Saturday, October 31, 2009

French Cooking 101

My sweet friend, Adele, and I walk to school (our German language school) every day. I drive to her house in town and park in her parking spot, and we walk down to our school which is right in downtown Stuttgart. I love hearing about the yummy things that she cooks for her husband, and Zev and I have even been lucky to experience some of her cooking, whenever we have been invited to their house for dinner. And it is GOOD food too!! Anyway, on one of our walks, we came up with the hair-brained idea to host lunch at our house on a weekly basis, rotating from house to house every other week. The plan is teach each other how to cook a dish from our homeland (I get to choose from Australia AND the US!! I'm thinking about Mexican for our first round. Wooo hooo!!) This week Adele showed me how to make quiche- from scratch. We were talking about this plan one morning when she asked me how I like to make my "pastry" or crust for the quiche. I've never honestly made quiche before, so I said "make the crust? I just buy it. Don't you?" Hmmm, nope, she makes hers from scratch!! We invited our friend, Hend, to join us for lunch at Adele's house the day after the cooking lesson. It looks like Hend might join us in our cooking lesson round robin- I can't wait to learn how to cook some yummy Lebanese dishes! Zev likes this exercise too, because I bring him a sample of what we have cooked. Thanks for the lesson, Adele! I look forward to our next session!

Adele has the cutest kitchen- with lots of great accessories from Ikea and some very cool appliances.

I was on chopping detail.

Step 1: Make the crust.

Adele's super cool crust-maker-machine.

Looking good.

Isn't this a great idea to store your spices? The tins have magnetic bottoms.

Tomatoes from Adele's garden outside.

Adding water to the dough.

Kneading the dough.

Mise en place. (Adele that one's for you, from Zev ;-))

Creme Fraiche, Curry Powder and Riccotta Cheese.

Mix it all together.

Roll out the dough.

Line the tin with the crust.

Add a thin layer of "sharf senf". AKA "sharp mustard."

Start layering the ingredients.

Spoon in some of the egg mixture.

Keep repeating.

Add some riccotta cheese and ham to spice up the tomato layer.

Mushrooms from Adele's grandparent's farm in France- they may be a little hard to find in the US, but I am sure any mushroom will work ;-)

A light dusting of curry powder on one of the layers.

The finished product, ready for baking.
Voila -- DELICIOUS!!

Let's have lunch!

Don't forget dessert! Hend is a dietician (strawberries, cream, vanilla wafers) - it must be healthy!

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