Thursday, May 3, 2012

What's a "squiche"?

This wasn't exactly the most successful encounter I've had in the kitchen, but it really was a learning curve. Basically, I was copying a recipe for vegetarian quiche, served in a roasted squash (hence squash + quiche = squiche!) which I'd found on Around Britain With a Paunch This blog is by a mysterious food wizard called Jonathan. I don't know a lot about him other than he seems to travel a lot, mostly to really beautiful parts of the English countryside, and he has a partner or fiance or wife or imaginary friend called Cowie. Also, if this guy is ANYTHING other than a professional chef, then I'm going to just shoot myself in the face & call it a day, as his dishes are AMAZING.
I knew I was out of my depth when the first line of his instructions said "so mix a quiche as you normally would", and I'm thinking "I've never even made a quiche before, let alone a squiche :( 
The ingredients were really great (wild mushrooms, garlic, capsicum, toasted pine nuts) but basically, all of the things that went wrong with my attempt at the dish were.

  • My butternut squashes weren't big enough to carry the quantity of quiche liquid as "bowls".
  • Pretty sure I lost a lot of the wild mushroom flavour by trying to rehydrate them in water.
  • The garlic didn't absorb into the squash enough, it lacked any strong flavour (I would make garlic butter next time, instead of loose garlic cloves.
  • I discovered I don't like the taste of tarragon, it's going with fennel onto the "don't like list"
  • I took it out of the oven too early, the squashes hadn't gotten to that super soft stage yet & their skin wasn't puckering (maybe par boiling them would've helped?)
In any case, it was still a nice dish, & only really suffered from my execution. The saving grace was a little contrasting salad of cucumber, radish, red onion, mint & feta. I don't know if it was the right kind of accompaniment for this, but I enjoyed it & it was a hit with the guests.

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