I have a confession to make: I’m a party girl and any excuse is good for me to host one! That’s not because I’m this fabulous socialite, quite the opposite to be honest. I’m more on a bear hibernation status, except that mine is kind of perpertual. The reason I like to throw parties is for the inner pleasure of hosting: getting the house ready, picking and arranging the flowers (my mother taught me that the right flowers are one of the key components for a successful party), cooking my signature dishes and… enjoying some alcohol of course!
Stefano makes sure that our guests are offered a captivating selection of wines, often starting off with some bubbles to set the mood of the party. So people wind down, relax and enjoy chatting and eating.
Well, Halloween is around the corner and who said that only kids should have fun? Let’s just say that Halloween is the opening of my party season.
When I throw a party, I like to serve food that my guests don’t cook at home on a regular week day. That’s why a quiche is always appreciated. It’s a casual yet chic dish, it has a wonderful look, it’s very satisfying for the palate and goes beautifully with the right glass of wine.
As for the ingredients, you can put basically whatever you like in a quiche and have fun trying out different combinations. Quoting Chef Gusteau from the Disney movie Ratatouille, “your only limit is your soul”.
The following recipe of a green bean, olive and goat cheese quiche is just meant to be a suggestion to get you started. Oh, and just so you know personally I love single-portion quiches: they are the perfect size for one guest and they look great on the plate. That’s why, for this recipe, I used a 6-tart pan, with each individual well having a diameter of 4 ½ inches.
1 ½ sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
8 oz fresh green beans
3 ½ Tbsp of extravirgin olive oil
¾ cup whole milk
¾ heavy whipping cream
0.3 lb crumbled goat cheese
24 pitted seasoned kalamata olives
ground black pepper
Wash the green beans and cut off both ends. In a medium pot, heat some water until it boils, add the beans and keep boiling for 4 minutes. Strain the beans, rinse with iced water (to stop the cooking process and retain the green color) and cut them into ½ inch pieces. In a medium skillet, heat 2 ½ Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat, add the beans, season with salt and pepper (to taste) and toss to coat. Add 2 Tbsp of water and stir occasionally until the water evaporates. Set aside.
Cut off the green top of the leek and the root. Discard the outer layer. Cut the leek in half lengthwise. Rinse the two halves well under water, being careful to leave them intact. Place each half, with the flat side facing down, on a chopping board.
Slice the leeks thinly and evenly with your knife so that you end up with thin strips. In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat, add the leek, season with salt and pepper (to taste) and toss to coat. Add ½ cup of water and stir occasionally until the water evaporates. Set aside.
In a bowl, put 3 eggs, the whole milk, the heavy cream, add some salt and season with black pepper and nutmeg (to taste).
Whisk until you obtain a smooth mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat the pan wells with butter.
Lay the sheets of pastry on a floured surface. If there is any crack in the pastry, press together to seal and roll over the sealed part so that you have a smooth sheet.
Cut each pastry sheet into four 5×5″ squares. Place the pastry squares in the tart wells, neatly shaping the pastry into tart shells. Cut off any excess pastry with a sharp knife.
Using a spoon, put some leek into each tart shell, spreading it out evenly. Then, add some beans, spreading them out evenly. Cut 4 olives in half and put them on top of the beans. With a spoon, add some goat cheese and finally pour the egg mixture.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, let the quiches cool down a little and serve while they are still warm. Enjoy! 🙂