Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Vols-au-Vent

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

I've been wanting to try my hand at puff pastry for a while. My cousin made it before and she claims that it really isn't that difficult. However, most chefs actually recommend purchasing the pre-made frozen puff pastry from the supermarket. That does not bode well for my confidence in my ability to successfully make it.

This month, the Daring Bakers decided on puff pastry as a challenge. I was excited because this actually forced me to make the pastry which I would have put off indefinitely. As it turns out, my self-doubt was not misplaced. Everything went fine until it was time to roll out the dough. The butter oozed out of every available crevice. As a result, my puff pastry did not bake very nicely. It did not puff up a lot and did not have those layers you should be able to see. I put it down to my impatience. I believe I didn't chill my dough quite enough and working slow in a humid environment is a great disadvantage. Nevertheless, since I've actually tried it out, I wouldn't mind giving it another go.

The recipe for the puff pastry is at the bottom. The following recipe is for the Vols-au-Vent.

Forming and Baking the Vols-au-Vent

Yield: 1/3 of the puff pastry recipe below will yield about 8-10 1.5" vols-au-vent or 4 4" vols-au-vent

In addition to the equipment listed above, you will need:
-well-chilled puff pastry dough (recipe below)
-egg wash (1 egg or yolk beaten with a small amount of water)
-your filling of choice

Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Using a knife or metal bench scraper, divide your chilled puff pastry dough into three equal pieces. Work with one piece of the dough, and leave the rest wrapped and chilled. (If you are looking to make more vols-au-vent than the yield stated above, you can roll and cut the remaining two pieces of dough as well…if not, then leave refrigerated for the time being or prepare it for longer-term freezer storage. See the "Tips" section below for more storage info.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick. Transfer it to the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the cutting.

(This assumes you will be using round cutters, but if you do not have them, it is possible to cut square vols-au-vents using a sharp chef's knife.) For smaller, hors d'oeuvre sized vols-au-vent, use a 1.5" round cutter to cut out 8-10 circles. For larger sized vols-au-vent, fit for a main course or dessert, use a 4" cutter to cut out about 4 circles. Make clean, sharp cuts and try not to twist your cutters back and forth or drag your knife through the dough. Half of these rounds will be for the bases, and the other half will be for the sides. (Save any scrap by stacking—not wadding up—the pieces…they can be re-rolled and used if you need extra dough. If you do need to re-roll scrap to get enough disks, be sure to use any rounds cut from it for the bases, not the ring-shaped sides.)

Using a ¾-inch cutter for small vols-au-vent, or a 2- to 2.5-inch round cutter for large, cut centers from half of the rounds to make rings. These rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent, while the solid disks will be the bottoms. You can either save the center cut-outs to bake off as little "caps" for you vols-au-vent, or put them in the scrap pile.

Dock the solid bottom rounds with a fork (prick them lightly, making sure not to go all the way through the pastry) and lightly brush them with egg wash. Place the rings directly on top of the bottom rounds and very lightly press them to adhere. Brush the top rings lightly with egg wash, trying not to drip any down the sides (which may inhibit rise). If you are using the little "caps," dock and egg wash them as well.

Refrigerate the assembled vols-au-vent on the lined baking sheet while you pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). (You could also cover and refrigerate them for a few hours at this point.)

Once the oven is heated, remove the sheet from the refrigerator and place a silicon baking mat (preferred because of its weight) or another sheet of parchment over top of the shells. This will help them rise evenly. Bake the shells until they have risen and begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC), and remove the silicon mat or parchment sheet from the top of the vols-au-vent. If the centers have risen up inside the vols-au-vent, you can gently press them down. Continue baking (with no sheet on top) until the layers are golden, about 15-20 minutes more. (If you are baking the center "caps" they will likely be finished well ahead of the shells, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when browned.)

Remove to a rack to cool. Cool to room temperature for cold fillings or to warm for hot fillings.

Fill and serve.

*For additional rise on the larger-sized vols-au-vents, you can stack one or two additional ring layers on top of each other (using egg wash to "glue"). This will give higher sides to larger vols-au-vents, but is not advisable for the smaller ones, whose bases may not be large enough to support the extra weight.

*Although they are at their best filled and eaten soon after baking, baked vols-au-vent shells can be stored airtight for a day.

*Shaped, unbaked vols-au-vent can be wrapped and frozen for up to a month (bake from frozen, egg-washing them first).

Michel Richard's Puff Pastry Dough

From: Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 2-1/2 pounds dough

Steph's note: This recipe makes more than you will need for the quantity of vols-au-vent stated above. While I encourage you to make the full recipe of puff pastry, as extra dough freezes well, you can halve it successfully if you'd rather not have much leftover.

There is a wonderful on-line video from the PBS show "Baking with Julia" that accompanies the book. In it, Michel Richard and Julia Child demonstrate making puff pastry dough (although they go on to use it in other applications). They do seem to give slightly different ingredient measurements verbally than the ones in the book…I listed the recipe as it appears printed in the book.

2-1/2 cups (12.2 oz/ 354 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups (5.0 oz/ 142 g) cake flour
1 tbsp. salt (you can cut this by half for a less salty dough or for sweet preparations)
1-1/4 cups (10 fl oz/ 300 ml) ice water
1 pound (16 oz/ 454 g) very cold unsalted butter

plus extra flour for dusting work surface

Mixing the Dough:

Check the capacity of your food processor before you start. If it cannot hold the full quantity of ingredients, make the dough into two batches and combine them.

Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. (Actually, it will feel like Play-Doh.)

Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that's about 1" thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Incorporating the Butter:

Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour (A cool piece of marble is the ideal surface for puff pastry) with your rolling pin (preferably a French rolling pin without handles), press on the dough to flatten it and then roll it into a 10" square. Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with "ears," or flaps.

Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. (If you have to stretch the dough, stretch it from all over; don't just pull the ends) you should now have a package that is 8" square.

To make great puff pastry, it is important to keep the dough cold at all times. There are specified times for chilling the dough, but if your room is warm, or you work slowly, or you find that for no particular reason the butter starts to ooze out of the pastry, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it . You can stop at any point in the process and continue at your convenience or when the dough is properly chilled.

Making the Turns:

Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square (this will help keep it square). Then, keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square you started with, about 24" (don't worry about the width of the rectangle: if you get the 24", everything else will work itself out.) With this first roll, it is particularly important that the butter be rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along well, and roll a bit harder or more evenly, if necessary, to get a smooth, even dough-butter sandwich (use your arm-strength!).

With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in thirds, like a business letter, brushing off the excess flour. You have completed one turn.

Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24" and then folding it in thirds. This is the second turn.

Chilling the Dough:

If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another two turns now. If the condition of the dough is iffy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you've completed by indenting the dough with your fingertips. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns.

The total number of turns needed is six. If you prefer, you can give the dough just four turns now, chill it overnight, and do the last two turns the next day. Puff pastry is extremely flexible in this regard. However, no matter how you arrange your schedule, you should plan to chill the dough for at least an hour before cutting or shaping it.

Steph's extra tips:

-While this is not included in the original recipe we are using (and I did not do this in my own trials), many puff pastry recipes use a teaspoon or two of white vinegar or lemon juice, added to the ice water, in the détrempe dough. This adds acidity, which relaxes the gluten in the dough by breaking down the proteins, making rolling easier. You are welcome to try this if you wish.

-Keep things cool by using the refrigerator as your friend! If you see any butter starting to leak through the dough during the turning process, rub a little flour on the exposed dough and chill straight away. Although you should certainly chill the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns, if you feel the dough getting to soft or hard to work with at any point, pop in the fridge for a rest.

-Not to sound contradictory, but if you chill your paton longer than the recommended time between turns, the butter can firm up too much. If this seems to be the case, I advise letting it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to give it a chance to soften before proceeding to roll. You don't want the hard butter to separate into chuncks or break through the want it to roll evenly, in a continuous layer.

-Roll the puff pastry gently but firmly, and don't roll your pin over the edges, which will prevent them from rising properly. Don't roll your puff thinner than about about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick, or you will not get the rise you are looking for.

-Try to keep "neat" edges and corners during the rolling and turning process, so the layers are properly aligned. Give the edges of the paton a scooch with your rolling pin or a bench scraper to keep straight edges and 90-degree corners.

-Brush off excess flour before turning dough and after rolling.

-Make clean cuts. Don't drag your knife through the puff or twist your cutters too much, which can inhibit rise.

-When egg washing puff pastry, try not to let extra egg wash drip down the cut edges, which can also inhibit rise.

-Extra puff pastry dough freezes beautifully. It's best to roll it into a sheet about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick (similar to store-bought puff) and freeze firm on a lined baking sheet. Then you can easily wrap the sheet in plastic, then foil (and if you have a sealable plastic bag big enough, place the wrapped dough inside) and return to the freezer for up to a few months. Defrost in the refrigerator when ready to use.

-You can also freeze well-wrapped, unbaked cut and shaped puff pastry (i.e., unbaked vols-au-vent shells). Bake from frozen, without thawing first.

-Homemade puff pastry is precious stuff, so save any clean scraps. Stack or overlap them, rather than balling them up, to help keep the integrity of the layers. Then give them a singe "turn" and gently re-roll. Scrap puff can be used for applications where a super-high rise is not necessary (such as palmiers, cheese straws, napoleons, or even the bottom bases for your vols-au-vent).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yogurt Buns

Yogurt's great isn't it? It can be eaten on its own, with fruits, cooked into curries, baked into bread, even made into cheese. I recently made a batch of yogurt which I wanted to experiment with. I tried making cheese, but my yogurt was too thin. However, I made some curries successfully. This post is about the buns I made. They were really yummy. Very soft and fluffy. They turned drier and harder the next day, though you can steam them back to how they were.

I adapted the recipe from Pure Enjoyment!.

250g bread flour
15g sugar
3g salt
3g yeast
100g plain low-fat yogurt
60g fresh milk
25g egg (about half an egg)
30g butter
1/2 egg for glazing
Sesame seeds

1. Whisk bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
2. Add in yogurt, milk, egg and butter and mix to form a dough.
3. Knead dough for about 10 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a slightly greased large bowl. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or cling-wrap and leave it to proof in a warm place till double its size (about 1 hour).
5. When proofing is completed, punch down the bread dough to release the air.
6. Divide the dough into small portions of about 48g. Shape each portion into a smooth ball and placed them into a loaf pan.
7. Cover the loaf pan with a cling wrap and allow the dough to go for second proofing until double its size again.
8. Egg wash the top of the buns and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of each small bun.
9. Bake in preheated oven at 170-180C for 20 minutes until the top turns golden brown.
10. Remove bread from loaf pan to cool completely.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chicken Satay with Sauce and Ketupat

I remember as a kid, my grandmother used to treat me and my family to satay at a restaurant by the sea. I've never been a big fan of satays and even then, I liked the cucumbers better.

A few days ago, my dad came across a satay recipe on the web that seemed authentic to him. Actually he wanted the satay peanut sauce so he can eat it with the ketupat (little cubes of white rice) that he had a hankering for. I figured as long as I'm making the satay peanut sauce, I might as well make the chicken satay as well. The chicken satay was really good. The peanut sauce does not really taste like the sauce I'm used to though. However, it is still good.

The recipes for the Satay Peanut Sauce and Chicken Satay are from Rasa Malaysia and serve 10.

Satay Peanut Sauce
1 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar (palm sugar preferred)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
1 heaped tamarind pulp (soaked in 1/4 cup water for 15 minutes, squeeze the tamarind pulp for juice and discard the pulp)

Spice Paste:

6-8 dried red chilies (seeded and soaked in warm water)
3 cloves garlic
3 shallots
2 lemon grass (white parts only)
1 inch ginger (galangal preferred)
1 tablespoon coriander powder (optional)

Crush the peanuts coursely with mortar and pestle or mini food processor and set aside.

Chop the spice paste ingredients and blend until fine. Heat oil and fry the spice paste until aromatic and smell spicy. Add the peanuts, tamarind juice, water, sugar, sweet soy sauce and stir thoroughly. Simmer in low heat while continue stirring for about 3 minutes until the peanut sauce turns smooth. Serve at room temperature with the satay.

Chicken Satay

4 chicken legs and thighs or 4 chicken breasts (deboned)

Spice Paste:
1 teaspoon of coriander powder
2 stalks lemon grass
6 shallots (peeled)
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
4 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 teaspoon of chili powder
2 teaspoons of turmeric powder (kunyit)
4 teaspoons of sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
Bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 2 hours to avoid burning)
1 cucumber (skin peeled and cut into small pieces)
5 onions, chopped

Cut the chicken meat into small cubes. Grind the Spice Paste in a food processor. Add in a little water if needed. Marinate the chicken pieces with the spice paste for 10-12 hours. Thread the meat on to bamboo skewers and grill for 2-3 minutes each side. Serve hot with fresh cucumber pieces, raw onions and ketupat.

I cheated with the ketupat. My dad bought the ready-made variety. Basically, I just had to boil the ketupat for 1-2 hours.

Once it's done, the rice will puff up and turn fluffy. The plastic wrap around it will compress it. I just had to cut the wrap and take out the rice. Then cut the rice into cubes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spicy Grilled Fish

First of all, I'm going to say that this dish caused me a lot of physical pain. As I mentioned before, I'm very new to cooking. I had no idea that touching red chillies with your bare hands will cause your hands to smart for hours! That's a lesson I won't forget in a hurry. So if you wish to attempt this recipe, buy some gloves. Your chillies may not be strong enough to burn you, but I would say, take precautions anyway.

On to the recipe... it was really good. However, as you probably guessed from what I said about the red chillies I used, it was very spicy. I'd definitely try this recipe again. Perhaps next time, the red chillies will be milder. I adapted the recipe from Rasa Malaysia.


1 lb. red snapper (cleaned and scales removed)
A few sheets banana leaf (rinsed with water thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels)

Grilled Fish Sambal:

6 oz. fresh red chilies (seeded and cut into small pieces. Please wear gloves here!)
1 tablespoon toasted belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste)
4 oz. shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
1/2 lime (extract juice)
2 lemongrass (cut into thin slices)
4 tablespoons oil


Grilled Fish Sambal

1) Prepare the sambal by grinding chilies, shallots, belacan and lemongrass in a food processor. Make sure the sambal paste is well blended and smooth.

2) Heat up oil in a wok and “tumis” (stir-fry) the sambal paste until aromatic or when the oil separates from the sambal paste. Add the seasonings: salt, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice and do a quick stir, dish out and set aside.

Grilled Fish with Banana Leaf

1) Grease a flat pan and then lay a few sheets of banana leaves in the pan.

2) Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil on top of the banana leaves and spread the oil evenly. Lay the fish on top of the banana leaves and add 3 tablespoons of sambal on top of the fish. Heat up the pan on your stove top over medium heat and cover it with a lid. (Use a towel to cover the corners of the pan in case the lid is too small to completely cover the pan. This will ensure the heat traps inside the pan during the grilling process.) Wait for 8 minutes or so and flip the fish over to the other side. Add 3 more tablespoons of sambal on the other side. Cook for another 8 minutes or so. By then, you can smell the sweet aroma of burnt banana leaves and grilled fish.

3) Dish out and serve immediately.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Daring Cooks' Challenge: Indian Dosas

The September 2009 Daring Cooks' challenge was hosted by Debyi from The Healthy Vegan Kitchen. She chose the Indian Dosas from the refresh cookbook by Ruth Tal.

I was really pleased with the choice of Indian Dosa. Dosa (or thosai) is rather common in Malaysia and happens to be one of my favourite Indian dishes. Thosai is normally eaten with some form of chutney and it is terrific when consumed right after preparation. It's not a "tapau" food. Once you bring it back home, it turns rather soggy.

This recipe was very easy to follow though the preparation of the ingredients is time consuming. I must say the thosai itself is not exactly what we get in Malaysia and the curry is on the sweet side, rather than fiery hot. Nevertheless, putting aside comparisons, it is a very good dish. The filling has a good combination of vegetables and the curry compliments it well.

This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting.

Serves 4

Equipment needed:
large bowl
griddle or skillet
ladle (or large spoon)
vegetable peeler &/or knife
large saucepan
food processor or bean masher

Dosa Pancakes
1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
½ tsp (2½ gm) salt
½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder
½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder
½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water
cooking spray, if needed

Dosa Filling
1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

Dosa Toppings
1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
¼ cucumber, sliced

Dosa Pancakes
1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

Curried Garbanzo Filling
This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don't be afraid to make a full batch.

5 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground
1 TBSP (8gm) oregano
1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric
4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

Coconut Curry Sauce
This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though. My picture of this sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground
¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced

1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.
2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
4.Let it simmer for half an hour.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ricotta Pudding

I made cheese!! I was so excited seeing it form that it totally slipped my mind to take photographs. I will be doing it again so I'll have to remember to take photographs. Anyhow, as I was just experimenting with the technique, I made only a handful of cheese. You can't do much with so little an amount. I came across this recipe by Mark Bittman and decided to give it a go. I adapted it to the amount of cheese I have. The original recipe is as follows:


- 1 pound fresh ricotta, drained if very moist
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons coffee liqueur, or to taste
- Powdered unsweetened cocoa for garnish


In a bowl, beat together the ricotta and sugar, then add liqueur. Taste and add more sugar or liqueur as desired. Divide among 6 glass ramekins or other small bowls and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve, dusted with a little powdered cocoa.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chicken and Mushroom Quiche

The first time I tried a quiche was when I was studying in Australia. The first quiche I tried was quiche Lorraine, simply because I had read about it in passing. According to Julia Child, a traditional quiche Lorraine contains no cheese. However, I distinctly remember biting into a thick layer of cheese when I ate my first quiche. No complains here! I go by the philosophy that any dish is made better by cheese. Later, I discovered that there is a variety of quiches that one can get one's paws on; tons and tons of combination, as many as you can think of.

In Malaysia, cheese is rather expensive and the variety leaves a lot to be desired. So for my first quiche, I decided to make a cheeseless one. It was good and makes a rather light lunch. The filling can be anything you'd like it to be. My custard dripped out though because I probably did not form the crust properly. The next time, I would use less filling as the custard barely covers it.

The recipe is from Kuali and makes 2 small quiches.

- 255g plain flour, sifted
- 150g butter, diced
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp iced water, approximately

- 100g chicken fillet, shredded
- 100g button mushrooms, sliced
- 50g straw mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp butter or margarine
- 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp diced green capsicum

Custard filling
- 120ml UHT milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt or to taste

To make the pastry, put sifted flour into a mixing bowl and rub in butter (or process flour and butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs). Add egg yolk and enough water to make ingredients cling together (or process until ingredients just come together).

Press the dough into a ball and knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until large enough to line a lightly greased loose base flan tin. Trim the edges and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cover pastry with baking paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake in preheated oven at 200°C for 10 minutes. Remove beans or rice and paper; bake further for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

To prepare the filling, heat butter or margarine, add garlic and fry until fragrant. Add chicken and button mushrooms and fry until cooked through.

Dish out and mix with straw mushrooms and capsicum. Drain on a colander and leave aside to cool. Spread this mixture onto the pastry case.

For the custard filling, combine egg, milk, pepper and salt well together. Pour into the pastry case to cover the mushroom filling. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for about 25–30 minutes or until mixture is set and cooked. Serve quiche hot.