Who wouldn’t like to be stuck with a nice big chunk of cooked salmon? Such a versatile treasure! Salmon salad, salmon sandwiches; in crêpes, timbales, aspic, pasta; creamed on toast, etc. – the list goes on. Having recently once again overestimated the consumption capacity of a family gathering, I was faced the next day with the dilemma of how to rescue a gorgeous piece of leftover salmon from oblivion. Tired and devoid of inspiration, I once again resorted to the Foretaste section of my book, The Refrigerator Files, (iUniverse.com or amazon.com) where a long list of possibilities is listed. The a-ha! moment came when I came to “Quiches”. It had been ages since I had made one, and I had sensed a need for a change watching the rolled eyeballs of my husband at my last leftover endeavor.
So, believe it or not, it only took a few minutes (not counting defrosting and baking time) to put the whole thing together. I always stock rolled pie crust dough, supermarket variety, in the freezer, so out it came. After it had pretty much thawed out, I popped it into a pie dish, pricked some holes with a fork, and pre-baked it for about 15 minutes at 375˚F. As it was cooling, I proceeded thus:
1 cup half & half
1 Tbs. white wine
1 Tbs. each minced onion and celery
Pinches salt and pepper
Mix these ingredients well in a bowl. Add and mix in:
About 1½ mashed cooked salmon
Pour mixture into cooled pie crust shell. Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese (Those packages from Papa John’s pizza come in handy!) Bake at 375°F for about 45 minutes.
Hot and bubbly as it was carried to the table, it evoked a relieved smile from my husband. As a veggie accompaniment I went for raw carrots (sliced, simmered) and frozen peas (added after about 5 minutes and cooked another 5 minutes). With a blob of butter substitute, the peas-and-carrots mix made a decorative contrast with the rather bland color of the quiche. A green salad rounded out the menu.
If you like quiches, remember to keep rolled pie crust dough and some cream in stock. You can substitute all sorts of other ingredients for the salmon: other fish, ham, veggie leftovers, chicken, cheese, etc. You can also use some stock mixed with half and half or heavy cream. Go with the flow and play mix-and-match with your leftovers!