I had just received the I [Heart] Trader Joe's Party Cookbook for Christmas, so I found two great recipes - smoked salmon quiche and savory cheese crisps. Might I just say that despite how crowded Trader Joe's is all of the time, what a pleasurable shopping experience! Not too overwhelming, and they have such delicious treats!
As I am so accustomed to baking in my kitchen, when it came to cooking a meal and trying to coordinate several different tasks, I was a bit frazzled. But I was very satisfied with the end result.
The savory cheese crisps tasted just like Cheese Nips and would be a great snack for kids to grab on the go. The quiche was very good as well, with a very strong mix of flavors - salmon, goat cheese, and lemon. Mmmm...
I started by preparing the cheese crisps.
Savory Cheese Crisps
1 stick butter, at room temperature
2 C grated cheese (I used shredded co-jack)
1 C flour
Pinch of salt
Beat butter and cheese. Add flour and salt and continue mixing until just combined.
You will now need to form the dough in to a log and place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. In order to do so, knead the dough very well so that it will stick together. When I first started trying to form a log I thought, Now how the heck am I going to get this to stick together?! Keep working with it, though, and eventually it will turn out like this.
Refridgerate for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare your quiche. Preheat the oven to 375.
Smoked Salmon Quiche, from the I [Heart] Trader Joe's Party Cookbook
1 Trader Joe's Gourmet Pie Crust
1 T butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 1/2 C half n' half
Zest of 1 lemon
4 oz smoked salmon, chopped
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper
Defrost one of the pie crusts (you can put the other back in the freezer), and fit it in to a 8 or 9 inch pie pan.
Crumple a piece of parchment paper. Unfold and place atop your crust. Pour 1-2 C rice over the parchment paper to act as a weight. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove rice and parchment paper, and bake for another 5 minutes or so, until crust is flaky and golden. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
Saute your chopped shallot in a small frying pan with 1 T butter for about 4 minutes, or until shallot is tender. Set aside.
Beat your eggs and cream in a mixing bowl.
Add lemon zest and chopped salmon to your egg mixture.
Add sauteed shallot and goat cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I highly recommend using Trader Joe's fresh ground rainbow peppercorns.
Pour mixture in to pie pan over your golden crust. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until eggs are just set.
Now, back to your cheese crisps. Remove your cheese log from the refridgerator. Cut log into slices about 1/4 inch thick to make circular chips and place chips back on to parchment paper lined cookie sheet, as shown here.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until chips are crisp and golden.
Voila, a perfect (or nearly perfect) smoke salmon quiche.
Served with cheese crisps and steamed broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
How romantic! Just kidding, not at all since I was there. But it was very nice.
And of course I have to mention dessert (me and my sweet tooth!). Gourmet espresso chocolate caramels from Surdyk's - delicious. And, Dillon is quite the beer conoisseur. He makes delicious home-brewed beer, but for our dinner he bought a yummy dessert beer from Trader Joe's.