Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Start Me Up: Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Quiche



"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice. 
What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning." 
~ T.S. Eliot

Happy New Year!
I hope 2015 is off to a grand start for all of you.  It's only been six days, but I can feel it's going to be a good one - I hope you do too.  I've been in full-on reflective mode.  A new year always does that to me; thinking back to what all transpired within the last twelve months.  Plenty of good things, the jump for joy good things, but also those moments that had me do the ugly cry and curl up into a ball.  Oh the agony and the ecstasy of life.  But somehow, we dig deep, and just get through it.  No doubt with a little help from our friends.  And chunks of dark chocolate and cheese; and new seasons of favourite shows (Downton!  GIRLS!) and the odd glass of red wine.  And whiskers on kittens.  You get my drift.  It's all in the details.  The minute, seemingly mundane things that make up a life, a year.  As the year flashes back, there's no need to connect the dots right away.  Oh but we try.  The thing is, with as much gratitude as we can muster, to recognize that each new person and experience is another dot on our map.  I hope your map for 2015 is full of all things beautiful and glorious.  Cheers to beginning again.  




I thought the first post of 2015 should be something brunchy; something delicious to send you off onto all of the adventures that await.  I know this is the time for juicy and detoxing and avoiding dairy and gluten and sugar and what have you.  Which is fine, but not my style.  I'm an everything in moderation kinda gal.  But you've probably already figured that out.  If I want to eat all of the dairy and all of the gluten in January, I'm going to.  But tomorrow's dinner might also be a giant kale salad.  Or pasta with lentils and ricotta.  Or oatmeal with blueberries.  It's whatever I feel like.  And today I felt like quiche.  Damn good quiche. 




The key to damn good quiche is the crust.  I'm a fan of the recipe on the back of the Tenderflake lard box (and no, they are not paying me to say that.)  I just always have good luck with that recipe, and it makes a big batch, enough for six single crust pies or 3 double crust.  And, one of my goals for 2015 is to always have a stash of pastry in the freezer.  Because repeat after me:  life is too short to not eat pie.  And quiche. 




Smoke salmon, goat cheese and dill are a killer combo.  It's hard to go wrong with that trifecta, and in this quiche, they are oh so right.  I sautéed a little onion first and scattered that on the bottom of my par-baked pie crust.  You can even par-bake it a day ahead to help speed things up.  Then I layered in the cheese and salmon, then the egg/milk mixture, then another layer of cheese, salmon and finished it off by pouring in the last of the egg/milk.  It baked up oh so lovely, and I have to say the filling is creamy and dreamy, with little pockets of goat cheese and salmon.  It's light and a little bit fancy.  Just like how you should feel as the brand new year starts up. 




Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Quiche

Pastry
  • 5½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb (464 g) Tenderflake® lard, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Ice Water
Whisk together flour and salt.
Cut in Tenderflake with pastry blender or 2 knives until the lard is pea sized within the flour. In a 1 cup measure combine the vinegar and egg. Add the ice water to make 1 cup. Gradually stir liquid into Tenderflake mixture, adding only enough liquid to make dough cling together. Gently gather the dough into a ball and divide into 6 equal portions. For this recipe you are using just one portion.  Wrap the portions and refrigerate 30 minutes (if you are using right away) or freeze for future use. When you are ready to use and the dough has chilled for at least 30 minutes, roll out the portion on lightly floured surface. If the dough is sticking, chill again for another hour. Transfer the prepared dough to pie plate. Trim and flute shell. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Line pie plate with parchment or foil.  Fill 2/3 full with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove parchment and dried beans. Poke bottom with fork.  Bake 10 more minutes.  Cool on rack.  (This step can be done a day ahead. Cover cooled shell with plastic wrap and leave at room temp.)

Filling 

1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 ounces goat cheese crumbled into chunks
4 ounces smoked salmon, sliced
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

In a small skillet, melt butter.  Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent and slightly golden.  Remove from heat and let cool. 
Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, dill, lemon zest, salt and pepper. 
In the bottom of the par-baked pie shell, add the cooked onion.  Layer in half the goat cheese and half the salmon.  Pour in half the egg mixture.  Add the remaining goat cheese and salmon.  Pour in the rest of the egg mixture.  Bake at 350*F for 35-40 minutes until golden and puffy.  Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.   Serves 4.  Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes. 





6 comments:

  1. Happy New Year Renee! I hope there are so many good things in it for you (and yes, you are so right... it's the little things that need to be savoured too!). I always drool over your quiche and posts with pastry and this combo is one of my faves (I just never have luck with pastry myself!).

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  2. Looks fantastic. The winter light in these photos is so comforting and cozy. Wishing you a million wonderful little things in 2015.

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  3. I have the same feelings about 2015... I think it's gunna be a gooooooood year!

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  4. Melissa - Thank you so much! Happy new year!
    Amy - Thanks so much my dear :)
    Movita - Give it up for 2015!!!

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  5. thanks for the perfect recipe for Sunday...fav comfy chair, fuzzy-wuzzies, cheater-readers at the end a my nose, a good book and the week's Corrie St episodes...happy 2015 girl. all the best to ya...hope to see you at my new place soon...

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  6. Oh! This is an amazing pairing! Goat Cheese has sort of been 'my thing' lately, and you've just given me another reason to pick some more up when I go on my grocery run tomorrow!

    Riz
    http://www.chocolatesandchai.com

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