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quiche maraîchère {ffwd}

quiche maraichere

I adore anything made in a tart pan: sweet or savory. Hands down, the most used piece of baking equipment used in my kitchen is my tart pan. Quiche is a popular option. It’s a great way to use up leftover bits in the fridge. A pastry shell filled with bite-sized vegetables or chopped meat covered in a custard filling with a little cheese on top, and you’ve got an ever-changing series of options.

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is the Quiche Maraîchère. A Google translation of Maraîchère says it means truck farmer, so we’re talking about a filling that honors farmer’s market style freshness. Not much is growing outside in my neck of the woods quite yet, but the filling for this quiche relies on vegetables that are at least readily available at the grocery store all year long: celery, carrots, leeks, and red pepper. I’m inspired to rename this Confetti Quiche based on the vibrant assortment of colors combined for this recipe.

Vegetable Confetti

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. I’m not a big fan of Dorie’s Pate Brisee. My go-to recipe is Mark Bittman’s though for this quiche, I tried out Maria Speck’s Whole Wheat Butter Pastry Crust (without the sugar) from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals or on-line here. The crust was a little chewy, but much better than other whole-wheat or spelt crusts I’ve tried. I don’t think I used quite enough water so overworked it, making it a bit tough. It is a crust I will try again.

Maria Speck's Whole Wheat Butter Crust

As with Dorie’s other quiches, this one has a lower custard to filling ratio which I find quite pleasing (meaning, LOTS of filling bound together with just enough eggs and cream). The only complaint I had with the quiche maraîchère recipe is that, though we were encouraged to add as much custard as would possibly fill the crust without overflowing, the quantity I mixed up per the recipe didn’t even come close to the top of the crust. I could have perhaps doubled the custard to fill it up.

Not Quite Full of Custard

It didn’t really matter though. The end results was a feast for the eyes with all those great colors and for the belly too. We both really enjoyed this version of quiche. With a tossed salad, it made a light, but satisfying, dinner. Leftovers were good for lunch too.

Carrots and celery were vegetables I’d never thought to add to a quiche, so I’m glad to discover how well they worked. I will be making, if not this exact combination, certainly other versions that include these vegetable bin staples.

You can see what the other Doristas thought of this week’s quiche by following their links posted here. You can find the recipe online here, and, of course, it’s from Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table, a book you won’t be sorry to add to your collection.

garbure from the supermarket {ffwd}

A bowl of garbure

Winter continues… This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was just perfect for a cold week! Garbure is a meaty vegetable soup that truly sticks to your ribs. In Southwest France, where this soup hails from, garbure typically includes duck confit. Here in the US, though the ingredient list is long, this version can made from ordinary supermarket ingredients.

This is the kind of soup that’s best prepared on a lazy afternoon. You start by soaking some little white (Navy) beans. Then, you brown a pork shoulder. That’s when I realized my large Dutch oven wasn’t going to be big enough for the batch of soup, so I switched over to the giant stock pot.

Alliums

A variety of alliums (onion, leek, shallots AND garlic) are sautéed before adding big chunks of carrots, turnips, potatoes, and celery, the browned pork shoulder, a duck leg, the beans and lots of liquid. I used just 1 quart of chicken broth diluted with water because I felt the ingredients would add enough flavor. Oh, and I can’t forget the cabbage, piles of shredded cabbage. This simmers for an hour before adding some sliced sausage.

DSC05870

I’m never quite sure what type of sausage to use when a recipe calls for “garlic sausage”. Is it kielbasa, bratwurst, or something else entirely? Google didn’t help. I found a fresh garlic-herb sausage at Whole Foods, so I used that. Because it wasn’t precooked, I pan-fried it before slicing and adding to the pot. Then, we had to wait for another hour of simmering.

Finally, the pork and duck meat is shredded and added back to the pot. I’m not sure why my pork shoulder didn’t falling apart. Maybe it needed to cook longer? I had to chop the meat into thin strips rather than just shredding it with a fork.

I know that food safety-wise, it’s not a good idea to put a big pot of hot soup into the refrigerator, warming up the rest of the food in there. I followed Howard’s favorite advice for this time of year: “Use the winter!” That means putting the pot out on the porch for a few hours or in the trunk of the car overnight. I opted for the car, though I’ll admit it reeked of cabbage for a couple of days afterwards.

This recipe makes A LOT of soup. We enjoyed it for several satisfying lunches and dinners, and I froze 3 quart-sized containers for later.

I also like this soup’s connection to charcuterie, at least at our house. The pork shoulder was the leftover half from a recent adventure making pork rillettes. And, the optional duck leg called for in the soup was the catalyst for Howard to make another batch of duck confit (his favorite, or should I say my favorite, of his kitchen DIY projects). The duck confit wasn’t ready to use in this soup, but it will be delicious next week served over lentils, a favorite dinner around here.

Thumbs up from both of us. Every spoonful is full of flavor, lots of different flavors. I love ending the month on a winner!

If you want to try this delicious soup, you can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To see what the other Doristas thought, check out their links here.

beans in the pot