Sunday, 7 September 2008

Quiche Lorraine with White Wine – Chateau Saint Thibeaud (£5.30)

Quiche is easy to make and is delicious straight out of the oven on a cold, wet night. Quiche Lorraine is a classic French dish but quiche actually originated in Germany, in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, under German rule, and which the French later renamed Lorraine. The word ‘quiche’ is from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake.

Upper Lotharingia became the duchy of Lorraine, the nucleus of which survived until 1766. Lorraine was the object of territorial disputes between France and Germany for a thousand years, and both still covet the region. Lorraine is the only French region to have borders with three other countries: Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany and it also borders the French regions of Alsace, Champagne and the Franche Comté.

The Quiche Lorraine that we know today is rather different from the original, which did not include cheese and had a crust made of bread dough. Recipes vary for Quiche Lorraine and this is my variation.

Quiche Lorraine

1 layer pastry dough (you can make your own or buy frozen)
8 slices smoked bacon
1 large onion
5 eggs
1 large carton double cream
pinch salt
pinch white pepper
pinch grated nutmeg
140g Gruyere cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 375ºF/180ºC. Roll out the pastry and fit into a flan dish. Cook until the pastry has hardened but is not golden.

Fry the smoked bacon and onion together and sprinkle into the flan dish on top of the pastry. Beat together the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour the eggs over the bacon and onion and add the grated cheese. Bake the quiche for 45-50 minutes, until the eggs are set in the middle. If you serve it straight from the oven remember that the quiche may be slightly loose whereas if you cool it slightly it will be firmer.

Try this dish with Chateau Saint Thibeaud (£5.30) which is a lovely crisp Bordeaux white made from 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Semillon and 5% Muscadelle grapes. It has plenty of body without being too heavy and offers a very pleasing easy drinking quality wine. This wine is a pale golden colour with dominant and very refreshing hints of pear and citrus fruits. On the palate it reveals a rounded, clean attack on the mouth with a good balance of fruit and dryness and the finish has gorgeous touches of lemon.

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