Manchego and Piquillo Peppers Mini Quiches

 

Manchego and Piquillo Pepper Quiche

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

You are going to love these Spanish inspired mini quiches; they are delicate and moist, the Manchego cheese (check my post Spanish burgers to find out more about Manchego Cheese & Piquillo peppers) adds a beautiful flavour without overpowering while the Piquillo peppers give the quiche not only and attractive reddish color but a delicate smokiness as well.

Manchego and Piquillo Pepper Quiche

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

I love them warm just as they are with no added sauces, so I don’t disturb the subtle flavours. Not very often I cook something without my signature garlic, or onion… but when I do, I keep telling to myself I should come out of the box more often, otherwise I will keep missing on amazing delicate flavours that otherwise will be partially shadowed by garlic & onion’s robust flavours. I have added some leek, which fakes the onion flavour a little, and counts as a veggie too, killing two birds with one stone.

These quiches are perfect for work lunches or picnics, as they are equally good served cold. Serve them with a simple mesclum or peppery rocket salad, if you want to up the “green factor” a little.

Quiche

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Manchego and Piquillo Peppers Mini-quiches

Yield: 5 Mini Quiches

Ingredients

  • 2 - 3 frozen ready-rolled savory shortcrust pastry, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 leek, white/light part thinly sliced & well rinsed
  • 40g (1.4 oz) Manchego Cheese, grated
  • 5 - 6 Piquillo peppers, from a jar (around 80g - 2.8oz)
  • 3 medium size free range eggs
  • 200g (7oz) creme fraîche (in a pinch you can use sour cream)
  • 1/3 cup milk (80 ml)
  • nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • salt & pepper
  • mesclum salad to serve

Directions

  1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 180° C (350° F) - for conventional ovens, increase temperature by 10 - 20 degrees. Place a baking tray in the oven. Lightly grease 5 x 9.5cm - 3.7in (base) loose-based fluted flan tins
  2. Cut 5 x 14cm (5.5in) rounds from pastry. Ease pastry into prepared dishes, extend over the edge; chill for 10 minutes. Trim. Prick base with fork
  3. Place tins in hot baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. remove from oven. Cool
  4. Heat butter in a frying pan over medium/low heat. Cook leek until soft (15 minutes) Remove from heat. Cool. Divide between pastry cases; top with grated Manchego cheese
  5. Whiz Piquillo peppers in a food processor until reduced to a puree
  6. In a big glass measuring jug, whisk together eggs, creme fraîche, milk, Piquillo puree, nutmeg & chives. Season to taste. Pour mixture evenly between pastry cases. Arrange on an oven tray
  7. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until filling is golden and just set. Serve warm or cold with a mesclum salad, dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/manchego-piquillo-peppers-mini-quiches/

Beef Burgers with Tuna Aioli

 

Beef Burgers with Tuna Aioli

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

I have to say, I am no expert when it comes to burgers, and pretty much everything I know I have learned it from this awesome website: www.amazingribs.com

I used to add all sorts to my burger patties until I decided to follow the “purist” in the burger department, and now I add nothing to them and just a minimum amount of exciting “add-ons” to complement the incredible pure beefiness of the burger patties. Then I season them generously on the outside and cook them in a hot cast iron pan, to leave the outside nicely charred while the inside is juicy and flavoursome.

These burgers in particular, are one of the best I have tried in a very long time; the tuna aioli somehow enhances the flavour of the meat and it truly shoots it to the next level. Of course the beef-tuna flavour combination is not new, there is an Italian classic called “Vitello Tonnato” that consists of slices of poached veal served with a tuna & anchovy mayonnaise, which I totally love. Definitely, the Italians know their stuff :0)

These days I love grinding my own meat, just because… the truth is that when I grind my own beef, the level of satisfaction rises above the starts, and although after much deliberation I purchased an old style manual grinder (which proved to be absolutely useless) I now use the simplest of food processors for the task, and it does a fantastic job just with the little blades!

Processor
Grinding my own meat, not handling the ground beef too much together with seasoning the patties on the outside just before cooking, totally does the trick, and something so simple as freshly ground beef, with the right pairings, ends up transformed into a well-crafted luxurious burger nothing short of burger perfection!

Beef Burgers with Tuna Aioli

Yield: 4 Burgers

Ingredients

  • 500g (1lb) ground beef (the leaner you go, the drier the patty will be; so I will leave up to you! ;0)
  • salt & pepper
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • 1 big tomato sliced
  • 20 baby gherkins, halved horizontally
  • Red onion, sliced (optional)
  • 4 burger buns, halved & toasted
  • oil spray
  • Tuna Aioli
  • 5 tablespoons homemade aioli
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 - 2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained & chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 50g (1.7 oz) tuna in oil, drained

Directions

  1. Shape the ground beef into 4 equal-sized patties. Try not to compact the meat too much, as the denser the patty the tougher the burger will be. Season burgers generously with salt and pepper (like you would do with your steaks)
  2. Heat a medium size cast iron pan (or any other heavy bottomed pan) over medium/high heat. Spray with oil and cook the burgers about 4 minutes on each side or until patties are cooked all the way through
  3. Tuna Aioli
  4. While the burgers are cooking, place all the tuna aioli ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth
  5. To Assemble your Burgers
  6. Place tomato & Lettuce on the bottom half bun; top with cooked beef patty & gherkins. Spread a good dollop of tuna aioli in the cut side of the top bun and place on top of the gherkins to finish off burgers
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/beef-burger-tuna-aioli/