julia child, mastering the art of french cooking, julie powell, french cuisine

Flamiche, Flamazel, Hassenpfeffer Incorporated!

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“I was really getting into the swing of things now. Over a period of six weeks, I made: terrine de lapin de garenne, quiche Lorraine, galantine de volaille, gnocchi à la Florentine, vol-au-vent financière, choucroute garni à l’Alsacienne, crème Chantilly, charlotte de pommes, soufflé Grand Marnier, risotto aux fruits de mer, coquilles Saint-Jacques, merlan en lorgnette, rouget au safron, poulet sauce Marengo, canard à l’orange, and turbot farci braisé au champagne. Whew!” – Julia Child

This weekend brought forth sort of a random assortment of cooking. I blame it on the beautiful weather we had – who can think about broiled fish when a gorgeous sunny afternoon calls for a cookout of hamburgers and corn on the cob? So here’s a recap of delicacies that sprang forth from my kitchen over the past couple of days:

Flamiche – Quiche aux Poireaux (leek quiche)
This was a quickie and something I was somewhat familiar with, considering I’ve made quite a few of Julia’s quiches by now (though none of which has had nearly as fun a name!). I made a partially cooked pastry shell and set it aside for the filling. I boiled sliced white leeks in a covered saucepan with salt and butter and let them stew for about a half-hour. Meanwhile, I beat eggs, cream and seasonings into a mixture, then gradually stirred in the drained leeks. I poured the mixture into the pastry shell and topped with shredded Swiss cheese and dots of butter, then put the springform pan into a 375 degree oven for a half-hour. When I pulled it out of the oven, it looked great! The top was turning a golden brown, and the crust looked nice and flaky (although I have come to accept the fact that my pastry shells will never be pretty. But seeing as how we’re not here to win any beauty pageants, I won’t lose too much sleep over the whole thing).

I let the quiche cool a bit, then removed the outer ring from the pan. I slid the quiche from the pan onto a large plate, which caused the crust to separate from the filling a little bit (oh, well), and then I used my brand new slicer to cut into the pie. It worked great! The pieces were perfect and I served them on separate plates. The quiche was thick and fluffy, like partially cooked scrambled eggs, and the flavor of the leeks was strong, but not too overpowering. I liked the filling more than the crust, but could only handle one piece…it was just a little too eggy for me. I could see this being a tasty breakfast dish, maybe with some sausage meat mixed in. Overall a good recipe, and super easy for a relaxing weekend.

Choux de Broccoli a la Milanaise(broccoli browned with cheese)
I had planned on making fish for dinner one evening, but as I lazed on the sofa with the windows open and the cool spring breeze wafting through the windows, I was suddenly struck with the idea that a cookout of hamburgers on the grill would be so much better. So that’s what we did. Not to be completely remiss in my AYWJ responsibilities, I did make a Julia side dish of this broccoli. I blanched a head of broccoli in boiling water, then drained it and arranged it in a buttered casserole dish. I sprinkled it with some salt/pepper and drizzled melted butter over the top and popped it into the oven for about 15 minutes. I took the dish out, sprinkled shredded Swiss and Parmesan cheese over the broccoli and put it back in the oven at a higher heat (425) for another 15 minutes. When the dish was done, I let it cool, then dug in. It was delicious! The broccoli was slightly crispy on top, as if it had been roasted, and the melted cheese gave it great flavor and a nice kick. The seasoning was just right and made for a surprisingly delicious side dish for our cookout. Yum!

Flan des Isles (pineapple custard, unmolded)
Considering I haven’t made many desserts from MTAOFC, I decided I’d give one a try this weekend. I opted for this fruity custard using crushed pineapple. I boiled pineapple syrup on the stove and added crushed pineapple, bringing it back to the boil. In the meantime, I beat flour, lemon juice, eggs, and cognac in a mixing bowl, and slowly added the pineapple. I poured the mixture into a caramel-lined ring mold, then set the mold into a large pot of boiling water. I left it on the stove to simmer for about an hour and a half, knowing it was ready to come off the heat when the custard began to pull away from the sides of the mold. When that happened, I let the mold cool and then put it in the fridge to set for about 3 hours (yeah, this dessert takes some patience). Finally, I ran a butter knife around the edge of the custard to loosen it from the mold and inverted it onto a large platter – which only had a slight mishap that I was able to easily piece back together – and served.

The custard was actually really good, but you’d better LOVE pineapple if you want to give this one a try. If I were to do this again, I would use the same amount of pineapple juice but cut the crushed pineapple by half – the amount of pulp was a little overwhelming, and I found myself wanting to taste more of the actual custard than the pineapple pieces. Don’t get me wrong – this flan was tasty! But it was also very sweet, and a little went a long way.

All in all, it was a good weekend, culinarily speaking. Best of all? I’m pretty sure this is the first time in months that every dish I own has been clean at the exact same time. Woo hoo!! I know it won’t last long, especially since I’ve got three recipes to knock out when I get home tonight. Ah, well. It was nice while it lasted.

Hope you had a great weekend… now let’s get cooking!
– Jessica

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One Response to “Flamiche, Flamazel, Hassenpfeffer Incorporated!”

  1. Mary says:

    do you do your quiche in a round cake pan? I’ve only ever done (or seen) quiche done in a pie plate. It isn’t as deep and cooks more evenly–course I’m not Julia!!

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