8-minute no-mixer homemade French short pastry dough (pâte brisée)

wpid-wp-1424445282001.jpegOne of the reason I don’t cook more often a savory tart or quiche is because I tend to be lazy and hate washing the bowl and accessories of my electric mixer. I take it for granted that the dough must be done with a mixer, but you know what? there was a time when I didn’t own one, and I clearly remember that it did not stop me to prepare the dough… So today I decided I should properly time how long it takes to prepare a savory dough. In France we call it the Pâte brisée. It means literally the broken dough, and it is our version of the short pastry dough. The advantages of doing it VS buying it ready made is that it is super cheap, super delicious, and super empty of all the usual crap conservatives and non-necessary ingredients with chemical sounding names. Long story short: I timed myself and it took me 8 minutes to prepare the dough, washing my hand included. Here is how:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup no-salt butter (That’s 2/3 of a stick)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water

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Provence style tomatoes

Les tomates à la provençales (Provence style tomatoes) is a very versatile dish that can be a great side for most grilled meats, starting from a good steak. It can also be prepared and used in a quiche, adding goat chess, or bacon with it. Finally you can have it with eggs, any style. It is closed to what is known in the USA as broiled tomatoes. But the perfume of garlic and herbs transport you to the summer in Provence…

Ingredients for 2 or 3 people (if served as a side to a steak):

  • wpid-wp-1408999313692.jpeg3 large tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of time leaves
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil

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The real Quiche Lorraine: A versatile recipe for all seasons

Quiche 7This is one very versatile dish that usually please everyone in the family: Have it warm, cold, perfect to be prepared in advance for an outdoor outing, but also a quick fix in the evening. Even if you are by yourself, you can freeze some slices, or bring them to the office and have them cold the day after. It makes a very balanced meal. Moreover, the quiche is open to your creativity, as you can easily switch some ingredients based on what you fancy eating today, or what is leftover in the fridge. How about theme-like quiche:

  • Greek would be kalamata olives, feta cheese and baby spinach;
  • Spanish would be pepperoni, potatoes and onions;
  • German… how about creme, potatoes, sliced German sausages and onions;
  • Kids friendly: Hot dog sliced sausages, cheese and sweet onions;
  • Leek + salmon ;
  • Broccoli and blue cheese…

My rule of thumb usually is to try to gather a protein + a vegetable with fibers. This is why I often add some onions to balance a rather heavy vegetable like potatoes… But I encourage anyone to do trials and errors here!

Today, I will offer the recipe of  the famous Quiche Lorraine, which is basically « lardons, champignons, oignons »  or « bacon, mushrooms and onions ». In France we can find in every grocery store the lardons, which is basically chopped pork belly. You can have it either natural or smoked. Since I live in the United States, I took the habit to substitute lardons with bacon which I cut with my pair of scissors in rather large matches shape.

The base of the quiche is always: Read the rest of this entry »


Theme for my soup: Orange (there is no orange in it though).

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I often cook a soup on winter Sunday night, and it is usually based on what’s available… Also, I convince myself it washes down the excesses of the WE. The theme was orange, because we needed something to cheer us up: We just had this terrible snow storm. Here are my ingredients: 3 carrots, 1/2 butternut squash previously cooked, 1 cup of roasted chestnuts (best way to peel chestnuts here) 6 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of corral lentils. Olive oil and 2 star anises.

Step one: In your pot, brown the carrots + garlic in olive oil.

ImageStep 2: add 3 cups of broth, your squash, the peeled chestnuts and the lentils:

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Step 3: let simmering for 20 to 40 minutes with 2 anise stars. It really enhance the flavors.

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Blend, adjust the salt, et voilà! my suggestion, a drizzle of olive oil, and a little cracked pepper to warm you up from the inside. Bon appétit 😉

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Thanksgiving Hachis Parmentier

I love the idea of Thanksgiving, but it is not a tradition in France. Since living in the US, I created a kind of Thanksgiving tradition that take shape year after year. I also love the flavors that comes with the Thanksgiving Holiday, the spicy sweet and savory are very inspiring. This year, I am trying this variation on the Thanksgiving theme: a Hachis Parmentier made of turkey, chestnuts, dates and nutmeg + cardamon for the stuffing and a pumpkin + sweet potatoes for the purée.
Serve this with a simple green salad, and if you want some wine, I recommend a merlot, a shiraz or a pinot noir, because the sweet savors need something bold and contrasting to be balanced. Will you try it?