French Friday’s with Dorie
My little corner of suburbia just couldn’t get any more surburbianic. It’s suburbanosity is so great in fact that I’m sure if you were to close your eyes and conjure up a typical suburbanite standing in a typical “suburban paradise” of homes, condos, schools, and supermarkets you would see me and my neighborhood. And a Starbucks. We have dozens of them.
Unfortunately, if you were to do this visual exercise this week your imaginary rendition of me would have me very, very hungry and without much of a menu plan for the week.
Our life here in suburbia is actually a pretty easy one when it comes to most culinary matters. Within a 5 mile radius of our home we have nearly a dozen regular type grocery stores (flour, eggs, broccoli) and even a half dozen ‘premium’ grocery stores (preserved lemons, pimente d’espellete, fromage blanc.) This convenience certainly makes French Friday’s with Dorie a bit easier. If I were to prefer a more personalized approach to my food shopping I could even get in the car and be at a specialty butcher or fish market within minutes.
So what is the problem?
Take out. Oh, its not that we don’t have places where you can get take out food in a pinch but they are just all so, um, suburban and crowded. And those not always conveniently located on the way home. We have the usual fast food places (many try to tempt with offers to save money. We even have Whole Foods where the prepared food is decent but terribly overpriced. Something (besides my cash) is missing.
What I miss from my easy suburban setup is the big city convenience and variety of decent take out food. I know this must seem like heresy coming from a food blogger but I am often madly jealous of my co-workers who work in the big city Europe and Asia satellite offices. They brag to me about how easy and inexpensive take out is with their email in-boxes filling up with various discount Foodpanda coupons and the like. They even send me pictures of what passes for inexpensive take out taunt me. Ack!
Whether it’s fish and chips (with mushy peas!) or the most amazing (and cheap) Asian noodle bowls and stir-fries, these foods are all hot and ready to be picked up on the way home. Or, gasp, delivered. Don’t get me started on the complete lack of home delivery options here in Suburblandia. (Unless its pizza of course. )
More often than not when I don’t even have time to consider a ‘real dinner’ or stop at the market what I usually end up doing is taking out a few slices of bread, toasting them, and then try to figure out some combination of leftovers to on them to make Stuff on Toast.
This, however, is not one of those times. Yeah, I know it. I was confused to because it can be hard to tell at times. This is actually a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book “Around My French Table”. The master work of easy continental cooking that we Doristas are chronicling each week for French Friday’s with Dorie. (Am I a “Doristo”?) Dorie Greenspan calls this “Dieter’s Tartine” but I just call it “stuff on toast”. Evidently some Parisian restaurant somewhere calls it “The Lunch Special” and has convinced the local ladies who lunch that some chopped up salad veggies and a dollop of used dairy mixture makes a chic lunch worthy of a dozen or more euros.
For my part I can think of plenty of other things I would rather be eating if I were lucky enough to be having luncheon in Paris. For me, however, this tartine was worthy of a quick dinner at home but only then because I couldn’t get any take out in this town to save my life. (I wonder if the bistro in Paris that served this offers take out? Do they send out 2-for-1 coupons for Dieter’s Tartine? Can you get it in a happy meal?)
Within a span of two minutes I had toasted up some good bread on a grill pan and readied a mixture of nonfat cottage cheese and sour cream for spooning on the breads. (The fromage blanc store is just around the corner but alas, they don’t deliver.) Some chopped cucumber, tomato, and chives finished the job as written but I added a grind or two of pepper and a sprinkling of some dried mint I had on hand.
Those of you who need a real recipe why not check out my recipe/post for Shirazi Salad written for the fine folks at knifesharpener.ca. It uses just about all the same health ingredients as Dorie’s tartine here. Serve them both ways and get a twofer!Dorie Greenspan’s culinary tome “Around My French Table”. We generally avoid including the recipes in our posts. However, wherever there has been a significant adaptation by me or where the recipe has already been publicly posted by Ms. Greenspan or her publishers or by hundreds of other bloggers I will either include it here (only when adapted) or provide a direct link to it. Please feel free to contact me via the link provided on my page if you need any assistance finding a French Friday with Dorie Recipe. Please buy the book. It will change your life as it has mine.