To mourn the closing of Winnipeg’s Mirlycourtois’ restaurant (a former employer of mine) I decided to make my version of the chefs classic quiche. Rather than spend $12 on 5 puny pieces of smoked salmon at Safeway I decided to switch it up and buy a smoked goldeye. WOW! This was an excellent way to use the fish. Please try it at home!
Smoked Goldeye and Goat Cheese Quiche
For the dough I will refer to my previously posted Perfect Pie Dough. Hopefully you still have some in the freezer from your last batch of Tortiere.
Perfect Pie Dough
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 lb lard
2 egg yolks
1 cup of water
Combine the flour and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Add the pound of lard and use two knives to cut it into the flour. The use your (washed) hands to crumble and rub it into the flour until it resembles fine meal. Don’t worry if there are some lardy chunks, it is difficult to work it all in. Next combine the water and egg yolks in a small bowl. Whip them together with a fork. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and dump all the liquid in. Use the fork to start drawing the dry into the wet. When it is all mixed in ditch the fork and use your hands to knead the dough until everything comes together. Try not to overknead the dough or it will lose some of its flakiness and make it more difficult to roll out. Divide the dough into 8 portions. You can individually wrap any extra portions and freeze them for future use.
1/2 lb fresh spinach
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1 whole smoked goldeye
3 ounces goat cheese
Rinse 1/2 pound or so of fresh spinach in cold water and shake dry or let drain in a colander. Pick off any stems. If you are using ready-to-serve spinach it will have already been washed, but the stems may still need picking. (If you want you may instead use 1 package of frozen spinach (whole leaves and not the chopped variety). Either let the frozen spinach thaw overnight in a bowl or use the defrost setting on your microwave. Squeeze it very well to rid it of all moisture prior to using.) Peel one clove of garlic and stab it onto the tines of a fork. Next heat up one tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan. When the butter is noisette (begins to turn brown and emits a nutty aroma) add the fresh spinach. Stir the spinach with the garlic-on-a-fork until it is all wilted, then remove it to a colander or strainer until cool. Squeeze as much liquid out of the greens as you can, then season it with salt and pepper. Place it in a bowl until you are ready to use it.
For the goldeye: carefully peel all of the skin off the fish, starting near the belly. Remove the head of the fish just behind the first set of fins. Using a paring knife and starting at the top of the fish where the head was, gently separate the meat from the skeleton. It is possible to peel off both filets while leaving the skeleton in tact. When you get to the tail end you may need to use your knife and cut the filet loose. Do the same with the second filet.
Roll out one piece of quiche dough and use it to line a pie plate. Loosely scatter a layer of spinach in the bottom of the pie. Top the spinach with an even layer of the goldeye. Place walnut sized pieces of goat cheese on top of everything. Next make the Quiche Appareil.
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream, 35% cream)
salt and pepper
Mix all very thoroughly in a bowl. Pour the appareil over the filling and tap the pie plate gently on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Top the quiche with about 3/4 cup of shredded cheese (ideally emmental swiss, but mozzarella will also work).
Bake the quiche in a 350*F oven for about 45 minutes or until the crust is cooked and the appareil has set (if you give it a little jiggle or a bit of a pat on top it should look and feel firm). Remove it from the oven and let cool.
This quiche will serve 4-6 people. I suggest accompanying it with a light tossed salad dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.