Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Missing croutons remains found under a quiche

Today, I lost a battle with a few old croutons but I think I am still slowly becoming an expert in turning leftovers into decent meals. Well, the word 'expert' might not be appropriate here but I did produce something edible out of something that was frankly too old and too hard to be eaten as is.

I am talking about the quiche I cooked tonight. I know eggs again... I love eggs; I probably reincarnated from some sort of egg eating animal such as the snake or the skunk. Anyway, the point is that a pile of stale, not to say rock hard, bread, looked at me in the eyes today and challenged me to produce something good out of them (or was it that I had hallucinations again?)... I found their tone quite pompus which irritated me. As if they never heard of my culinary genius; after all I baked these little 'multigrain' bastards (as in 'pain bâtard') all by myself!

So I put on my Iron Chef apron and attacked the insolent old croutons. At first, I gave them a taste of hell by toasting them in the oven to get rid all any residual moisture in them. Then, I broke their brittle bones and tore them into pieces bare hands. And only at that point did I place their remains in my mini food processors to hide the evidences. But even then, I was still left with the crumbs...

I now had another problem to solve; like the Mickey Mouse magician in Fantasia, I simply multiplied my problem... from a dozen of bread slices I now had to face thousands of those tiny bits. Bread crumbs are like debts, when you have too much of it, you have to consolidate! So I added two eggs and some oil to the crumbs to form a dough that I used to mould some sort of pie crust in my quiche dish. I was quite proud of myself then and realized that, to my surprise, I was responding to the challenge of the now defunct croutons.

I then baked my crust thinking that nothing could go wrong from now on: no more insolent croutons! But I was wrong! After baking my crust for 20 minutes, I returned to the oven to realize that my beautiful crust was cracked.

I nonetheless prepared a custard and some flavouring ingredients (rehydrated dried poblano peppers, ham and skinless peppers) and filled the crust. It still looked neat. The crust was almost entirely covered. No evidences of the crouton carnage or the cracks were detectable with the naked eye.

I then cooked the quiche for a good 40 minutes, finishing it under broil for the last 5 minutes. The quiche looked nice and smelled good... I had won over those arrogant croutons... or so I thought! At the end, the quiche was good but the crust was slightly lifted in its center (because of the cracks in it) and tasted exactly like the bread I was so desperately trying to get rid of. Well, I should have expected something like that to happen. The main problem however was that this bread was made with very flavourful flours, and especially buckwheat flour, which totally overpowered the flavour of the eggs and the other ingredients.

Those croutons won over me... this time. But I didn't pronounce my last word yet; I'll rework this recipe using the milder melba toasts and, at the end, I'll finally rule over the world of quiches and croutons! Ha! Ha! Ha!

1 comment:

yanyan said...

Your blogs are getting more and more readable, more readable than edible, at least in the case of the quiche.