French Fridays with Dorie
French Fridays with Dorie can be at its best when the assigned weekly dish has me rediscovering a a dish I haven’t enjoyed in awhile since becoming part of a ‘food blogging ecosystem’ that doesn’t necessarly reward the ordinary. I don’t mean to imply that this Quiche Maraichère is unworthy as it is most certainly is worthy despite my initial “ho hum” reading of its recipe. But can I be blamed for thinking that the name “Quiche Maraichère” had me anticipating a more complex egg pie in the offing?
The “maraichère” in this quiche maraichère’s name only loosely means “of the market”. We aren’t talking fresh Brussels Sprouts or asparagus here but rather some leeks, carrots, red peppers, and a bit of celery. Thats right, celery. All available year round and without a trip to Whole Foods or specialty markets.I wasn’t all that excited so I immediately started tried to imagine ways to make this ordinary quiche a bit more extraordinary.
Perhaps if I added some spicy Italian sausage or some chopped proscuitto? One can always count on the addition of some bacon crumbles to make the ordinary more, well, at least more ordinary in that bacony sort of way we now mistake for extraordinary. I thought of adding a spoonful of grainy mustard to the custard but then remembered that we’d done that already and to award-winning effect. Nope. Can’t do that. I gave it a good think but had trouble devising any tweak ideas that wouldn’t also have me running to the market for the third time morning so I eventually gave up and allowed myself an epiphany:
Why fight it? I would make this ordinaryQuiche Maraichère as is, but I would do so very, very well.
And it turned out very well indeed!
There can be an abundance of elegance and beauty in how one approaches a perceived “ordinary.” I really should pay more attention to this. What’s more, not all of these associated attributes stem directly from the ingredients or even the methods used to make something. Yes, to up the game of this quiche I took the time to make the crust by hand; not rushing it to “the bake” as I might have done had it been any other time. (A good, long freeze in the pan kept it from shrinking and the frozen butter bits made the outcome even flakier than ever.) I took some extra care to finely chop the vegetables into uniformed pieces to ensure they would all be the same size and be equally distributed throughout the pie.
But these small but important steps don’t get all the credit.
While it was sitting out on the counter to cool I still didn’t think much of this Quiche Maraichère. It certainly looked pretty but I still didn’t give the simple carrots and celery inside their full due. I’ll just serve this to my Beloved for dinner, I thought. I’ll add a salad and be done with it. When he happened by and saw it sitting on the counter cooling he had other ideas. Lets invite some friends over for an impromptu gathering.
And the Quiche Maraichère was special enough for them. My aunt Dina even exclaimed at the table that the crust was the best crust she had ever tasted. I laughed and told her the secret (freezing) as if it were something I do all the time and without thinking. Whether or not what she said is true don’t we all just live for those “this is the best” comments? My Beloved, not one prone to hyperbole, broadened Dina’s compliment by saying it was better than any quiche he had while he was in Paris. (He hasn’t been for quite awhile so his memory may be quite dimmed and since I wasn’t with him I can’t vouch for the establishments he was eating at. It shouldn’t matter.)
We were with our friends sitting at our hastily thrown together Sunday tablescape and enjoying a a rather ordinary but home-made Quiche Maraichère (with a delicious crust) together. A Quiche Maraichère made this Sunday without pretense but one we were having a marvelous time with. It was simple and it was done well.
I wish I had made two.
The full recipe this Quiche Maraichère can be found here.
This Quiche Maraichère recipe was an assignment for French Friday’s with Dorie, a cooking group working its way through 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, or it is, in fact, not much of a recipe at all, I will either include it here (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. You should buy the book though.
It will change your life — as it has mine.