Saturday, April 17, 2010

Salmon and gorgonzola quiche

A few things came together this week that led me to invent this salmon and gorgonzola quiche:
  1. I ordered a wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillet from Trader Joe's.
  2. I had leftover gorgonzola cheese from the Mars Cheese Castle.
  3. I had some cream that was going to go bad in a few days.
  4. I recently read "Julie and Julia," and although I am not really too much of a fan, it did make me crave French food.
I also haven't made anything tart-y in a while, so I figured it was time. And we had a very good salmon quiche from La Grande Epicerie de Paris last September. However, oddly enough, I have never made a quiche, so I had to blend a few recipes.

I found this one for the filling: 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup milk, and 2 eggs. Seems easy enough to remember. I didn't use Martha Stewart's suggested tart dough, though I probably should have. I decided to use the same tart dough that I used for Ina's berry tart, though that one was a little sweet because it's a dessert tart. Oh well, no harm done.

The tart dough (butter, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla) chills, then blind bakes with a layer of aluminum foil and rice on top. This is so the tart shell will keep its shape. You take off the rice / aluminum and bake some more, and then you let cool a bit and fill it with whatever you're going to fill it with.

I started with a layer of cooked, fresh sockeye salmon. Look at that beautiful flaked fish.

I only use / eat wild sockeye salmon for many reasons, the primary reason being much better nutrition and many more omega-3 fatty acids than farmed. Secondly, it tastes better and is much more firm and flaky. Third, it has much fewer contaminants than farmed salmon. And finally, it just creeps me out that farmed salmon is dyed pink to get that beautiful natural pink hue that my salmon comes by naturally (by eating shrimp!).

Next, I filled with my cream / milk / egg mixture, then dropped in huge chunks of gorgonzola cheese. I was a little worried at this point, because the tart shell had come out VERY soft, so I was worried that it would basically dissolve into the egg mixture. Well, there was nothing for it but to crack some pepper over the top and shove it in the oven with the best of hopes.

Well, it turns out I was fine. The tart dough did stay soft - I am still not sure what went wrong, because I've used this dough before with no problem - but it at least maintained its structural integrity. And the filling was amazing. I was worried that the gorgonzola cheese would overwhelm the salmon, but the salmon I get is so flavorful that the fish really held its own.

Anyway, it did remind me of Paris, and in fact we popped a bottle of some cheap Trader Joe's champagne for a nice romantic evening. Vive la quiche!

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