Best wishes for the new year, duxelles quiche and soggy ears


A very Happy 2015 to everybody!

Our New Year has started true to form: one dog is wearing a filthy tennis sock, fetchingly held in place by a rubber band and the other dog has soggy, disheveled ears full of impossibly matted knots. Hugo had a bit of a paw mishap, which explains his incongruous footwear. Presumably to take his mind off the pain, he has taken to chewing Java’s ears, which explains her unladylike appearance. He chews them in a ‘try and stop me if you dare’ kind of way that brings to mind old westerns where the cowboys chewed ‘baccy’ and then spit it out on the ground. I’m half expecting him to thump down a shot glass and growl for another whisky to wash down his ribs and beans. I never imagined for a second that I might one day need advice on how to untangle an English Setter’s soggy ears and yet, here I am asking. If anyone can impart some wisdom it would be most welcome because I’ve tried combing, brushing, coaxing and blackmail to no avail. She’s very fidgety and slippery and it’s a bit like trying to coif a hyperactive eel which, all things considered, I could probably do without…

These mushroom quiches are really tasty and quite rich. The crushed oats make the pastry particularly crisp, nicely complimenting the filling.

Ingredients (serves 6 – 8)


100g spelt flour

50g buckwheat flour

50g crushed oats

1 tablespoon olive oil

50g butter

20g virgin coconut oil

Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water


4 large mushrooms, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 rashers of bacon, finely chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 egg

150 ml double cream

To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flours and oats in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tin or tins. As this pastry contains buckwheat flour and oats it will be quite fragile. You’ll find that you have to treat it delicately and possibly fill in the cracks with remaining bits of pastry by pressing gently. I use individual tart tins. Precook the pastry for 12 minutes.

To make the filling, combine the finely chopped mushrooms, shallots and bacon and line the quiche cases with the mixture. Break the egg into a small bowl and add the cream and seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika). Beat well to form a homogenous mixture. Pour the egg/cream mixture over the top and cook for 18 minutes.

14 responses to “Best wishes for the new year, duxelles quiche and soggy ears

  1. Lovely sounding quiche! Best wishes for the New Year to you and your family!

  2. Delicious quiche!!! My you have a lot going on. Hmmm…. you might want to run the ear under the faucet and use a conditioner like coconut oil to de tangle the mess. Poor Hugo, his foot must hurt terribly. Izzy used to chew on our rotties ears but the fur was short no tangles but they looked a mess all the time no pain she just enjoyed chewing on Zoe’s ears for some reason. Hope Hugo feels better and you de tangle Java’s ears. In the meantime you can dine on those delicious little tarts.

    • Thank you – they were delicious I must say. Coconut oil is an excellent idea – why didn’t I think of that? I don’t think she’ll let me run water over them though – she’s not very fond of water except to swin in!! I hope though that the coconut oil won’t make her ears even more delicious for Hugo. I’ll just have to hope he doesn’t like the taste of coconut!

  3. Ha, I can just picture it now, that naughty Hugo! What happened to his foot? Ginger too has matted ears. Not from Buddy chewing them (although, I did mention, I believe, that he once was a cowboy). Ginger has allergies and has been scratching them when I look away; she resembles Pipi Longstocking with an extra ear standing straight up on her head. The best way I know of resetting them is with a comb made for detangling knots:

    Happy New Year!

    • Thanks Stacey – that comb looks effective – I’ll have to see whether they’re available here. Hugo managed to damage one of the pads of his paw – I’m not even sure how. It must be painful though because he’s walking on three feet!

  4. Hello and Happy New Year. Your quiches look and sound delicious.

  5. I like the ingredients in your crust, another delicious recipe to try when I get home.

  6. Coconut oil is used in hairdressing products……..put some of yours onto your doggies ears before trying to use a detangling comb. Begin at the ends of the ears and work your way up to the roots. Give a few training treats while doing it (naughty but eases the emotional anxiety for both). II hope YOU find this recipe works. Thanks for yours.

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