Salmon, Cheese and Cabbage Quiche

In the 1985 James Bond film A View To A Kill, Bond offers to make dinner while staying in the mansion of Stacey Sutton. He takes a baked dish out of the oven, the clueless American heiress asks what it is and Bond replies that it is a quiche. The term is unfamiliar to her and Bond explains that it is an omelet. I’d describe a quiche as a cross between an omelet and a pie. It has most of the ingredients for making an omelet but all those ingredients are poured into a pie shell and baked in the oven until set. This salmon, cheese, and cabbage quiche was inspired by a recipe in Nick Nairn’s Top 100 Salmon Recipes cookbook. I made a lot of changes since the original recipe did not include vegetables.

Make the crust first. Cut the butter into very small pieces and place in a mixing bowl with the egg. Add the flour and salt. Mix (I recommend mixing by hand it’s easier to “feel” when the texture is just right) until the flour and butter look like coarse crumbs. While mixing, add ice-cold water, a tablespoonful at a time, until the dough starts to come together and looks like it can be gathered into a ball. Empty the contents of the can of mushroom soup into a cooking pan and add the salmon. Turn on the stove to medium heat then turn it off just before the soup starts to boil. Lift the salmon out of the soup, transfer it to a plate, and cool.

At this point, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it to 1/4-inch thick. Fit into a pie plate, fold, and tuck in the edges (flute with your fingers if you’re in an artistic mood). Prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Place a piece of baking paper over the crust then pour about a cup and a half of dried beans to weigh down the dough. You’re going to do some blind baking and you don’t want the crust’s bottom rising with the heat. Bake in a preheated 175oC oven for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven, lift the baking paper, beans and all. You can reuse the beans for blind baking in the future. Just cool them and store them in an air-tight container.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. If using salmon steaks, peel off the skin (feed to the cat, if you have one) and discard the bones. Break the flesh into large chunks. Scatter the salmon chunks over the entire bottom of the crust. Beat the eggs. Shred the cabbage. Cut the carrot into matchsticks. Cut the cheese into small cubes. Mix the cabbage, carrot, and tarragon with the eggs. Pour in the mushroom soup. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Scatter the cheese on top of the salmon. Cover with the soup-eggs-vegetables mixture. Bake in a preheated 175oC oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.