23 May 2012

Turkey & Asparagus Impossible Quiche - my response to the Lean on Turkey challenge!

Well, this Lean On Turkey challenge was a real brain teaser!

"Challenge 2: Cook a low fat/healthy turkey meal for just £10 (e.g. stir fry, risotto or salad).

It’s as simple as that. Simply choose a fresh low fat/healthy turkey recipe of your choice that costs under £10 (e.g. stir fry or salad). All we ask is that it needs to feed at least a family of four and CANNOT be a roast turkey dinner."

On the face of it, it does seem simple.  However, then you consider the "family of four" and it rules out an awful lot of chilli recipes.  After all, what if the family contains young children?  We also wanted to provide something a bit out of the ordinary, yet something that used relatively ordinary ingredients, because the whole point of this exercise is to encourage people to use turkey more often.  It'd be no good making some high falutin' dish that used several hard to get ingredients!  We needed something that would be easy to prepare, yet would look great served up on the plate.  Don't forget the healthy/low fat aspect, or the £10 budget, either!

Our ponderings took us from English pies through Cajun spicing to Chinese sweet and sour - but nothing really caught our imagination or seemed "right".  They were all too ordinary, or too spicy, or too boring.

Until hubby came up with the Impossible Quiche concept.  After all (as he said), we love Impossible Quiche - and we're a family of three, which is almost right!

So, how to include turkey into an Impossible Quiche?

Ordinarily, Impossible Quiche would include cheese and bacon, with onion and sweetcorn.  The basic mix is nothing more than a batter, which when baked, forms a firm edge rather like a frittata.  However, being baked and not fried, means that the fat element is reduced considerably - as is not using the cheese.

What goes well with turkey, that would be good in a quiche?  Well, the cheese was out, so I needed something that would give good flavour in the same way that the cheese did.  Turkey goes very well with bacon - so bacon was in.

What about the onion side of things?  Onion, shallot or chives?  I was conscious of having room for everything in the pie dish - which was only an 8" dish, but enough for four portions.  Hence, I ruled out the onion on the basis that it would take up too much room.  Shallot was good, but very sweet.  I wanted to retain the sweetcorn and with bacon & turkey also having a certain inherent sweetness, opted for the chives.

Thinking about the look of the Impossible Quiche, I needed something to inject some colour.  However all the colourful ingredients such as tomato and red pepper just didn't seem right in the context.  The red pepper was better than the tomato, but still not quite right.  I briefly considered peas - until I hit upon asparagus.  The asparagus would give the colour and the sense of indulgence that was otherwise lacking.

We had turkey, bacon, chives, asparagus and sweetcorn.  We had ourselves an Impossible Quiche recipe!

Next, I had to price up the shopping list.  I took my prices from www.groceries.asda.com, as Asda would be where we would be shopping, and apportioned the price according to how much of each ingredient we'd be using.  I felt that was the fairest way of doing it, as most people have (say) a container of milk in their fridge, or a bag of flour in the cupboard, from which they'd just take the required amount.  I hoped that the circumstance of someone buying the entire shopping list from scratch would be negligible enough not to worry about!  However, if someone had have bought the lot from scratch, it would have cost them £16.04p.

Here's the breakdown :

1.25 cups milk
0.5 cups self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
3 rashers streaky bacon
Fresh chives
Tinned sweetcorn
150g Asparagus
340g turkey breast steaks
Pinch of dried thyme
Salad leaves
Cherry tomatoes
Jersey Royal new potatoes

The preparation of the ingredients didn't take very long at all - around 30 minutes, including frying off the bacon and the turkey breast steaks.

The quiche took around 40-45 minutes to bake in the oven.  I took it out at 30 minutes and then had to put it back in for ten minutes longer just to set the very centre.

I'd say the entire process from taking the ingredients from the fridge to putting on the plate, took around an hour and a half.  Of course, you could probably do it quicker, as you no doubt can move around the kitchen far quicker than me!

I expect, after all that, you'll be wanting to know how it tasted?  Well, it tasted very nice indeed.

I kept the turkey pieces in small slices that were cut across the grain so as to make the most of their tenderness.  After all, they were going to be cooked twice (once in the frying pan, once in the oven) and I didn't want them going all hard and tough.  I fried off the bacon pieces and then added a pinch of thyme and the turkey steaks, as it seemed that was the best way of infusing the meat with as much flavour as possible.  I kept the turkey steaks whole at this stage, so as to prevent their drying out.

Each forkful was full of turkey flavour, along with the lovely asparagus which lightened the mix.  Every so often, you would come across a sweetcorn niblet which would give a welcome burst of sweetness and the chives added that background oniony flavour that just gave the flavours depth, as did the bacon.

The overall look of the Impossible Quiche was very green, which immediately gave son & heir cause to treat it with suspicion.  However, he ate every last bit of his piece and liked all the ingredients.  It was hard for him to be a-whooping and a-hollering about how nice it was, as his allegiance is very much with the cheese and bacon version.

Hubby enjoyed his piece so much, that he went back for second helpings!

I served the Impossible Quiche with a mixed side salad which included some more sweetcorn niblets and which helped to bring the salad together with the flavours of the quiche.  Some lovely buttered Jersey Royal potatoes just finished if off by adding the carbohydrate to the protein and vegetable matter and (hopefully) providing a balanced plate of food.

For more ideas as to how to use turkey, have a look at the Lean on Turkey website.


Ingredients :

3 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped fine
340g turkey breast steaks
a pinch of dried thyme
0.5 cups of self raising flour
1 cup of milk
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp of chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp sweetcorn niblets (from a tin is fine)
150g asparagus, trimmed and the stalks cut into 5mm logs, the tips retained.

For the potatoes :

750g (or less - it's up to you) of Jersey Royal potatoes, trimmed 
a knob of butter
1 tbsp of chopped fresh chives.

For the salad (for the sake of this recipe, I will presume that it is all washed and you will use the quantities your family like, of each item) :

salad leaves (I used lamb's lettuce & wild rocket)
cherry tomatoes
cucumber, skin removed and sliced finely
radishes, top & tailed and sliced finely
beetroot, trimmed and halved. 

Method :

1.  Place the chopped bacon into a dry frying pan and fry on a reasonably high heat, in order that the fat be rendered and the bacon begins to brown.

2.  Add the pinch of thyme, gather the bacon into a small pile in the pan and add the turkey steaks around it.  Make sure to keep the pan on a high heat, to brown the turkey and prevent it from poaching in its own juice.  Once browned all over and no pink can be seen if cut with a knife, remove the bacon & turkey and reserve to cool.

3.  In a large bowl, add the flour and milk.  Whisk lightly with a balloon whisk to combine, then crack the eggs individually into a small bowl (this way, if one seems not quite right, you can bin it without losing your entire batter mix!) and add to the batter.  Whisk again to incorporate.

4.  Add the chives, sweetcorn, asparagus logs, turkey and bacon to the batter mix and stir to combine.

5.  Carefully pour the mixture into an 8" pie dish, (preferably without fluted edges for ease of removal) and arrange the asparagus tips in an attractive patten on the top.  Transfer to a pre-heated oven (180degF/350degC/Gas4) to bake for 35-45 minutes or until browned and with a set centre.

6.  In the meantime, put a large pan of salted water on to boil.  Once boiling, add the Jersey Royals to it and reduce to a lively simmer.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until a potato, when pierced with a knife, falls easily from the blade.

7.  Drain, leave for just a minute or two to let the steam come off the potatoes, then add the knob of butter and the chives and replace the lid.

8.  Assemble the salad on the plates, then once the quiche has been removed from the oven and allowed to settle for a couple of minutes (it will deflate, but that is supposed to happen!), cut into four pieces and serve with the potatoes.



I love to receive messages from you all, so if you can spare the time, comment away!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...