Tuesday, March 30, 2021

quiche: cutaway views

I swear that this will be the last quiche-related blog post for the next while.  Here are the promised "slice" views of the megaquiche.

Click to enlarge:

And here's my slice, up close and personal, looking like the prow of a ship:

My boss came into the office with his wife today:  they had both been out shopping to help get the wife's new business up and running, so the Missus popped into our office for a few minutes and was immediately offered a hunk of quiche.  She enjoyed the quiche so much that she asked me whether she could take some home for her boys.  She ended up taking a whole quarter of the quiche (which was fine by me:  I'm happy when people like my food enough to take it home).  She also asked for a recipe.

And I think that's enough quicheblogging for the nonce.  I hope you've enjoyed this adventure as much as I have.  The going was tough, but the results have proved to be worth it.  I'll leave off with a thought:  in the past, I've made plenty of frittatas (e.g., here), and I've said that frittata is a cousin of quiche.  That claim needs to be unpacked a bit because the quiche/frittata relationship isn't as straightforward as I made it sound.  The two dishes share common DNA insofar as they are both heavy on eggs and cheese, and they can both include meats and vegetables like sausage, bacon, spinach, mushroom, and onions.  Beyond that, though, there are major differences.  The most obvious difference is both visual and structural:  a quiche comes in a pie crust, whereas a frittata generally doesn't have a crust.  Another difference, arguably not as obvious, is that a quiche is made with a thick custard, whereas a frittata is held together by eggs and cheese only, producing a noticeable difference in texture.  And lastly, there's a methodological difference:  you bake a quiche, but every Italian grandma will tell you that the best frittatas are prepared on a stovetop.  That takes skill:  on a stovetop, the nearly direct contact with the burner means you have to have a gentle, precise hand to make sure your eggs don't burn before the frittata's interior has a chance to cook through.  (I'm not sure, but I'd bet that frittatas don't always have to be totally cooked through.)  So, three differences:  crust, custard, and stovetop.  There may be further differences in terms of French vs. Italian herbs, but those differences will be relatively minor:  France is technically a Mediterranean country, given its southern coastline, so the French and Italian flavor profiles will have plenty of overlap.  I hope this was educational.  For me, making the huge quiche was definitely educational; I've made smaller quiches before, but never one this large.  There were a lot of moving parts to keep track of, which made the process a bit nerve-wracking, but I had fun.  And now... back to our regular programming.

EPILOGUE:  only one smallish piece of that gigantic quiche remains.  Both of my coworkers ate large slices of the quiche, and later in the day, so did my boss.  I had an interesting discussion with my Korean coworker about pies and pie shells; he recalled having made a meat pie for us, but as he pointed out, his pie's shell was too soft and chewy (I didn't say anything about his pie that day, but it's true:  the pie crust was too soft and strangely chewy... he'd followed the instructions of some Korean video, which was probably Mistake #1).  He chalked the problem up to moisture:  his crust had had too much water in it.  That's possible.  The weird chewiness might also have come from overworking the dough.  Anyway, the discussion with my coworker got me thinking that I might want to try making a more hardcore English meat pie:  the good old steak-and-ale pie, full of beef and mushrooms.


John Mac said...

It's interesting to me that all of your co-workers are "foodies" too. I can't imagine having a conversation at work about the texture of a pie crust. You are a lucky man!

Kevin Kim said...

My Korean coworker says he was inspired by all the food I kept bringing in to the office, which is what motivated him to make that meat pie (the other problem with his pie was all the damn onions he'd put into it!). So I guess he's turning into a foodie. My American coworker is married to a professional chef, so he "speaks foodie," if you will, although not fluently since he doesn't cook at his wife's level (or at mine, for that matter). My boss, of course, is no foodie at all. He's a talented talker, and maybe even a talented writer, but he doesn't speak the language of cooking even a little bit. That said, we all appreciate good food.