When a food critic turns the poison pen on herself

Smoked salmon and fennel quiche September 25, 2008

Filed under: Pastry — crummb @ 12:38 am
Tags: , , , , ,

FINALLY! I got my camera fixed this week and I am liberated. I’m no longer at the mercy of my husband Z, whose extremely business-unsavvy Z Photo Studio opens only once a week for two measly hours. Now, I can bake as many cakes as I like and take my own photos (and wear out his PhotoShop!). But most exciting of all, I can now take photos of the various steps in the baking process, much like Smitten Kitchen!

Zann introduced me to this cooking blog and I became an instant fan. The blogger posts photos of her cooking process and they are absolutely pixel-sharp and delicious-looking. I’m thinking that she must have professional lights installed over her cooker and dining table – because her pix are always so gorgeously lit. Maybe she’s got a husband who’s always around to hold her wooden spoon or pour in her batter while she focuses her camera – I donno. Maybe she’s got three hands. But I know for sure that she must have a hell of a water bill.

When I shot the making of this dish, taken from Dean Brettschneider’s Global Baker, I was washing my hands every few minutes every time I had to pick up the camera. It’s a bit of a drag – but hey, anything to get more hits and achieve web domination.

The recipe starts with fennel – and I had to take a picture of it. I’ve never seen one before in my life, and I must say, it’s a curious creature. It’s like an onion that woke up one day and decided to be a crab. Notice the seaweed-like outgrowth as proof of its mutational capabilities.

Stuff that goes into the quiche: (Clockwise from top left) Leek, fennel, smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes. If this baking thing doesn’t work out, I can always be a master chopper.

Leeks and fennel get stir-fried with butter. Then the salmon is tossed in. Some photos are so blur they’re beyond PhotoShop.

To make egg mixture, whip sour cream until smooth. Then add eggs, cream and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg  (As if I’d actually get a real nutmeg – I just used nutmeg powder, folks).

Butter, flour and a bit of cold water form shortcrust dough, which is then rolled out to line a ridiculously expensive rectangular pastry tin (over $30 from Pantry Magic – daylight robbery, but I had to have it).

Veggie and salmon mixture is tumbled into the tin. Egg mixture is poured over. And cherry tomatoes and cream cheese placed strategically on top. Salivary glands notice something is afoot.

Ta-da! Bottom part of pastry is a little undercooked (something wrong with the recipe, I swear), but otherwise, this quiche is delish. Note to self: Always keep knife razor-sharp. A cherry tomato that is sliced through like a block of butter is so award-winning cookbook, doncha think?


7 Responses to “Smoked salmon and fennel quiche”

  1. mj Says:

    I love your tart pan!

    For pastry, I always find it better to blindbake the crust first before pouring in the filling, whether or not the recipe calls for this step.

  2. Dora Says:

    Pastry with nice design!

  3. wordsmith Says:

    so pwetty!

  4. Sooch Says:

    Oooohhhh!! Ha, when I saw the first pic, I thought it was the usual slice of quiche showing the top and bottom crusts, and I kept thinking,” How the heck did she manage to slice precisely through all those cheery tomatoes?! Did she like cut a million slices to get it so picture perfect? And why is that top fennel leaf sticking halfway into the crust??” Hahahaha….

  5. crummb Says:

    actually Sooch, that’s exactly what i did. i’m a sucker for precision, doncha know? haha, nah just kiddin. yup, now that you’ve brought it up, the optical illusion IS quite funny 🙂

  6. clare Says:

    Yes it’s a pretty quiche. Like your comment about the fennel, hahaha.

    I have only ever seen the hair-like leaves of the fennel. Oh no, wait, that’s dill.

  7. Ant Says:


    The pictures look good! Do you mind posting the full recipe especially on how to make the crust and the egg mixture?

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