Lobster and Asparagus Quiche

by Chef Micheal Salmon

serves 8–10

Two each 1 1/2 pound live Maine lobsters  (or 3/4 pound of cooked lobster meat)

nonstick vegetable spray

1 batch Pastry dough (recipe, page 66)

1 medium yellow onion

1 pound thin asparagus

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 scallions, green part only, sliced

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

3 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves, crumbled

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

9 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1.   Skip this first part if you are using precooked lobster meat. For the lobsters, fill a large (9-quart or larger) stockpot with 2 inches of water, cover and bring to a boil. Add live lobsters, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool. When cool, crack lobsters and remove the meat from the claws, knuckles and tails (discarding the vein). Discard shells and reserve the lobster meat.

2.   Spray a 9-inch scalloped tart pan (with removable bottom and 2-inch sides) with vegetable spray. Lightly flour dough and roll out into a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick). Invert dough onto tart pan and form dough into the pan, evenly distributing the dough to form a 1/8-inch crust across the bottom and up the sides. Remove excess dough for another use. With a fork, prick the dough all over. Chill, covered with plastic wrap, until firm, about 30 minutes, and up to 1 day.

3.   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4.   Finely chop the onion. Prepare the asparagus by removing the tough white bottoms and peeling the bottom 2 inches of the stalks if they feel tough. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut enough red bell pepper (small dice) to measure 1/2 cup. Thinly slice the scallions. In a large nonstick skillet, cook onion in butter over moderate heat, stirring until softened. Add asparagus and stir, cooking 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in chopped red bell pepper, scallion, salt, thyme, white pepper and nutmeg. Cool mixture. Vegetable mixture may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

5.   Line the dough shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw dry beans. Bake shell in the middle of the oven until sides are firm enough to hold their shape, 15 to 20 minutes, and carefully remove parchment paper and weights or beans.

6.   Cut lobster into 1/2-inch pieces. Add lobster and cheese to the vegetable mixture, stirring to combine, and spoon mixture into the shell. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk.

  1. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet, pour the egg mixture into the shell and bake quiche in the middle of the oven until filling is set and a tester comes out clean, about 90 minutes.
  2. 2. Cool quiche in pan on a rack for 15 minutes before cutting it into 8 or 10 wedges. The quiche cuts easier once it has cooled. The quiche can be prepared days in advance, and individual slices can be heated in the microwave.

Pastry Dough

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) chilled, unsalted butter

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup cold water

1.   In a mixer, combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter into fine cubes and mix into the flour until it resembles a fine meal. Add the shortening and mix for 30 seconds. Add the water and mix only until it combines. Do not overwork. Remove from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap.

2.   Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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