Tonight's mission: Channel Julia Child in one hour...or less!
I do have a few things in common with Julia.
1. I enjoy good food.
2. I like to cook.
3. I am tall. (She was too tall for the WACS and the WAVES in WWII, so she joined OSS.)
4. I am probably never going to be asked to compete for Miss America.
5. I have a good education.
6. I married a guy named Paul
7. He loves food and is something of a gourmand.
8. She lived with Paris and I live with Parris. (That's thing same thing, right?)
9. I love French cuisine.
10. I truly love quiche. (Theoretically, quiche lorraine was her favorite food.)
Unfortunately, real men don't eat quiche. Real Men Don't Eat Quiche, by Bruce Feirstein, is a bestselling tongue-in-cheek book satirizing stereotypes of masculinity, published in 1982. It popularized the term quiche-eater, meaning a man who is a dilettante, a trend-chaser, an over-anxious conformist to fashionable forms of 'lifestyle', and socially correct behaviors and opinions, one who eschews (or merely lacks) the traditional masculine virtue of tough self-assurance. A 'traditional' male might enjoy egg-and-bacon pie if his wife served it to him; a quiche-eater, or Sensitive New Age Guy would make the dish himself, call it by its French name quiche, and serve it to his female life partner to demonstrate his empathy with the Women's Movement. He would also wash up afterwards.
So what's a guy to do? I started by throwing him off-guard with a strawberry salad. To further camoflage, I called it: salade de fraises avec laitues de bébé. I mean what self respecting male gourmand won't eat that!
Next, I served this very delicious and pretty quiche on a small plate-- quiche de poireau lard fumé et épinards (That's spinach, bacon and leak quiche). The cheese base was smoked gouda. Yum.
I used Paula Deen's recipe for Spinach and Bacon Quiche which is perhaps the EASIEST quiche recipe ever and so very delicious. I tweaked it a bit and I will mention how in the recipe below. I am a huge fan of Paula's desserts. I have found some a bit sweet, but if you are doing potluck in the South and you make her desserts, people will come over and ask for your recipe. Her non-dessert cooking tends to be hit or miss for my taste, but I will give the lady (and sons) credit for this. When she hits a home run, it is usually a grand slam and she really did it with this one.
For dessert, I served something that requires no english to french dictionary usage: A Napolean. I had an hour or less, so this one came from the fresh market bakery.
What did my "real man" say about this meal?
Salad: Really tasty. Loved the fresh strawberries in the winter.
Quiche: Both hearty and creamy. At the same time.
Napolean: I have met my Waterloo.
So in a nutshell, Paul had a lovely egg and bacon pie. Then he helped me clean up :) Thanks, sweetheart.
RECIPE for Spinach, Leek, and Bacon Quiche
(If you want to make the original SPinach and Bacon Pie, here is Paula Deen's link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/spinach-and-bacon-quiche-recipe/index.html)
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach, packed
1 cup leeks
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c of grated Gouda
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust ( I've found it is better to spend the extra 39 cents to get the good one.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or beat with a whisk. Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges.