Book Reviews - Food for Friends by Edward Hayden

Food for Friends by Edward Hayden (O’Brien Press, hardback, €22.99/£18.99)Food for Friends by Edward Hayden (O’Brien Press, hardback, €22.99/£18.99).

Popular author and TV chef Edward Hayden is well known from his appearances on TV3's 'Ireland AM' and perhaps even more so from his classes and demonstrations in a cookery schools and venues around the country, where his cheerful nature and relaxed presentation goes down a treat.

Following on the success of his first cookbook, Food To Love, he’s worked on the implications of how ‘staying in can be the new going out’ - ie you need some handy recipes to help you keep up with your friends and enjoy their company without too much hassle in the kitchen.

No worries, Edward has the solution for all kinds of get-togethers, in all seasons. Brunches and supper parties, formal dinner parties, barbecues, children’s parties, seasonal festivities and family bashes - you name it, Edward has the ideas and promises “to show even the most inexperienced cook how to easily make sumptuous food fast!”

Try his mini quiches and judge for yourself.

Quiche in a TinQuiche in a Tin

Although I love it, I always think quiche is quite, time-consuming to make. The whole blind-baking process adds so much time to the affair that now I always make these mini quiches, which require no blind baking and still give that lovely crisp pastry effect. Again this is one of these recipes that you can vary the flavour as much as you like by substituting ingredients.

Makes 12

Short Crust Pastry:
6oz/225g plain flour
4oz/110g butter
Pinch of salt
A couple of tablespoons of ice cold water
A little oil for cooking
½ courgette, cubed
5oz/150g chorizo, thinly sliced
½ onion, diced
6 mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 large eggs
Salt 6 ground black pepper
4oz/110g cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.

Lightly grease a twelve-cup deep muffin tray.

Sieve flour into a large mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Rub the butter into the flour and salt mixture until it resembles very fine breadcrumbs, then mix in enough ice-cold water to bring the mixture together.

Knead the pastry gently, then cover with cling film and rest in the fridge until required. Roll out the pastry, cut into discs and use it to line the twelve cups of the muffin tray.

Heat a little oil in a large, wide-based sauté pan and add the courgette, chorizo, onion and mushrooms and cook over a medium heat until they have softened. Allow these to cool and then divide between the pastry lined cups of the muffin tray.

In a large jug whisk together the eggs with the milk and seasoning. Carefully pour this mixture into the pastry-lined cups, sprinkle with a little cheese and bake in the preheated oven for approximately twenty minutes or until the pastry is crisp, the egg custard has fully set and the cheese is bubbling.

Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes and then, using a palette knife, carefully remove them from the tin and serve, either hot or cold.

EDWARD'S HANDY HINT: Sometimes 1 replace a little of the milk with some cream for added richness.

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