Tofu Quiche for Thirty

January 15, 2008

The weather continues to annoy me, what with all the grey and gloom and snow and slush.  Too much shadow (and so I take umbrage at the weather. Bah.)

Consequently, I wasn’t all too thrilled when I remembered that I had to drive about 40 minutes just to teach a cooking class this evening at a local RCSS.  Besides, the coordinator had called me on Friday to tell me only six people had signed up!  I love doing these classes, and the intimate number of participants is always nice because it allows for one-on-one attention, but this darned Canadian winter just seemed too intimidating (the temperature was supposed to drop to -4 C this evening, which meant a slippery drive home at 9:00 PM). 

Well, what a surprise when I showed up to the kitchen, only to be informed that the class was fully booked, with 30 people!  Although I’ve previously baked quantities beyond that (muffins for 300, anyone?), I’ve never prepared such large quantities of food, all at one time, in front of an audience.

Luckily, the coordinator was a trained chef who could chop onions and skin tomatoes like nobody’s business.  He had the prep work done in a flash, and when the class started, all I had to do was don my chef’s cap, chat about my recipes, and basically have a good time.  The only difficulty I had was stirring a quinoa salad for 30 (I knew I should have gone to the workout club this morning!)

Even though the participants were neither vegetarian nor vegan, they arrived in such large numbers because the class was entirely gluten-free and they all had issues with gluten.  One of the dishes I demonstrated was Tofu Quiche, a big hit with my HH as well, so I thought I’d share it here.  I’ll post some of the others as well over the next while. (Sorry there’s no photo–I actually brought my camera with me to the store, then forgot to take a pic as the hungry crowd devoured the meal).

Egg-Free Quiche with Millet Crust

 This quiche is great for anyone on a gluten-free diet.  The unusual, mild millet crust is the perfect accompaniment to the smooth and flavourful quiche filling.  Vary the vegetables in the quiche according to your taste—almost anything goes!  

For the crust: 

1/2 cup dried millet

1 cup vegetable broth

pinch of sea salt 

For the filling: 

1 Tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced small

2 roasted red peppers or 1 fresh, sliced into thin strips (or one of each)

1 carrot, grated fine

1 cup very firmly packed spinach or chard leaves, stems removed, chopped

700 g. silken or soft tofu (about 2 cups)

1 Tbsp. white miso paste

2 Tbsp. tahini (sesame paste)

1 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari 

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a pie plate. 

Make the crust:  Pour millet into a small pot and add water.  Bring to boil over high heat, then lower heat to simmer, cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes.   Uncover and stir.  The millet should be a bit mushy, with some moisture still in the pan. 

Immediately pour the millet into the pie plate and, using the back of a spoon or wet hands (and being careful not to burn yourself!), press the millet into the pie plate to make a “crust.” (Dipping the spoon or your hands in water helps). Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes until slightly dry to the touch. 

Make the filling:  Heat oil in a large frypan and sauté onions for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent and soft.  Add the pepper, carrot, and spinach, and sauté for another 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and other ingredients begin to soften.  Cover and turn off heat. 

In a food processor or blender, mix the tofu, miso, tahini, and soy sauce until very smooth. Pour the mixture over the vegetables in the pan and stir to combine well. Turn into the crust in the pie pan. 

Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until top is light golden brown.  Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving (the quiche firms up as it sits–it’s actually better the next day!).  May be eaten hot, at room temperature, or cold.

Makes 8 servings.