Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quiche 2.0--Tempeh Bacon and Olive

I honestly thought I had the whole vegan quiche thing on lock-down, dear readers. I had it "dialed in," as my sister would say. Then, as with the universal tendency of everything to move from a state of order into one of disorder, my grip on quiche has loosened over time, slackened, weakened, entropificationed. The only thing to do in this situation is to take another run. Though sometimes, "another run," might mean returning to the drawing  board and starting from scratch--ditching your firm tofu for cashews and the like, it can also refer to a subtle but substantial tweaking: a little less of this and a little more of that, a pinch of something completely new.

Crust before baking.
I made this quiche, which as you recall I enjoy pronouncing as "quitch," because my sweet and smart niece used to say it that way, for a small dinner gathering at our friend Diana's house. She made a slamming apple-pear crisp and some brussels sprouts with squash, and our friend Joelle brought a lovely greens saute. C and I were charged with bringing the proteiny component of the meal. To be honest, most of our show-stopping repertoire that we tend to whip out for feeding (especially) omnis has something to do with seitan because, as we all know, gluten makes the best meat analogs. With tofu, I tend to get lazy. Pretty much I bake it, scramble it, blend it, and press it into quiches, and that's about it. Well, and put it in soup. And make stew out of it. Use it as an egg replacer. But you can see where I'm headed with this. I feel like most of those are pretty homey things and not the sorts of dishes I would take to someone's house for dinner. A quiche, on the other hand, is a nice, self-contained kind of unit. It heats up beautifully and is tasty with all kinds of fillings. While I tend to lean toward a sausage and mushroom filling, Diana's disinclination toward mushrooms and trouble with wheat pushed me toward thinking about other fillings: tempeh bacon and olive. These fillings along with this subtly different strategy toward flavoring the quiche really takes this dish to another level. Even if you're a fan of the earlier quiche recipe, I recommend springing for some black salt--yes, it's expensive--and trying it this way.


2 c whole spelt flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c apple juice

Mix together and press evenly into a pie pan. Prick the bottom and sides and bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
Tempeh bacon, fried and cooling a bit.


Tempeh Bacon--you could buy the packaged tempeh bacon, but I made my own. I used the simplified bacon recipe in Vegan Brunch, which really is one of the best vegan cookbooks on the market.There are loads of vegan tempeh bacon recipes on the internet, though, and I feel confident that any of them would be tasty. While worshipping at Isa's feet is a perfectly good place for me, I know other cooks have their own idols.

1/2 c sliced black olives
1 pound extra firm tofu
1/2-3/4 c unsweetened soy milk
1 t black salt
1 T turmeric
1/2 t salt
1 c cheddar Daiya

In a large bowl, mash the tofu thoroughly. I use my hands. Then mix in the soymilk, turmeric, and salts until the desired color and flavor are reached. Don't over-salt because the olives and the bacon will contribute much in that regard. Crumble bacon into large pieces and mix into tofu along with olives. Press the whole mess into the pre-baked crust. Spread a healthy layer of cheddar Daiya on top and bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes. Plan to let your quiche hang for a few minutes (10-15) for best presentation. 

1 comment:

Mihl said...

Olives and tempeh? Yes, please! By the way, I buy my black salt at Indian stores where it is very cheap.