Last week I attended my uncle Gerald's funeral. It was the first family gathering in decades. I saw people I didn't recognize and stayed close to those I frequent the most.
After the service there was a reception at the community center. Everyone mingled and reconnected over plates of catered food. My uncle Simon...love him to bits...didn't serve himself anything. I looked at him and with a wink I jokingly said ''it's not matante's food is it?'' With a twinkle in his eyes he just looked at me and smiled.
During the eulogy, my cousins both spoke about their dad. They both reminisced about his food; it seems we are a foodie family. I sat there remembering how as a child my dad and my uncle would go foraging in the woods for l'ail des bois and then spending countless hours cleaning and bottling them. I remembered my uncle serving up wapiti and other wild meats he had hunted. On the table there would always be a jar of ketchup aux zucchinis and other home made delicacies.
The day after the funeral, I called my aunt Fleurette to see how she was doing...I was worried. Somehow the conversation turned into a discussion on food and I asked her if her son, my cousin Martin , cooked. His dad doesn't cook so I figured .... NOPE! Martin LOVES to cook! I guess it runs in the family. My aunt started going down the list of things he likes to cook and one dish peaked my curiosity; tarte au saumon.
I asked for the recipe and I have to say I was a bit disappointed...it involved canned salmon. Now I am sure my aunt's salmon pie is excellent, but I was inspired to elevate it just a bit. Like my cousin, I was not keen on a traditional pie crust but I didn't want it to be crustless either. I decided to make it with phyllo pastry...it turned out amazing. And instead of the canned salmon, I craved for smoked salmon to fill my pie.
The following is a pie inspired by family and made with love. A new go to recipe for me and my little family. Quick, easy and seriously delicious, I am sure it'll become your family's favorite too.
- 7 large Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 3 thinly slice green onions
- 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese **milder cheese is better so as not to overpower the taste of the salmon
- Approximately a cup of shredded smoked salmon
- 4 -5 sheets of phyllo pastry cut in half
- Melted butter
- Boil the potatoes until tender
- Drain and mash with milk and butter
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Stir in the grated cheese
- Add green onions and salmon incorporating the salmon well into the mix
- Butter a standard pie plate and then layer the sheets of phyllo one by one, thoroughly buttering between each layer and leaving an overhang of the pastry all around the edge of the plate
- Once the pie plate is covered in phyllo (at least 6 to 8 layers) fill with the potato salmon mixture
- Cover with the overhanging phyllo pastry and butter the pastry
- Broil the pie on low for a few minutes keeping an eye on it so that it doesn't burn** the phyllo is delicate
- Enjoy with some wine and a side of salad
Je t'aime mononcle ...toujours