Something’s not quite right about the quiche de cabinet that James Bond (Roger Moore) cooks in Stacey Sutton’s kitchen in A View to a Kill (1985). It had clearly been cooked in a flan or quiche tin, but it’s not in the tin when Bond pulls it out of the oven. I suspect that the quiche was cooked, removed from the tin, and transferred onto a serving plate before being put back in the oven for the sake of the shot. Either that, or Bond had gone out to buy a quiche from a local shop and pretended he’d made it.
The big surprise of the scene is that we learn that James Bond ‘dabbles’ in the kitchen. Doesn’t Bond eat in a restaurant every night or has a housekeeper to cook for him? Actually, the clues are there. Eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted the waffle-maker (or is it a toasted sandwich maker?), along with the expensive pots and pans, in Bond’s kitchen in Live and Let Die (1973). And readers of the Bond stories know that Bond makes his own scrambled eggs from time to time.
Returning to the quiche, the name of the dish refers to the fact that James has prepared it using random ingredients found in the kitchen cupboards. Stacey mentions that there’s not much in the kitchen apart from leftovers in the fridge. These obviously include green and red peppers, and I wouldn’t mind betting that there’s some ham or bacon in the quiche too. James has also made use of a jar of black olives.
The dish is fairly simple to reconstruct – the hardest aspect is the pastry, but you can always buy ready-made pastry. Next time you watch A View to a Kill, have a go at making quiche de cabinet for a more immersive experience!
For the pastry
- 225g plain flour
- 115g butter
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp cold water
For the filling
- 50-60g diced ham or bacon
- ½ green pepper, cut into strips
- ½ red pepper, cut into strips
- 115g grated cheese (cheddar or similar)
- 140ml milk
- 140ml double cream
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1 tsp finely chopped parsley
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- 4-5 black olives, pitted and sliced
Start with the pastry. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and butter together with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the salt, then sprinkle two tablespoons of water evenly over the mixture. Turn the mixture over with a tablespoon or knife, then bring it together with your hands to form a dough. If necessary, add a little more water. Knead the dough until it’s smooth. Put the dough into a food bag and refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C (180C fan-assisted; 400F). Then prepare the filling. Put the bacon or ham, green and red peppers, cheese, salt and black pepper, parsley, milk and cream, and whisked eggs into a mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients together.
Grease a quiche or flan tin with butter. Take the dough out of the fridge. On lightly flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry to form a circular shape that’s slightly greater in diameter than the tin. Gently roll the pastry around the rolling pin, then lay the pastry over the top of the tin. Press (again gently) the pastry into the tin, then trim the top of the rim with a knife. Prick the base a few times with the points of a fork.
Spoon the filling mixture into the pastry base. Place the sliced olives in the centre. Put the tin in the oven (carefully ensuring that the filling doesn’t spill over the edge of the tin; it may be helpful to put the tin on a baking tray) and cook for about 40 minutes. Once cooked (the egg mixture should have risen and be firm to the touch), allow the quiche to rest for a few minutes. Lift the quiche out of the tin and serve. Voilà!