I wanted to get this one out before the last of the chard and other winter vegetables disappeared, to be replaced by summer ones. Although I make the quiche with chard, it can also be made using spinach. Over here we have two very distinct growing periods, as it is warm enough to have quite abundant winter and summer crops. It is a little different to many parts of Britain and certainly to where I was brung up.
Last week I mentioned, albeit briefly, that my local Spanish friends think I and indeed the British are a bit eccentric and often comment that we do everything the opposite to them. This is almost certainly inspired by the fact the the British drive on the “wrong” side of the road. Over the years I have come to realise that it is much more than that, in fact the British do many things the opposite way to what Spanish people do (a case of versa vice perhaps?).
Firstly Britain is not alone in driving on the left, there are more than 70 other countries that do likewise. Secondly and strangely considering that Spain is a Catholic Country, driving on the left was a Popish edict of 1300. They have obviously chosen to ignore the Pope on that one!
Not to take up too many pages on driving…… according to the local rag the Pope said all pilgrims should walk on the left side of the road. The French reversed this after their revolution, then expansionistic regimes pushed it out across the rest of Europe. Britain, as an island, was never converted.
Still on the subject of driving, what about the “points make prizes” system where traffic infractions are rewarded by points? It would seem that even here the Spain and Britain beg to differ. In Britain you get points added for infractions and one is liable for disqualification on reaching a total of 12 points. In Spain you start with 12 points, get points taken off for each infraction, and one is liable for disqualification on running out of points. I always wondered what would happen if I incurred points in Spain on my British driving licence…..
Still on conveyances, how about this one. I was out cycling with some friends. One of them had a mechanical problem with their bicycle which meant it couldn’t be ridden. I offered to exchange bicycles and we headed back with me running and pushing the broken one whilst they cycled alongside on mine. On the first downhill section the guy riding my bicycle almost came a right cropper….. neither he nor I had realised until that point that the brakes are the other way round. He pulled on what he thought was the back brake, only to lock up the front wheel!
For those of you who know Spanish, it will be no surprise to you that the adjectives come after the nouns, the opposite of in English. You might also know that the nouns are split into masculine and feminine, for example “hermano” (brother) or “hermana” (sister). The word for brothers and sisters is “hermanos” (siblings). Given that the word for both sexes together, “hermanos”, is the masculine form with the addition of an “s”, I can understand why in this age of sexual equality and political correctness, this usage is frowned upon by some.
Interestingly here again from what I hear there is a difference between Britain and Spain. In Spain they have opted for two solutions. They either substitute, for example, “hermanos” with “hermanos y hermanas”, which makes many communication overly long and inelegant, or they substitute “hermanos” with “herman@s”, much shorter I’ll grant but a rather ugly solution. I must admit to being in favour of neither, as for me both solutions overly complicate and destroy the flow of what is a beautiful language.
What I have seen from Britain is women asking to drop the female noun, particularly in the case of jobs. So for example taking the words actor and actress, actress would disappear leaving just actor. The argument being we are all the same so why do we need separate words for male and female…… it seems a far simpler solution and to me at least the underlying reasoning seems sound!
And last but not least, the Spanish put their wedding bands on their right ring finger, and not on the left as in Britain. It is perhaps a better and less sinistral / sinister option?
And so back to the quiche, and something both Spanish and Brits seem to be able to agree on. The word is written the same in both English and Spanish and, according to the dictionary at least, the pronunciation should be the same too! This one tastes great and I hope you like it:
Salmon and Chard Quiche
1 Egg white
200g Salmon fillet
150g Chard leaves
250ml Milk (From above)
1/8 tsp ground Black pepper
1 tsp fresh Marjoram
1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg
Take the lard and butter out of the fridge so that it is not too cold and hard….. it shouldn’t be soft though either, just take the chill off so that it can be mixed a little more easily!
Make the pastry:
Roughly dice the lard and butter.
Mix together the flour, salt and sugar then rub in the butter using the tips of your fingers. The resultant mixture should resemble breadcrumbs.
For more details on how to rub in please click here.
Add cold water little by little, cutting it into the flour until the mixture just starts to come together. Don’t overwork the dough, a cutting action will mix in the liquids gently. Just cut through the mixture and rotate the bowl slightly before cutting again. Knead to form a ball. The dough should not be too soft yet should hold its shape well. If it is too hard or still crumbly, cut in a drop more water.
For more details on how to cut in please click here.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Lightly butter a 23cm diameter loose bottomed tart pan.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until relatively thin. Line the prepared tart tin with the pastry. Prick the pastry base several times with a fork.
Do not trim off the excess around the top edge.
Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC.
Put a circle of greaseproof paper into the bottom of the pastry case and weigh down with natural dried beans or artificial ceramic ones.
Bake, called baking blind, for 15 minutes with the beans in place. Remove the beans and the paper and bake for a further 10 minutes without.
Whilst still hot, beat the egg white then carefully paint the base of the pastry case.
Season the fish then place in a small pan just covered with milk. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the fish can be easily flaked.
Remove the fish from the milk, reserving the fish and the milk for later.
Once the fish is cool, flake the flesh without making the pieces too small. It is good to be able to see nice pieces of salmon in the quiche.
Thinly slice the onions and the white stalks of the chard.
Fry in a little oil until soft. Don’t forget to season each ingredient as you add them to the pan.
Finely shred the green parts of the chard.
Add into the now soft onion mixture. Stir a little to mix then cover the pan. Cook gently until the leaves are cooked.
Once they are cooked, drain any excess oil from the vegetables.
Beat together the eggs and the milk adding a good pinch of salt per egg. Use the milk from the cooking of the salmon adding more fresh milk if necessary.
Beat in the black pepper and nutmeg.
Chop the marjoram and add into the egg mixture.
Place the cooked and drained vegetables into the base of the quiche. Arrange the salmon on top.
Pour over the egg mixture.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the already hot oven.
The tart should be slightly browned around the edges and the centre just set.
Leave to cool a little then trim off the excess pastry.
If you decide to use spinach instead, ignore the part about cooking the white chard stalks and add the spinach leaves in at the same time as the recipe says to add the green part of the chard leaves. The spinach leaves should take less time to cook too.
The two recipe links I have chosen for you this week is another quiche that uses chard and a recipe that uses salmon. I hope you like them:
tsp – Teaspoon – 5ml
tbsp – Tablespoon – 15ml
Imperial to Metric Measurement:
1 oz – 28g
1 lb – 16 oz – 454g
1 gill – ¼ pint – 142ml
1 inch – 25mm
Common Flour Types:
Gluten: 8% to 10%
Type: ES 70W
All-Purpose Flour / Plain Flour
Gluten: 8% to 11%
Type: DE 550 / FR 55 / IT 0 / ES 200W
Bread Flour / Strong Flour / Hard Flour
Gluten: 12% to 14% protein (gluten)
Type: DE 812 / FR 80 / IT 1 / ES 400W
2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge