Skip to content

Helen Butling’s Salmon Quiche

May 13, 2013


I have been crushing hard on Smitten Kitchen lately, so much so that one highlight of Mother’s Day was my partner recreating Deb’s huevos rancheros for breakfast.  In addition to the beautiful photographs, I appreciate the stories that go along with each mouth-watering recipe.  Isn’t that what food is about?  It’s so much more than sustenance.  It’s that dish that you eat when you’re sick because your mom always made it for you when you were sick and just eating it makes you feel cared for and nurtured and nourished because of the history and the tradition it’s steeped in.  It’s the delight and satisfaction of the first asparagus salad, or the first rhubarb dessert, of spring.  I could go on and on…

Today I’m making Helen Butling’s salmon quiche for about the hundredth time, and every time I make it I have to retell the story of the legendary lady who is immortalized in the recipe’s name.  In the Kootenays there are several ski huts where you can go away into the wilderness and backcountry ski and sleep out in a cozy cabin for days.  Helen Butling was an outdoors woman extraordinaire, and the person to invite along to ramp the comfort level of the trip up to a new level.  When I’m planning wilderness trips I still recall her rules about “one role of tp per person per week” and “one litre of water per person per day”.  And even though after a full day of fresh air and exercise you could wolf down whiskey-spiked burnt KD (right, mom?), I’ve learned that great food can elevate a wilderness trip to a near spiritual experience.  Helen Butling did some skiing, but she also ensured that everyone on the trip was comfortable and fed.  My parents describe the feeling of luxury when they would arrive back at the cabin to find a hot meal waiting. I’ve never made this meal on a trip, because I don’t have a camp oven, but I have pre-made little quiches and served them cold at many a beach picnic.  They can be eaten with one hand and leave no dishes to clean up.  To keep my gluten-free partner happy, I slick some muffin tins with olive oil and bake them crustless, and the kids get theirs in store-bought 3-inch tart shells (or my mom’s homemade pastry, if they’re lucky).


3/4 c sour cream

1 c cottage cheese

1/4 c mayonnaise

1/2 c milk

2 Tbs flour (leave out and decrease milk for gf version)

2 eggs, beaten

1 can salmon

1 c grated cheddar

1 c grated mozza

Stir together and pour into 2 regular-sized pie shells (or 24 muffin cups or tart shells).  Bake at 350 F for one hour (half hour for little ones), or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2016 11:00 pm

    I came across this while looking for some background to include in my journal of a 1973 climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. Helen Butling was on that climb with me, my father, and Michael Stewart.

  2. Sandy King permalink
    May 13, 2013 3:47 pm

    Great post … and great taste! And I love the fact that this recipe was entered into a contest years ago by Helen and she won the massive sum of $100.00 for it. Can’t beat the fact that it freezes well and is fabulous second day around.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: