People seem to fall into one of two camps; take in lunch to work or buy lunch each day. I definitely sit in the ‘take lunch in to work’ camp. This isn’t something that I’ve always done, mainly because I was spoilt in my first job and we had lunch delivered each day as part of our ‘benefits’. I think the idea was that if they paid for your lunch, you wouldn’t need to leave your desk and therefore continue to work.
Each day we had a list of places we could order from, for example, Oi Bagel, Tossed Salad Bar, M&S, Fish & Chip Shop(!), Chinese, the list goes on. Whilst I tried to opt for the healthy options of salads, it was hard to resist the bagels stuffed with meats and cheeses going past my desk from time to time.
Since moving on to work for different companies, I started taking in my lunch for a few reasons.
Firstly, the cost. It’s expensive buying lunch every day and it quickly adds up when you buy a sandwich/salad, some fruit, maybe a drink. Suddenly you’re not far off £10 a day down and that’s just your lunch.
Secondly, I’d prefer to go out for a run or do some exercise at lunchtime, so spending time finding something to eat too just isn’t time efficient on a limited lunch break.
And finally, I like to know what’s in my lunch. If I make it, it’s far more nutritious, interesting and inviting than what I often see people grabbing for in Pret on a daily basis.
I know everyone says they don’t have time to make lunch, but I’m sure most people can squeeze in 5 minutes to put a salad together or even easier make a bit extra of your dinner and have that the next day.
Enough preaching I hear you say.
This weekend I thought I’d have a go at making a quiche. Will says quiche reminds him of home and his mum baking and I saw a big grin spread across his face when I told him that firstly I’d be making a quiche and secondly the main ingredients were chorizo and goat’s cheese.
Meat and cheese, his favourite.
Pastry is my nemesis and I can’t say that I really mastered it this time round either. Clearly a pastry lesson with a professional is needed. But, a homemade quiche was what I said I’d deliver and it definitely looks homemade! I was a bit worried about tidying up the pastry edges in case the sides just totally crumbled away, so rustic seemed to be the safest way to go.
Spicy chorizo is a favourite of mine, I love the heat from it and how much it packs a punch of flavour, particularly when paired with creamy goat’s cheese. I left the chorizo quite chunky too as I like that it gives a bit of texture against the eggs and cheese. The spring onion also gave a little bite along with some crunchy pastry. Delicious.
Served with a fresh rocket, avocado and cucumber salad with a drizzle of rapeseed oil and balsamic glaze made this a lovely end of summer dinner.
The benefit of course being that, whilst Will and I might eat a lot, even a whole quiche was too much for us to consume on one sitting, so a few slices were left for lunch the next day. Can’t wait!
Chorizo and goats cheese quiche
For the pastry:
175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
85g hard block margarine or chilled butter, cut into cubes
For the filling:
200g chorizo, chopped (casing removed)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
200g Fresh goat’s cheese, crumbled (you can get away with a bit less cheese if you prefer)
Bunch of spring onion chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
250ml single cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
You will need a 20cm loose-bottomed flan tin
To make the pastry:
First make the pastry: tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the margarine or butter and rub in gently with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add three tablespoons of cold water until the pastry comes together in a ball.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 20 centimetre loose-bottomed flan tin. Ideally, use a fluted tin.
Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Blind bake the pastry case by pricking it all over with a fork, to prevent air bubbles forming. Line the base and sides with baking parchment and weigh it down with baking beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake the empty case for a further 10 minutes, or until the base is lightly brown. Trim the overhanging pastry and leave the pastry case to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4.
To make the filling:
Crisp the chorizo in a frying pan over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Transfer to the cooked chorizo to a plate lined with kitchen towel.
Place the onion in the pan and cook over a medium heat for eight minutes, or until golden. Add to the chorizo plate.
Sprinkle the chorizo, onion, spring onion and goat’s cheese over the your pastry base. Hold some cheese back for the top.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper, then pour into the quiche.
Add the remainder of your goat’s cheese.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and just set. Be careful not to overcook the quiche, or the filling will become tough and full of holes.
Serve with a fresh green salad.