Monday, 24 May 2010

Salmon Tart and Frittatas

I spent the weekend catering for 19 lunches on Saturday and Sunday, phew!  People were so enthusiastic about what I produced, which was simple but completely home-made.  And I think that is the difference.  People are so used to being offered shop-bought quiche, coleslaw and cake that when they are given the real thing they are over the moon!  It really isn't much effort to whizz up coleslaw, but it does take a little forethought and a little extra time.  The problem is, we have been seduced by this 'live fast, buy lots of things we don't need but can't live without, constant mobile phone presence' life.  I am really bucking against it, even though I have a Blackberry.  For the first time really in my life I am taking time out each day to walk my dog and to be solitary in nature, just me and my thoughts.  I am finding more and more that I need this space to keep my sanity, and actually, I still have friends even though I didn't vacuum the house this morning!

Anyway, I am feeling calmer at least!  Here are two lovely recipes.  Smoked Salmon Tart is delicious and really quite impressive, and the Frittatas are tarts without the pastry!  Be creative because once you know how to make a tart, the variations are endless!  (The picture has some spinach put into the case with the salmon).

Smoked Salmon Tart   (Quiche Lorraine if you use fried bacon and onions!)

One pastry case (25-27cm or a similar sized tin)
200g plain flour
100g butter
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 tbs cold water

Heat the oven to 200 degrees/Gas Mark 5.  Using a food-processor, mix the flour, butter and salt until it looks like breadcrumbs, or by hand, rub the butter into the flour then mix in the salt.  Add the water (you may need a little more but don't make the pastry too wet) until a dough is formed.  Roll out to 5cm larger than your tin.  Place over and push the edges gently down the sides to touch the corner, all the way round.  Leave some over hanging and place in the oven for 10 minutes.  Trim the pastry with a sharp knife slicing horizontally.

Now the filling:

250g  packet of smoked salmon
7 eggs, made up to 750ml with
double cream and milk
Seasoning and paprika
Fresh herbs of your choice: chives, oregano, marjoram, basil, etc. all snipped or chopped

Mix all the above but the salmon together and pour into your pastry case.  Cut the salmon into strips and arrange prettily, making sure it is spread evenly.  Season the top with salt and pepper and  a little paprika.  Bake for around 35-40 minutes, until golden brown on top and there is no wobble.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Frittatas (Thanks Emma!)  (Makes 12)

8 eggs
125ml double cream
50ml milk
2 red onions
A handful of cooked spinach
A carrot, finely grated
A packet of pine-nuts
12 thin strips of smoked salmon
Ground paprika

Heat the oven to 200 degrees/Gas Mark 5.  Fry the onions in a little oil until softened.  Grease or line a deep 12-hole muffin tin with squares of parchment paper.  Layer the onion, spinach and carrot between the holes,  season with salt and pepper and top with a sprinkling of pine-nuts.  Mix the eggs, cream and milk and season well.  Pour the egg mixture into each muffin case, trying not to spill any over the edge (makes it harder to take them out).  Place a strip of salmon on each muffin, sprinkle with paprika and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed-up.


1/4 savoy cabbage
2 carrots
1/4 red onion

Slice the cabbage and onion as finely as you can.  Grate the carrots and mix all together with mayonnaise until you reach your desired consistency.  Keeps in the 'fridge for a few days, just mix well when serving.

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