Picard is a French chain store, the concept of which finds no equivalent in the US: it only sells frozen foods.
This may not sound very appealing to the foodiest foodies among you, but their products are surprisingly high-quality, much like I remember the frozen section at Trader Joe’s, in which I loved to wander till my fingers grew numb.
Their selection is wide: from simply cut-up vegetables or fruit, and uncooked meat or fish, to more sophisticated appetizers, main dishes, sides, and “ethnic” meals, plus ice cream, desserts, and breads. You could live off of their products alone — and many do — but I like to simply stock up on convenient staples that reduce the prep time for weeknight dinners.
Salmon and leek quiche is one of my favorite quiche recipes, one I find myself suddenly craving every now and then. And so, on Friday night, I was delighted to have everything on hand to make one, in which both the salmon and the leek were courtesy of Picard.
Salmon and leek are, in my humble opinion, a marriage made in heaven. They both offer wonderfully subtle and sweet tastes, best brought out by a salad dressed with a sharp and tangy vinaigrette.
- 900 grams (2 lb) leek whites, carefully washed and thinly sliced, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 200 grams (7 ounces) salmon fillets from a sustainable source, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
- pâte brisée or easy olive oil tart pastry or store-bought puff pastry
- 2 large eggs
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) crème fraîche or heavy cream
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and grease a 25-cm (10-inch) quiche pan.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the leeks and salt, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until tender. If the leeks have rendered a lot of juices -- usually this happens if they're frozen -- drain thoroughly.
- In a large saucepan, bring water to a simmer and lower in the salmon. Poach for 10 minutes, until just cooked. Drain thoroughly, and flake with a fork.
- Roll out the pastry and cut out a 30-cm (12-inch) circle using a plate as a template. Transfer the pastry to the dish, allowing the extra dough to hang over the sides of the dish.
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, crème fraîche, and pepper. Fold in the leeks and salmon.
- Pour the filling in the pie dish, and fold the flaps of dough back over the filling.
- With a pastry brush, use what egg moisture is left in the bowl to brush the pie dough.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is just set. Leave on the counter to settle for a few minutes, and serve with a green salad.