|Gregg at dinner on Friday night|
Because Gregg didn't want to go out on Valentine's Day, and has been so busy at work (working through lunch and putting in overtime), I decided to make a new dish last night, so that we could eat at home and still feel the special quality of the day. I prepared it, put it in the oven, and we went out for a brisk walk in the fading light. The sky was blue, the clouds were tinged with pink from the setting sun, and the pink light was reflected on the surface of the water.
I am not a great cook, but I do like to create things. Improvisation in the kitchen is always risky, but it is also a necessity, for me, because I rarely find a recipe that includes just what I have in mind - or what I have in the larder. Improvising is great fun, but it can go awry - and it has in my kitchen, in the past. However, it went well yesterday.
I made seafood quiche in a puff-pastry crust. Gregg made a salad, and we each had a glass of wine with our dinner. We gave each other Valentine cards, and spent the evening together. It was lovely. No great expense, no flashy business, no huge expectations, no disappointments. Just two people who are still grateful and happy to have found one another in this big world, enjoying each other's company. It was just right for us.
I can't give you an exact recipe for the quiche, because I took three recipes and made it up from there, but if you like to improvise, here are the links which I consulted, before merging aspects of them together:
I had some fondue cheese, grated (emmenthal and gruyere) and a bit of cream cheese, so I used that. They added just the right flavor. Here is my best estimate of what I did:
Crab & Cod Quiche
One sheet of puff pastry dough, thawed
1 cup of shredded cheese
1/2 cup of cream cheese (approx.)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. crushed garlic
Trader Joe's fresh mixed chopped veggies (or your own blend)
Fresh peas (out of the shell)
1 cup arugula
salt, pepper, paprika and dry mustard to taste
1/2 cup crab meat, cooked
1 cup cod, cooked
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lay the puff pastry dough in a lightly-greased pie pan.
Put 2 Tbsp. of butter in a saute pan and melt with garlic. When it bubbles, add the vegetables and saute for 3 minutes, until they are just softened. Add the arugula until wilted (another minute or two). Take off the burner and allow to cool.
Scramble the eggs in a medium-sized bowl; add the dry seasonings.
Add the shredded cheese and blend well. Add the cream cheese and blend.
Add the seafood.
Add the sauteed veggies. Blend gently and thoroughly together.
Pour the mixture into the puff pastry.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes (check to be sure crust does not burn).
Remove and let stand for 5 - 10 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this. We ate half of it last night! The puff pastry gives it a lighter finish than a pie crust would, and I appreciated that. If you are not a seafood-lover, you could subsititute your favorite meat or vegetables. As Julia would say, "Bon Appetit!"