Tag Archives: MyParisKitchen

Ham, Blue Cheese, and Pear Quiche

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Happy Friday! This week for Cook the Book Fridays we made Ham, Blue Cheese, and Pear Quiche from David Lebovitz’s book My Paris Kitchen. Sometimes when I sit down to write one of my “cooking club” posts, all I can think of to say is something along the lines of “it was good and I liked it”. But for this one, my head is swarming with ideas!

I could compare this quiche to the several we made from Around My French Table for French Fridays with Dorie (I like David’s thick and hearty quiche, but prefer Dorie’s crust; also, Dorie’s Spinach and Bacon Quiche will always be my favorite).

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I could talk about how my quiche took quite a bit longer to cook than the recipe suggested it would, so I made a last-minute change to my daughter’s dinner so she could eat at a reasonable time, which caused a bit of a meltdown (anyone with a child with autism who has trouble with flexibility will understand…; best quotes from the ordeal: “Mom, you made the wrong dinner!”, and “You accidentally cooked a hot dog”).

Or, I could discuss the fact that some people had trouble with the crust, but others didn’t (I am one of the lucky ones who had no problems).

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Instead, I’m going to talk about Food Revolution Day (which is today!). Mardi of eat. live. travel. write, one of our CtBF members (and also a French Fridays with Dorie alumni) is an ambassador for Canada for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. The idea of the revolution is to improve access to healthy, nutritious food for children everywhere, improve knowledge about food and nutrition, and to teach people how to cook.

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This year, Jamie’s focus for Food Revolution Day is a “starter pack” of 10 recipes that teach cooking skills and provide nutritionally balanced meals. Mardi chose the quiche for us to make as a “starter” French recipe.

For me personally, I am so thankful that I can cook (and actually enjoy it!). I am thankful that I have the means to provide nutritious meals to my family every day.

If you are interested, here are the 10 Food Revolution Recipes: Food Revolution Recipes.

By the way, the Ham, Blue Cheese, and Pear Quiche was delicious. And my daughter loved her slice when we had the leftovers for dinner the next night.

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Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwich

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In the introduction to this week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe, Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwich, David Lebovitz talks about how the croque-monsieur is one of those things he occasionally craves and then he’s “gotta have it”. This got me thinking about the things I crave and “gotta have”. Why is it that the things we crave are generally less healthy? The only time I crave a salad is when I’ve been on vacation overindulging. One of the things I find myself craving occasionally is a burger and fries. When I get that craving, I find it’s best to just give into it so I can be satisfied and move on to healthier choices (assuming I don’t get that “gotta have it” craving every day!). What foods do you crave?

After making Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwiches this week, I can see why Mr. Lebovitz sometimes craves them. This is not your ordinary grilled ham and cheese sandwich. There are two things that make this sandwich special: the béchamel spread on the inside of the sandwich, and the melted Gruyère cheese on top. Hearty sourdough bread, prosciutto, and additional Gruyère complete the sandwich.

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I made croque-monsieur for myself for lunch two days in a row. What a delightful, buttery, cheesy, decadent treat! Not something you want to eat every day, but definitely worthy of a “gotta have it” craving.

You can find the recipe for Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwich (aka, croque-monsieur) on page 137 of David Lebovitz’s book My Paris Kitchen.

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Artichoke Tapenade with Rosemary Oil

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My Mom has been quietly participating in Cook the Book Fridays behind the scenes. She already owned a copy of My Paris Kitchen, so I when I suggested she cook along with me, she enthusiastically agreed.

This past week I was visiting my parents in Seattle, so my Mom and I got to make the recipe of the week, Artichoke Tapenade with Rosemary Oil, together. It was pretty awesome because she let me do the fun stuff while she did the more tedious tasks of pitting the olives, draining the artichokes, and cleaning up after me. Moms are the best!

Another great thing about cooking at my parent’s house is my Dad’s garden. This time of year there isn’t much to harvest except herbs, but that suited this recipe just fine. I used freshly harvested rosemary to make the rosemary oil, which made it extra delicious.

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The recipe for the tapenade couldn’t get much more simple: toss canned artichoke hearts, green olives, olive oil, capers, lemon juice, garlic, and cayenne pepper into a food processor and puree until smooth. It is drizzled with a generous amount of homemade rosemary oil and served with bread or crackers.

The tapenade was a big hit the night my sister and her family came to my parent’s house for dinner. We pretty much devoured it. And we all agreed we would make it again.

A few suggestions: 1) I let the tapenade rest for about an hour before serving and I felt the flavors were able to mellow and blend a bit. I’m sure a longer rest would be even better; 2) The tapenade was pretty garlicky. I didn’t mind, but if anyone is sensitive to garlic or prefers less, I recommend only using one clove; 3) Don’t leave out the rosemary oil!

If you are interested in trying this wonderful recipe, I encourage you to buy a copy of My Paris Kitchen. I also found the recipe online: Artichoke Tapenade Recipe.

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Cook The Book Fridays: Winter Salad

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Happy Friday! I am very excited to announce a new project/feature on my blog: Cook the Book Fridays!

Ever since French Fridays with Dorie ended, us former Doristas have missed cooking together each week. There had been some discussion about starting a new book together, and finally Katie of ProfWhoCooks took the plunge and got us started. Thanks Katie! Our first book is My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. Since we are just getting started, this is a great time to join in if you are interested. Check out the “official” site for the recipe schedule and rules: Cook the Book Fridays. The more the merrier!

Our debut recipe is a simple salad called Winter Salad. A thick dressing is made from crumbled Roquefort cheese, Greek yogurt, chives, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss it with sliced Belgian endive, and top with a few more chives.

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I haven’t eaten Belgian endive very often, and when I tasted a bit of it I was a little unsure of a whole salad made from it. But the dressing did wonders for the flavor and I really enjoyed the salad. My husband thought the salad was “too blue cheesey” and he likes blue cheese, so I would say this salad is for blue cheese lovers only.

The one issue I had with the salad is that the dressing was very thick, making it difficult to toss with the Belgian endive. I’m wondering if others ran into the same problem.

You can find the recipe for Winter Salad on page 98 of My Paris Kitchen. I encourage you to buy the book!

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