31 December 2010 – Salmon Quiche: The End

I decided to end this blog in keeping with its name, at the 365th dinner. It was a remarkably interesting one, suggested by Mom. She wanted to try a salmon quiche, having heard about this from somewhere. It turned out great!

I checked some recipes online, and we narrowed it down: regular salmon, not smoked; and for convenience this time, canned salmon, not fresh. She insisted on buying “red salmon” not “pink salmon”; given that red was more than twice as expensive, this obviously mattered a lot!

The recipe starts with a standard crust, so I used Mom’s recipe, which is The Best: 1cup flour (she prefers Pillsbury) 1/2 cup Crisco (in the fridge), 1/2 tsp salt, and about 2T cold water, though this time it took more than that. This recipe called for cooking the crust 5 minutes at 450 before adding the insides.

I used more parsley than the recipe called for, but mostly stuck to it pretty well, except for not knowing their definition of “an onion” (Mom’s: 1 ½ “ diameter; mine: 2 ½ inch diameter; I added some of my big onion after cutting up her little one).  The can of salmon is drained, and picked over to remove skin and bones, and then flaked over the slightly-cooked crust and then topped with lemon juice. The onion, cooked in butter, is tossed over the salmon. The parsley – very beautiful – is tossed over the top.

The oil/juice drained from the salmon can is mixed with eggs (6) and milk, the custard is poured over the other ingredients and the pie is cooked for… well, long. The pie cooked more slowly than expected, but it could have been that Mom’s oven does not heat to the temperature it says. Mom is having someone look at it. Anyway, by the time we expected to have dinner, the center was still clearly liquid, so we popped the dial up to 400 and it cooked just fine then. Oh, I also had to look up a way of mixing a “seasoned salt” substitute, but that turned out to be pretty easy. Mom didn’t have turmeric on hand, but the rest of the ingredients were present.

And the quiche was great!

We took out a bottle of J. Lohr from Mom’s excellent wine cabinet and that worked great for this meal. We also had broccoli, steamed 5 minutes and then tossed with butter and salt.

 

 

 

 

And that ended a year of great eating – just like our other years :) This blog is now to be continued at: http://my365dinners2011.wordpress.com .  See you there!

{Written 12 Jan}

 

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30 December 2010 – Macaroni and cheese; mixed vegetables; salad

Mom suggested macaroni and cheese for dinner, so we had that. Sure is easy! Mom boils the macaroni, then adds longhorn cheddar, cut in rather large chunks, if my sighting of them in advance of dinner is accurate – maybe 1/2 inch square by 1 1/2 inch long? She also added a smidge of milk, she says.

We had some more of the mixed vegetables as in last night’s dinner – this time tossed briefly in the heating pan with some butter – and a salad of iceberg lettuce, peanuts, and tomato wedges, with Kraft Thousand Island dressing.

I had the rest of the bottle of Cotes du Rhone opened on the 28th, and I have to say my opinion has not really changed. Fine, but not great.

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29 December 2010 – Deviled chicken thighs; pilaf; frozen mixed vegetables

I am trying to find recipes that Mom would like (she is bored with her standards) and would also be willing to cook (not complicated, that is), and this one was a winner. It’s from an old cookbook by Marian Burros called “Keep it Simple”. You simply boil the defatted chicken thigh meat (I cut it into about 2″ pieces this time, which worked well) in a mixture of water, soy sauce, sherry, ginger, and cayenne (not much :) ) – and boil it a lot longer than Ms. Burros (who used to hire me to babysit in the mid-60s)  would have you do it, so it gets really flavorful. We once tried this recipe with chicken breast meat, and it was flavorless, so use thighs.

I made a pilaf using Uncle Ben’s rice (which is all Mom uses) and found I really needed to use the usual Uncle Ben’s proportions of water and rice (started with too little water but added a bit to steam the rice more late in the game). I used too much butter, but it was ok. I used a cube of veggie bouillon to flavor the water, but later realized I should have used turkey stock. Dumb.

Mom is allergic to fresh vegetables, so we had frozen mixed veggies, which I cooked according to the package directions (did not boil forever, as Mom always wants to do) and Mom really liked them.

They are a perfectly decent taste, really, I just can’t imagine choosing frozen when you can have fresh food. She can’t imagine why you would want fresh when you can have frozen, so I guess we will just have to take turns or something ;) Nice, bright colors on these, for sure. Seems to be the Giant Food house brand.

I see there’s a tomato chunk on the plate up there in the dinner photo, too.

I opened a Cotes du Bourg, which I really enjoyed. Brother thought last night’s wine more to his liking, interestingly.

{Written the 30th}

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28 December 2010 – Leftover turkey pot pie and green beans with almonds; cole slaw

D&R took off this morning, so there are just three of us for dinner now. We ate up a bunch of the remaining pot pie – reheated a half hour at 350, which was not enough, and added 10 mins at 400 – along with the reheated green beans with toasted almonds, and the ever-present (always refreshing) Safeway cole slaw.

I found a Cotes du Rhone in our stash of wines, and it was fine but I thought a bit rough around the edges. Cost $9.49 at the county store, which is pretty cheap around here.

Brother, thinking back, thought he liked this one better than the one the next night, interestingly.

{Written the 30th}

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27 December 2010 – Turkey pot pie with sage biscuit topping; salad

This is a favorite of ours for turkey leftovers. Fortunately we had three cooks, and D had stripped the turkey carcass and made stock the day before. Someday I will look up which book this is from (it’s chicken in the book, of course) but I think it’s from the San Francisco Junior League.

The plate looks rather bare. I should have intercepted and gotten medium-sized plates on the table, but not obvious Mom would consider that dinner ;)

The pot pie contains a large onion and a leek, garlic, a box of frozen peas, and a mammoth carrot, in addition to the turkey and stock, so there is no real need for a veggie on the side. However a salad can be a nice counterpart. The topping is neat – basically a pastry dough, but very wet and treated like drop biscuits, and including a lot of fresh sage. Interestingly, the dough is too salty to be used by itself as biscuits (without cutting the salt, of course) so evidently it is complementing the stew beneath it nicely in the pot pie itself. It’s really a delicious dish.

Rather prettier in its big pottery dish:

Wine. Was this really the only wine we opened for this meal? Could be that one of us (which would not have been D, R, or moi) opted for the house Corbett Canyon chard and eschewed the red. I’ll have to do some searching for more pictures.

{Written the 30th}

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26 December 2010 – Turkey over mashed potatoes and bread, with gravy; fresh broccoli; cole slaw

Classic leftovers – excellent slices of turkey still available – heated in a pan with I think butter, placed over fresh mashed potatoes, that over bread (sourdough from Safeway) all topped with the remaining gravy, thinned with a bit of stock made from the turkey bones and tidbits of clinging meat.

We had fresh broccoli, steamed, then tossed in the (emptied) pan with melted butter and salt, and of course the ubiquitous Safeway cole slaw.

We have a lot of wine drinkers at this point, so generally two wines per meal. We started this one with a J. Lohr Chardonnay, which was good but not cold enough. And rather poorly lighted ;)

The other was a Saint-Emilion that D chose at the local county wine store. I believe we really liked this one.

{Written the 30th}

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25 December 2010 – Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans with almonds

What else for Christmas dinner but turkey? We cooked the turkey with maple glaze for Mom and brother, and they seemed to enjoy it.

Mom cooked mashed potatoes and refrigerator rolls, and I did the Pepperidge Farm stuffing she wanted to have. We had the canned kind of cranberry sauce, too, but it is not in the picture. D cooked the gravy from the maple turkey recipe from epicurious.  

D gave me (shock!) again a “wine of the month club” – personally chosen, of course – and these were the first wines for this year, which were excellent for this meal (though I put off the cranberry sauce till after I finished my wine).

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