Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quiche Lorraine

A baking classic! I love to have this little handy recipe with me ready for those unexpected guests when you need to whip up an easy dish with a fresh salad! Mum used to always have the ingredients in the fridge for a classic quiche lorraine and it served her well when all those friends my brother and I had who used to drop in, hungry and looking longingly at my mother's kitchen!!

You can substitute the bacon in this dish with spinach and mushrooms for a great vegetarian filling.

Quiche Lorraine

  • 1 1/4 cups of plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 90g of butter cut up
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 rashers bacon, rind removed
  • 125g of shredded cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon of plain flour for filling
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Stir together flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. With a fork or a pastry blender mix the until it becomes a dough.

Sprinkle cold water over flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing gently with fork until moistened. The dough should be stiff but not crumbly. If too much water is used, the pastry will be tough and may shrink; too little water and the pastry will be to crumbly to roll.

Once all flour is moistened, form dough into a ball with the fork. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten dough into a pancake shape and smooth edges with hands.

Roll the dough from centre to edges with light, even strokes, forming a circle of 25cm in diameter and about 3mm thick. Reshape edges into a circle with your hands as you work.

For easy transfer to the quiche baking dish wrap pastry around rolling pin carefully so that it does not stretch. Then loosely unroll pastry onto an 18 or 20cm quiche dish. To repair any tears, moisten edges with a little water and press together.

Ease the pastry into the dish, being careful to avoid stretching the pastry. Stretched pastry shrinks when baked. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to trim the edge of the pastry 1 to 2.5cm beyond the edge of the dish. Fold extra pastry under to build up the edge.

Line the pastry with foil or baking paper and fill it with dry beans to ensure that the pastry does not puff up or shrink during baking. Bake the pastry at 230degrees for 5 minutes. Remove beans and foil/paper. Set pastry aside and; reduce oven temperature to 160degrees.

The Filling:
Cook bacon until crisp; drain and crumble. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon; sprinkle remaining into partially baked pastry. Top with cheese. Combine flour, remaining sale and nutmeg in large measuring jug, stir in milk and eggs. Carefully pour over filling in pastry. Bale for 30mins. Sprinkle with reserved bacon; continue baking until a knife inserted near centre comes out clean. After taking it out of the oven, let it stand for 10mins before serving.


Cocinar, comer y ser feliz.

Panes Relleno - Stuffed Breads

Our baking journey continues!

The wonderful thing about the following recipe is it can make the perfect bread rolls...or taken one step further makes wonderful stuffed bread dishes!  You can really mix the stuffings, making them exclusively vegetarian or adding meats. This is so versatile - you can make small individual stuffed rolls or larger rolls which feed a family! Either way - they are delicious!

Panes Relleno

For bread:

  • 1kg  '00' plain flour
  • 50grams wet (fresh) yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 20grams of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of canola oil
  • 1litre of warm water
  • 1litre of milk


  • Chicken 
  • Pancetta
  • Mushrooms (cooked)
  • Spring onions  
  • Avocado
  • Cheese Cubes - tasty and mozzarella.

Grab a large bowl!  Sift the flour into the bowl and make a crater in the middle.  Place the wet yeast in the middle and add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to activate.  (For the water needed for the yeast use from the 1 litre of warm water you have set aside).  Add the salt, remembering not to place it into the yeast directly.  Add the 4 teaspoons of canola oil.

Start to slowly mix the dough and knead in the bowl.  Add the water and milk slowly - always adding 1 part water to 1 part milk equally and alternate.  Keep adding liquid until the dough is formed and nice and moist.

Knead the dough, pushing out with your palm and stretching out before folding back in.  Do this for a good 5mins.

Place in a bowl and let the dough rise for 2 hours.  Once it has risen take a portion (1/4) to make the pan relleno.  The dough will be full of air so gently poke the dough with your fingers and stretch out ready for the filling.

**If you wanted to make bread rolls you can take a small amount of dough and shape into a bread roll size and place in the oven!  You can also add sesame seeds or other grains for the top of the bread.

For the filling:
Place the spring onion in a pan with a teaspoon of oil.  Add the chicken and pancetta.  Once cooked let it cool down ready for when you need the filling.

Stretch out the dough into a rectangular shape.  In the middle place the cheese cubes.  Leave a good 3-4 cms on either side.  Put the cooled filling in the middle, adding the avocado and cooked mushrooms.

To fold the relleno.  Take one side and stretch over to the other side of the pan relleno.  Press down on the side gently with your fingers.  Then take that side and stretch over to the opposite side again.  Press the end with your fingers.  Flip the roll over.  Flatten the ends and fold underneath.  Pinch the ends to close.  Leave to rest 20mins putting into the oven.

Put a bit of flour on a baking tray.  The pan will grow so don't place in a tight tray - leave some room on all sides.  Place in a pre-heated oven 200 degrees.  Cook until the bread is brown and well cooked through 20mins or so.

Other fillings you can think about:

  • Sundried tomatoes
  • black olives
  • onions
  • Ham cut in cubes
  • Baby Spinach
  • Boiled egg
On it's own or with a nice salad, slice into 2-3cm slices and serve warm ... great as left overs!!

You can see the live recipe on Cocina de Mama's YouTube Channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dulce De Leche - YouTube Cooking Channel

How to make dulce de leche now on Cocina de Mama YouTube Channel.

To see many other Argentine recipes you can go to

Cocinar comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Medialunas y Vigilantes - Argentine Croissants

Aunty Lidia and Aunty Marta - two amazing bakers!
Over the next few weeks I'll be turning to lots of baking recipes! Breads, pastries, pies...oh dear - my mouth is watering in anticipation! Today we start with Medialunas and Vigilantes.

Waking up in the morning and walking down to the local bakery and picking up some freshly made medialunas, just warm from the oven - well - it's just about my idea of heaven for any start of the day! Also taking a bag of medialunas, vigilantes, danishes is part of the norm when in then sit around and eat, chat and drink yerba mate with them is just part and parcel of a normal gathering!!

There are a lot of recipes for medialunas (and vigilantes - which are the same recipe (just straight instead of half moon shape!) but this one is super easy. Medialunas are known as the Argentine croissants, but they are a little different to French croissants - less flaky and more of a sweet bread... this is one to put on the list for yummy baked good straight out of the oven and onto the breakfast table with a milky tea or for when friends come around for a long chat and after dinner desserts!


  • 1/2 kilo of plain flour

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2/3 cup of sugar

  • dry yeast

  • 1 cup of butter softened (room temperature - so you can easily mix it into the dough)

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 x egg
Almibar (syrup):
  • 1 cup of sugar

  • 1 cup of water
- to make place in a pan, dissolve sugar in the water for 15mins on medium heat. Keep stirring the whole time, cook until texture is heavy - don't let it caramelise!

To make pastry:

In a bowl place the flour. Place the egg in the middle of the mixture, add the milk and water and mix with a fork. Add the vanilla essence, sugar and one sachet of dry yeast.

Mix the dough with your hands, kneading the mixture together. Add the butter bit by bit and knead through the dough. The dough will be soft and moist. Leave for 20mins to rest before starting.

Take part of the dough. Don't add flour to your work surface - the butter will ensure that the dough doesn't stick onto the table. Flour will dry the dough.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle (20cm wide and about 1/2cm thick).

Cut triangles diagonally starting from one corner

Take one of the triangles and put the point facing away from you. Take the wide end and start rolling until you get to the end, then take the ends and gently curve inwards to make a croissant shape. If you are making vigilantes leave straight! Place in a baking tray and brush with Almibar. Then cook in a high heat oven (200 degrees) until golden brown.

For traditional vigilantes you can make a filling of custard which you can pipe on top or use dulce de membrillo (quince paste) piped on top.

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 2 heaped tablespoons cornflour

  • 2 cups of milk

  • 2 tablespoons of caster sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Whisk the egg yolks and cornflour to a smooth paste with a little of the milk. Place the remaining milk and caster sugar in a separate microwave bowl. Heat milk in the microwave (or over heat on a stove top in a pan) until it boils. Add the cornflour mixture and vanilla essence and whisk until it becomes a thick paste.

You can see the live recipe on the Cocina de Mama YouTube channel. Subscribe at to get all your weekly recipes.

Cocina, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Apple-Pecan Pie - Pastel de Manzana y Nuez Pacana

Our last apple recipe for this little series will be the scrumptious Apple Pecan Pie.  The crunchy pecans and deliciously cooked apple with short crust pastry will be a wonderful addition to any dessert menu or Sunday afternoon treat with a lovely cup of tea!

Apple-Pecan Pie

Rich Short Crust Pastry

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 teaspoons cold water


  • 1.5kg cooking apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup chopped pecan nuts
  • set aside extra whole pecans, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon for topping.

Pastry - sift flour, rub in butter with fingertips. Beat egg yolk with water before adding.  Mix to a firm soft paste.  Chill before using.

Peel, core and thickly slice the apples.  Place in a pan with the butter adding sugar to sweeten.  Cover and simmer until soft.  Stir in 1/3 cup chopped pecans and the orange marmalade.  Roll the pastry out and line a deep pie dish.  Fill with apple mixture.  Mix together with remaining 2/3 cup chopped pecans with a 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Sprinkle over the top of apples and dot with butter.  Decorate with pastry leaves or lattice patterns and whole pecans.  Cook pie in a hot oven 200 degrees celsius for approximately 25 minutes or until cooked golden brown.

Combine with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!
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