Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Salt with a Side of Quiche

One would think that the person writing a book about the diet named for him would have the best recipes, right? Wrong. That apparently only applies in a sane and rational world. A world were French dietitians don't try to pickle people from the inside with the saltiest meal that has ever been devised anywhere. Montignac's recipe for Salmon Quiche in his Slim Forever the French Way was a real stinker, literally. My hair still smells like fish a day later.

Quiche is yummy and simple. Salmon is delicious. Ditto blue cheese. So what could go wrong? Everything. I had two less eggs than I needed and I should have just stopped then. But the oven was already on and the fella was going to be home in a half hour so I put in slightly less cream to the mix as well and hopped for the best. Even shorting the recipe, the mixture still would not fit in the largest baking dish I had and I hadn't even sprinkled on the blue cheese yet.

So here I am with a precariously full glass baking dish trying not to spill any of the messy batter on the trip from waist high counter to knee high oven rack. Those were some of the most intense seconds in my recent baking history. Now I lingered by the oven making spinach, apple and blue cheese salads (the only good part of the meal it turned out) and waiting for the quiche to solidify enough that I could add the cheese without ending up with raw egg all over the bottom of the oven.

Problem was the entire 40 minute baking time went by and it was still a soup. I turned the oven up to 350 because 300 didn't seem like it was getting us anywhere and put the quiche soup back in for another 30 minutes. It formed a crust in that time and I tossed in the cheese and added another 10 minutes. Still raw in the middle. We eat our salads and they are splendid. The quiche is still a wet mess so I put it in for 20 more minutes. We're starving by this point.

We open a bottle of wine. I don't know what to pair with the great un-cookable quiche so we go with a bottle that the fella's super sweet San Francisco dwelling sister sent us for Christmas, a Pinot Noir from Francis Ford Coppola. Aside from the Sophia sparkling rose I haven't been blown away by anything bottled by Coppola and this was no different. It was unobjectionable to quote the fella. I agree but it had an intriguing bottle and it took the edge off the last 15 minutes we spent waiting for quiche and writing up our grocery list.

This is now the most anticipated quiche ever created and though it is a nice golden brown on the top it is still sponge-like in the center and not fully hardened. We had a dog to walk and groceries to buy we couldn't wait any longer so we sat down to eat it and I prayed against salmonella. I shoved the first ravenous bite in my mouth and instantly regretted it. It tasted like gooey salt with different colored and textured salty things in it. A great big epic fail.

The fella actually really liked so I guess it wasn't that bad, there was just no way it could live up to the level of expectation it created by taking so damn long to cook. It really needs something fresh and bright tasting in it to even out the astringency of the blue cheese and the smoky salmon. This really was just too much sodium for one dish but now the fella has something to eat for lunch for a while. He will not be fighting over who gets to take then left overs to work.

Look at it just sitting there looking all innocent and not at all like a slice of evening ruining yuck. Don't believe it, this is an evil quiche.

Salmon and Blue Cheese Quiche

1 white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (this didn't contribute anything, I would leave it out)
2 tablespoons fresh basil (need much more than this it taste it over everything else)

8 large eggs, beaten
2 cups heavy cream of creme fraiche

10 black olives, pitted and halved (would substitute with fresh tomato or green pepper)
10 ounces thin sliced smoked salmon, cut in bite sized pieces (would half this amount)
1 cup Roquefort or blue cheese, crumbled

Grease the deepest round baking dish you can find, set aside and preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat and cook onion until softened but not browned. Remove from pan into small bowl and when cool add Parmesan and basil to bowl. In large mixing bowl beat together eggs and cream or creme fraiche until very well blended. Add onion mixture to eggs along with olives, and mix well. Stir in salmon and pour egg mixture into greased pan. Sprinkle blue cheese over quiche. Bake for about 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and there is no evidence of uncooked egg.

Original recipe from Michel Montignac's Slim Forever the French Way

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