What you are looking at is the very last piece of a delicious smoked salmon and mushroom quiche I whipped up this weekend.
While shopping in the local Market Place, I came across a pack of smoked salmon trimmings. If you are in the mood to make a salmon dish that needs chunks of salmon instead of a whole filet or steak, keep your eyes open for these trimmings. They usually cost about half as much per pound as the filets and add just as much flavor. The chief difficulty is stopping yourself from snacking on them before you cook.
I ran through the ingredients to a smoked salmon quiche in my head. Clearly, I needed mushrooms to pair with the salmon and some cheese, but what kind? In the cheese section a selection of applewood smoked cheeses presented themselves to me. Smoked salmon - smoked cheese - made sense. I selected a smoked gruyere and headed home to make my quiche.
The particular quiche I made was delicious but had a fatal flaw - the crust's texture was like cardboard. I'd been afraid of adding too much water to the dough and ended up kneading it far too long and produced a crust with far too much structure and gluten. Don't drown your crust here, but also don't under-water it.
Smoked Salmon Mushroom Quiche
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
cold water (from 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic
4 oz. smoked salmon trimmings, cut into uniform 1"-2" pieces.
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 oz. shredded smoked gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
1 1/4 cup whole milk
Grease a 9"-10" cake pan with at least 1" sides.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Mix together the flours and the salt thoroughly. Work in the butter with your hands until the dough resembles pea-sized clumps. Add enough cold water to make dough hold together nicely. Add water very slowly. The right amount will depend on the ambient humidity and the temperature of your kitchen. When it holds together and feels like it will let you roll it, you're there. Roll it one around on a lightly floured surface, and rest the dough ball wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough into a circle large enough to fill a 9-10" cake pan. Lay the dough in the pan so it comes up at least 1" all the way around. Make several small holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork.
Put a piece of parchment or aluminum foil on top the crust and load it up with dried beans to weight the crust down. Bake crust in oven for 25 minutes. Remove parchment/aluminum foil and beans and bake 7 minutes more.
Meanwhile, mix eggs and milk together. Refrigerate while you do the rest of the recipe.
Pour olive oil in sautee pan and heat through. Add chopped onion and garlic and sautee for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and herbs and sautee 5 minutes more.
Lay down a thin layer of gruyere on the bottom of the prepared crust. Spoon the mushroms (except for a tablespoon) on top of that. Add another layer of cheese. Distribute the salmon on the next layer (again, except for a tablespoon), and cover with remainder of cheese.
Pour the custard (milk/egg mix) gently onto the crust. When done, add the reserved salmon and mushrooms on top in a suitably artistic manner.
You might be tempted to salt this quiche somewhere in here, but don't. The smoked fish and cheese has plenty of salt for the dish.
Bake in 350 F oven for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the center is just set to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean of egg goop (there may still be some melty cheese goop without worry). Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with a lightly sweet white wine and a side salad.