Tuesday 26 January 2010

January 2007 - Crustless Ham and Spinach Quiches

I was really spoilt for choice in issue #56. Jamie Oliver's Lychee Martini was very hard to pass up, in fact the only reason I did was because vermouth was just a bit pricey for me at the moment. I considered Valli Little's Labne with mangoes and honey, but I had already done my sweet dish for the month and there was also the jelly cakes so something sweet was not to be. I almost chose to make Valli's Stuffing Burgers. The recipe used the meat from turkey sausages which I knew that I wouldn't be able to source here but I can normally procure turkey mince. Unfortunately there wasn't any available when I went shopping. That left me with my fourth eye-catching recipe; Jill Dupleix's Crustless Ham & Spinach Quiches.

I will admit up front that I adore Jill's recipes I have a number of her books and cook from them regularly. Her recipes are normally easy, tasty, fresh and healthy and this one definitely fit the bill. Another appeal of this recipe was that it would be something that could be eaten hot on the day of cooking but also cold on subsequent days and would be perfect for lunches. I tend to come home from work for lunch but since I am normally late getting away and then stop at the post office to collect mail I usually don't have a lot of time to be pfaffing around in the kitchen so I like to have something in the fridge that I can just throw on a plate (or straight from a container) to eat.

Stuffing around with the squares of baking paper to line the muffin pan was a pain and I think that in future I either wouldn't bother or I would use the Multix Muffin Cafe Collection Wraps that are used here. I have never used them myself but it has to be easier to just pull them out of the box and but them in the tin instead of squishing and folding and re-folding...argh!

Crustless ham and spinach quiches

Makes 8 (I only got 6)

  • 1 bunch English spinach, leaves picked (I used baby spinach)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 100 ml milk or pure (thin) cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan or gruyere
  • Melted unsalted butter, to brush
  • 2 thick slices (about 80 g) ham, roughly chopped
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Cut eight 14 cm squares of baking paper and press in to line eight 1/3-cup (80 ml) muffin holes.
  • Blanch the spinach in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute or until wilted. (I steamed mine) Drain and refresh in cold water, squeeze dry and roughly chop.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk or cream, chives or parsley and cheese Season with salt and pepper.
  • Brush the baking paper with a little melted butter. Scatter spinach and ham in each hole, fill with egg mix and top with tomato halves, cut side up.
  • Bake in the oven for 18 - 20 minuted until just set. Set aside to cool in the muffin pan.
I served mine with a Watermelon, cucumber, feta and olive salad a lovely refreshing lunch.

Crustless spinach & ham quiches & watermelon salad

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