Wednesday, October 7, 2009

OPPOSITE DAY: Store-bought pie crusts...

When I created this blog, I thought there might come a day when I'd feel compelled to post about something that I did not like at all, and I thought I'd title those posts "Opposite Day". Well, folks, that day has come.

It all began with Pate Brisee....Or, should I say, it began with me deciding I would not be attempting Pate Brisee today. Pate Brisee is homemade pastry dough/pie crust. No thank you, Julia!

I'd ended up with a free Wednesday night again, and thought I shouldn't waste the chance to cook another yummy french dish, so I flipped through the quiches and decided on Quiche Aux Fruits de Mer (Shrimp, Crab, or Lobster Quiche). The recipe looked short and simple, I could use store-bought crab, and I already had the eggs. Perfect!

I made my requisite trip to the Stop and Shop for the crab meat (6.99 for 8 oz, not too bad!), the pie crust, and some shallots, which have been an optional ingredient in every recipe I've tried so far (you can either use shallots or green onions, and I opted for green onions up to now, b/c I didn't really know what a shallot was). Turns out, these are shallots, "fresh" from France...

When you cut into them, they're basically little, milky red onions. I'm not really sure what makes them "shallots," but apparently, they're very French, so fine.

I was being very ambitious today, aiming to eat at 6:30. The quiche would only take 30 minutes in the oven, and the prep was really quick, so I did some other work until about 5:15, at which point I minced two shallots and cooked them in butter for a few minutes, than stirred in the crab meat and simmered it all for a few minutes, then added a few shakes of Madeira (red wine), heated it to a boil, then set the mixture aside. Doesn't it already look good?

Then I beat eggs, a lot of cream, some tomato paste (?), and salt and peper in a bowl, and added the crab meat to it.

And that's when the trouble started....

Now, I've seen my mother make countless quiches in store-bought frozen pie crusts and I had never seen her take the crust out of the tin before filling it. And yet, being the goody-goody I am, when the back of the pie crust packaging said to take the frozen pie crust out of the tin and let it thaw for 15 minutes before filling it, I did it, even though I didn't really see how that would work. Well, guess what? It didn't. The first one thawed so much before I even tried to fill it that it fell apart and was just a flat sheet of dough. Oops. You'd think I would have taken this as a sign of the fortitude (or lack thereof) of these pie crusts, but nooooooooooo. I try again, thaw the crust for only a few minutes, then pour the heavy, thick quiche filling into the pan. I quickly realized that this was going to be a problem, as the pie crust immediately started to become oval shaped, buckling under the weight of all that cream. I started hopping around screaming "no, no no!" as I raced to throw some Swiss cheese on top and jam the thing in the oven to start firming it up before it completely fell apart, but as I started shredding the cheese on top, creamy crab started oozing out of the bottom of the pie crust, and I started wailing and shrieking and I'm sure the dog thought I was in grave danger. Crisis was averted by me tilting the whole leaking thing back into the bowl, but, um...this is what I had left of my only remaining pie crust. A moment of silence, please.

*sigh* So I had to go back to the freakin' grocery store and get more freakin' pie crusts. I was pissed. Stupid pie crusts and their stupid lying instructions, what the hell!! Clearly they know good and well at Acme Pie Crust company that their little dinky crusts cannot actually support anything if not in the aluminum pan they're created in! Why must they lie to me and risk the demise of my crab quiche?? Why!??

Needless to say, we didn't eat until 7:30. But the quiche came out beautifully in the end.

I also made my favorite veggies, peas simmered in chicken broth, butter, and green onions. It was super yummy, and made up for the absurdity of the pie crust debacle of '09.

Butter Count: .5 sticks
Cream Count: 1 cup

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