Monday, January 24, 2011

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Quiche Aux Fruits de Mer

aka: Shellfish Quiche (Lobster, in this instance)
pgs: 149-150

2 cups of flour worth of Julia Child's Pie Crust Recipe
2 tbsp Minced Shallots or Green Onions
3 tbsp Butter
1/4 lb cooked fresh or canned crab, shrimp or lobster
1/4 tsp Salt
Pinch of Pepper
2 tbsp Madeira or Dry White Vermouth
3 Eggs
1 c. Whipping Cream
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1/4 tsp Salt
Pinch of Pepper

Now that my food processor is up and running again (Thank you, Dearest!) I decided to give Julia's Pie Crust recipe a try with my mom's food processor method.  I think she gets it from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.  I like to think Julia would be cool with this.  Later editions of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" were edited to include the food processor, a new invention at the time.  I have no idea if she used it in her pie crust recipe though.

Basically, you put the flour, salt and/or sugar, and shortening/butter in the food processor with the primary blade in.

Blend until completely combined.

Then, while blending, add VERY COLD water and keep the blade spinning until it forms a ball.  

Then, you take the dough and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour.  This step can be optional if you're in a hurry but I find pie dough easier to work with when it and all of my rolling implements are cold.  As such, I keep both of my rolling pins and the silicon baking sheet I roll on in the fridge at all times, chilled and waiting for me to utilize them.  

Before I move on to rolling out the dough, I want to talk a little about pan selection.  Julia calls for the use of a flan ring or a false-bottomed tart pan, citing that French tarts, pies, quiches etc. are supposed to have steep sides at the very least, preferably self-supported.  I didn't have a tart pan or flan ring the last time I made a quiche, so I made it in a pie pan.  Technically, that makes it a gratin.  This time around, I wanted something a little more authentic.  Mostly, I wanted to see if I could get it to stand up on it's own.  I considered a cake pan (at least it would have steep sides) but my only round cake pan is silicone and the crust would shatter when it jiggled.  I sent an email out to my family looking for either a springform (cheesecake) pan or the false-bottomed tart pan the recipe actually calls for.  My grandma was able to dig up some old one-piece tart pans, which she gave me, bit i still didn't find what I was looking for.  Eventually, I gave up and went to the kitchen store for a new pan.  

Anyways, I rolled the dough out and pressed it into the pan.  At Julia's advice, I simply ran my roller over the top of the pan to trim the excess off.  

Then I Pricked the bottom of the pan with a fork and baked for 10 minutes @ 400 degrees.  That is only part-way cooked, but it'll get the rest of the way cooked when the whole quiche bakes.  

Sweat onions in butter (but don't brown) then add meat (lobster in my case) and finally wine & salt.  I kinda messed up a little cuz my onions did start to carmelize.  

Mix eggs, cream, tomato paste, seasonings and seafood mix.  Pour into Shell.  

Bake for 30 minutes @ 375 or until puffy and golden brown.  

Place on top of bowl or jar to release from side ring.  

GENTLY move from base to serving dish and enjoy!

After previous experiences of over-salting, I decided to forgo all the salt and pepper in this recipe.  I probably could have put a tad more in than I did, but on the whole I don't regret it.  Be warned: this is VERY rich!  In the future, i'll probably use much less butter with the lobster, and even then it'll probably be best enjoyed with a glass of milk.  

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