follow some golden rules.

A ROUGH GUIDE TO TEA MAKING

These are my golden tea-making rules:

  • Fill the kettle with freshly-drawn cold water which is well mixed with oxygen (boiled water has lost its oxygen). Oxygen is vital to bring out the taste and aroma
  • Fill the tea-pot with boiling water, to warm the tea-pot and so prevent the brew from cooling too quickly then pour out as more water comes to the boil
  • Measure the organic tea carefully: for strong organic Fairtrade tea, use 1 teaspoon per person and 1 for the pot; for large leaf organic Fairtrade teas, ½ teaspoon per pot is ideal (or see our more detailed charts below)
  • Fill the kettle with more freshly-drawn cold water, pour away warm water in tea-pot and pour the new water into the pot as it boils, because off-the-boil water makes very dull tea. Infuse for 5 minutes (see below). A quick brew never gets the full flavour from the organic tea leaves, whereas a long brew is astringent
  • Add milk first, because milk dissolves better in hotter liquid
  • Ceramic and china teapots keep warmer for longer and don’t taint the tea. Even better are cast iron tea pots, although they are a bit expensive. Never ever bleach the teapot
  • Sit back, relax and enjoy!

AXEL’S TEA BREWING CHARTS

Here’s Axel’s overview table of everything about making organic Fairtrade tea:

Tea type Tsp in pot Milk Strength Time of day
         
Darjeeling 2 – 3 O 2 PM
First Flush Darjeeling 1 N 1 PM
Assam 3 – 4 Y 3 Allday
Ceylon 3 – 4 Y 4 Allday
Orange Pekoe 2 – 3 O 3 Allday
Earl Grey 1 – 3 O 2 Allday
Green tea 1 N 1 PM
Jasmine 1 N 1 PM
Lapsang Souchong 1 N 1 PM
Yunnan 1 – 3 O 2 PM
Keemun 1 – 3 O 2 PM
Japanese Sencha 1 N 1 PM
Nilgiri 2 – 4 O 2 PM
         

Key: Y = Yes O = optional N = No

Here’s a handy table that gives a little more detail on tea brewing times:

Tea type Brewing time Water temperature
     
Black teas 5 minutes Boiling water
Green teas 3 minutes Let water cool for about 1 minute after coming to the boil; it should be 65 – 70°C (150 – 175°F)
Oolong tea 7 minutes Let the water rest for 30 seconds after coming to the boil
Herbal infusions 5 minutes Boiling water
     

For these tables, we have assumed a classic family-sized tea pot – enough for 6 cups.

Recipe for Yellow Sunny Quiche Lorraine

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

 

It was a beautifully, sunny morning today.  The sun infused the morning with a wonderfully warm light.  I gave me the urge to make quiche (or qwich as some people I know want to call it).  This is an earthy lunch to make that can be eaten over a few days cold or reheated; it’s ideal to take to work for a nutritious packed lunch togther with a simple green salad or a tomato & basil salad.

 

The basic quiche

 

Ingredients

 

350g     shortcrust pastry, thawed if frozen

250ml   milk

150ml   double cream

2          whole free range eggs

1          free range egg yolk

175g     grated cheddar cheese, or gruyere (I actually do a mix of cheddar and gruyere or Jarlsberg)

1          mild onion, finely chopped

175g     rindless bacon, chopped into 1-2cm dices

1tbsp    sunflower oil

Salt & Steenbergs black pepper, to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 200oC.  Roll out the pastry and line a 20cm flan tin.  Prick the pastry a few times, put some dry beans in the base to allow you to bake and bake for about 15 minutes.  The beans put some density into the pastry to prevent to pastry base from going out of shape while baking blind.

 

Reduce the heat of the oven to 160oC.

 

Heat sunflower oil in frying pan.  Fry the onions until translucent, then remove with slotted spoon.  Fry the bacon bits until crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon.

 

Put the milk, cream and eggs into a mixing bowl and lightly whisk.  Add half the cheese, the fried onions and bacon and lightly whisk. Then pour into the baked pastry.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the filling.

 

Bake for 30 minutes or more until set.

 

Other ideas for quiche

 

The basic quiche above is a delicious simple piece of country fare that is great hot or eaten cold for a picnic or after harvesting (not that many of us harvest these days except perhaps in the allotment).

 

But you can use this underlying theme to create an infinite variety of flavours, so here are some additional ingredients you could use:

 

1          red pepper, seeded and very finely sliced; roasted in oven

5          asparagus tips, lightly fried in olive oil

2          large tomatoes, thinly sliced

2          courgettes, thinly sliced and lightly fried in olive oil