I have always loved photography, I carry my camera everywhere shooting anything that catches my eye and I know that my pictures are pretty decent. But food photography is a totally different concept. Change a few settings here and there and you can make an ordinary plate of food look exotic. It took me some time to understand the settings on my camera and I still have a lot to learn and experiment with. Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen has taken an amazing initiative where she will give a photography exercise every month. I think its a great idea and will definitely help to learn new skills and improve your photos. This month was all about Aperture and DOF. We had to shoot the same object twice, at two different apertures while keeping all other settings constant. You should notice a change in the DOF. I used a 18-135mm lens to shoot the pictures, at a focal length of 50mm.
Left Image : F5.0, Shutter speed 1/50 sec, ISO 400
Right Image : F9.0, Shutter speed 1/13 sec, ISO 400
I always shot my pictures in the Aperture priority mode, but always used the default setting and never bothered much playing around with different apertures. I'm definitely going to experiment a lot more.
I heard about Quiche for the first time when I was learning french a very long time back and I remember asking our instructor about it and she described it as an omelette baked in a pie shell. I was fascinated! I had some for the first time with a group of friends from the same class at a cafe in Nariman Point, Mumbai and although I don't remember how it tasted, I was probably impressed because I always order a slice if I see it in a restaurant menu. But the one thing I really miss is some spice, very often I have found them to be very bland. That's why I prefer a homemade Quiche any day. I love that I can spice it up, add all the vegetables I like and cut down on a lot of calories too. This recipe is definitely healthier and tastes awesome. Perfect item for a brunch/ lunch menu. The recipe for the crust is adapted from Sanjeeta's Litebite.
Spicy Broccoli and Red Pepper Quiche
(makes a 10" quiche)
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oats, roasted and ground coarsely
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil
water as needed
For the filling:
1 cup milk/ cream/ half and half (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup cheese, grated/ crumbled (I used medium sharp cheddar)
1 tsp oil
1 small onion, diced
2 green chilies, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped into small chunks
1 small head of broccoli, small florets
1/2 tsp pepper powder
salt to taste
red pepper flakes and/or some more cheese for sprinkling on top (optional)
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 450F/ 230C. Grease a 10" pie/ quiche/ tart pan.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the olive oil and mix it in using your fingers until it forms a breadcrumb like consistency. Add enough water to form a firm dough.
Dust the working surface with flour and roll out the dough to a big circle. Line the pie dish with the dough and trim out the edges. If its too small, take it out and roll into a bigger circle. Do not stretch the dough to fit as it will shrink back on baking.
Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Keep aside to cool.
(The excess dough can be rolled, cut into wedges and baked on a tray. Makes a wonderful crisp snack.)
For the filling:
Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions and green chilies until the onions begin to soften. Add the broccoli and red bell pepper and saute on medium high heat until the vegetables are tender crisp. Remove from heat and cool.
Beat the eggs and milk with a wire whisk until combined. Stir in the salt, pepper powder and 1/4 cup grated cheese.
Spread the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the cooled crust. Top with the stir fried vegetables. Pour the prepared egg mixture over the vegetables so it spreads evenly. Sprinkle with some more cheese and red pepper flakes if using.
Bake the quiche in a preheated oven at 375F/ 190C, for 45 - 60 minutes or until cooked. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean and it should not jiggle when shook.
Cool for about 20-30 minutes before slicing.