L'heure de apéritif or hors-d'œuvres can be a tricky part of a meal it all depends on how casual or formal you would like to go and of course should flow with the rest of the meal. I have a love/hate relationship with this portion of the meal, I love the fact that its an opportunity to to test new recipes in a mini format or take something out of the ordinary and present in a completely different way to surprise your guests.
For me this part of the meal sets the stage for what's to come. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with the salted crackers / olives that are found on most tables but even the most simplest of menus can benefit from a little 'pizazz. The 'hate' part, I tend to go a little crazy and choose things that take up way too much time (ask the hubby) for what my hubby calls a fleeting moment - but what a delicious fleeting moment.
A few weeks ago my in-laws came across for lunch and I had been instructed to make a 'simple' lunch, my hubby just smiled at me when he relayed what his dad had said and in my mind I said sure something simple :) In light of these instructions I decided to forgo the entrée (appetizer) and just do apéritif / plat (main dish) / frommage (cheese)/ dessert.
This was one of those instances when I decided to take something so very simple - a quiche- and turn it into something special. In France mini quiches can be found everywhere and at a very reasonable price. I decided to do make mine and added crab meat to a modified quiche Lorraine recipe. Modified ? Yes , I added some freshly grated Gruyère cheese, traditionally quiche Lorraine does not have cheese in it, contrary to popular belief and I replaced the bacon with the crab meat. Again, following on my 'simple' directions I cheated and used a pre-made Pâte brisée (pie crust).
Mini Crab Quiche
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Makes approx 24 mini quiches
30 cl Crème Fraiche
50g crab meat
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 pre-made pie crust (pâte brisée)
Preheat oven to 180c or 350f
- Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium high heat
- Add jalapeno and saute for a few seconds until fragrant add crab meat, lime juice, chives and cilantro
- Mix well and then season to taste with salt and pepper
- Remove from heat and cool
- Mix together eggs and crème fraiche in a bowl using a fork.
- Do not beat the eggs, using afork mix the two together so that everything is well mixed.Beating the eggs into a frothy mixture will make your quiche rise and give it more of an omlette consistency, what we are looking for is more of custard feel.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Roll out pre-made pastry and using a cookie cutter cut circles the diameter of a muffin tin
- Line each muffin tin (grease with butter) with the pastry
- Sprinkle crab mixture into each case and then with the grated cheese
- Fill with quiche mixture
- Bake for 20mins
- Serve at room temperature