Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fish Quiche

OK, I have caved in. I thought I could hold out until Thanksgiving to dig out the Christmas decorations, and I guess technically I am, because today is Labor Thanksgiving in Japan, which is about as close as Japan gets to expressing a feeling about something by a holiday.
So I am getting into to cold-weather food mode. The picture is of a spinach-salmon quiche. It is salmon season here, so I could find fairly cheap salmon fillets (watching out for the bones, of course), and spinach is in season, so I could get a bunch (meaning an armful for next to nothing. Probably the cheese was the biggest expense.
I cheated on the pie crust by using a mix, but it's really not hard to make a simple crust either way (the long way is flour, a pinch of salt, shortening and a bit of ice water. Prebake the crust. That only takes about 10 minutes at 350F (160C).
When I make a quiche, I use a block of cheese. Any kind works, depending on the flavor you want. I used Gouda this time, shredding a generous cupful.
Poach the salmon in a little white wine. This is to separate skin and bones from the edible part more easily. I then flake the meat, let it cool and stir in with the shredded cheese. I am not sure how much spinach was involved in its raw state, but I rinsed it, put it in a container and microwaved it at 900W for 50 seconds. This, I am told, helps keep up to 90 percent of the vitamins. Blanching (basically dumping boiling water over it) retains about 70 percent, while boiling the spinach leaves only about 30 percent of the vitamins.
Anyway, I wound up with enough spinach that, wheen squeezed and chopped, it yielded about a cup. I added fresh basil, Italian parsley, rosemary, chervil, oregano, thyme, whole rose peppercorns, ground black pepper, a dash of nutmet and stirred all that together with the spinach, cheese and salmon.
Separately, I beat four eggs into a frenzy, added a cup and a half of fresh cream (don't use fake cream. Quiche is not about counting calories). Beat that again so it is a bit thick. A blender can deal with this nicely, but beating by hand, although tiring, lets you see the consistency best.
Stir the egg-cream mixture into the spinach/fish/herb stuff, then spread it over the baked pie shell. Sprinkle a little paprika over the top to add color. Bake at 375F (180F) for about 30 minutes.
It's pretty good stuff and good any time, for example with a salad and a little Chardonay as a simple supper, or warmed over at breakfast (if there is any left).
I had mine for brunch with more coffee while digging out the Christmas decorations. And what I consider Thanksgiving is still a few days away. Can I hold off until then? Stay tuned.