Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Trinity, French-Style

My rendition of the classic throw-it-together French meal (soup, salad, quiche) went off without a hitch last night. No, it wasn't the most groundbreaking meal I've ever cooked, but it sure was delicious, and had my friends Darren, Patrick and Kate happy and full.

The soup was Potato-Leek, a recipe that I've been making for a few years that has become one of Fork's favorites. It's easy (made even easier by my new immersion blender, a Christmas stocking-stuffer from Fork). The recipe I use comes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, or simply "Bittman," as Darren and Patrick like to call it. (As in, 'How to you make soft-boiled eggs?' 'Ask Bittman.' 'What cut of beef do you use for Beef Bourguignon?' 'I don't know; see what Bittman says.')

Second course was a salad of butter lettuce (aka Boston or Bibb) dressed in oil and vinegar, and Quiche Lorraine, from the new Joy of Cooking. Did you know that a classic Quiche Lorraine contains no cheese? Neither did I, but as that's not a rule I care not to abide (in general, I am pro-cheese), I threw in about 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere. My guests apparently approved of my improvisation: everyone took seconds, and left only a small wedge for Fork to eat the next morning.

For dessert, a Marble Pound Cake (again, Bittman). I had never attempted this recipe before, and I was a little nervous about how "marbled" the cake would be, since I had some trouble mixing the two batters of different consistencies. My attempts at "swirling" them seemed more like glomming one around the other. But my oven worked its magic. When I sliced into the cake, the chocolate had run through the middle, nicely surrounded by yellow pound cake. Delicious.

What's better than a simple Friday night supper with friends? Oh, and props to the French for the inspiration.--S

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