I fed my toddler salmon-brie-sundried tomato quiche and roasted broccoli for our Christmas dinner. And he gobbled it all up and asked for seconds!! It’s not really obvious from the picture, but I tried to make the quiche look like a Christmas ornament, with a ribbon threaded through a hole I punched in the foil pie plate. (The star is some of the extra quiche filling, baked separately in the toaster oven without a crust.) The quiche ingredients — a frozen salmon fillet poached in a bit of olive oil and lemon juice then flaked, a smallish wedge of brie thinly sliced, a sautéed onion, a few minced sundried tomatoes and a dollop of pesto, and long thin strips of jarred roasted red pepper for decoration on top — were just some things in my fridge and freezer that I thought would taste good together, and turned out to be a truly inspired combination. I threw everything into a parbaked frozen pie shell with eggs and milk using my adaptation of Mark Bittman’s basic quiche recipe from How to Cook Everything — although the overbaking (as you can see, it’s pretty brown) was strictly my fault, not Mr. Bittman’s. You could easily do something similar using your own favourite quiche formula.
As for the broccoli, I’d broiled it on a cookie sheet with a bit of olive oil and seasoned salt, then served it in a silicone Christmas tree cake pan. With better planning I would have had multicoloured cherry tomatoes for “decorations.” Everything was cooked before Sam’s arrival so that I could concentrate on opening gifts and playing with him instead of fussing in the kitchen.
I’m glad I was able to focus on him; although the five of us had a nice visit together, poor Sam was so sad, just bereft about being parted from Derek, Rebecca, and baby Robert… I felt such guilt. After a while, though, he came around. The DVD (Finding Nemo) and presents seemed to help.
Anyway, I’m convinced Sam liked this meal as much as he did because of the appealing presentation, although it also helped that the food was served lukewarm, as he prefers. (I was amazed at his appetite, given that he’d had my out-laws’ fabulous turkey dinner for lunch!!) I think this might just be my go-to Christmas supper for the two of us for years to come — it was easy, do-aheadable, low-stress, reasonably nutritious, and delicious.
Dessert was supposed to be a gingerbread house (from a storebought kit) but I hadn’t quite finished assembling it before his arrival. It’s just as well; Sam didn’t enjoy the hard, hard, dry cookie base the next day, at all. At least he enjoyed the candy. I think more of the candy ended up in his belly than on the house! No pictures because it was hideous.
Next Christmas, I’ll honour my French Canadian roots and go back to making a bûche de Noël instead, since that was a hit with him at my mom’s after Christmas. And now that I’ve seen Sam’s reaction to having his food presented in a creative way, I suspect I’ll be trying my hand at meringue “mushrooms” to decorate that Yule log. (: