Friday, August 17, 2012

Quiche aux Champignons, s'il vous plait

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Many of you are probably aware that Wednesday (August 15th) would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday.  The old girl lasted 92 years (all but two days), and what a remarkable life she lived.  I  became interested in her work after the movie Julie and Julia, which inspired me to read Julie Powell's Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, and Julia Child's My Life In France.

I also bought a couple of her cookbooks at yard sales:  Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julia Child and More Company (where you can find a picture of a monk fish--the ugliest fish I've ever seen, and it's HUGE).

Last weekend I decided it might be fun to try one of Julia's recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and make it on Julia's birthday.  I must admit, I'd been rather intimidated by the cooking in the movie, which seemed to focus on really difficult recipes, but as I flipped through my copy, I came across a number of recipes that seemed doable for this "servantless American woman."

After discussing it with Mr. L (after all, he was going to have to eat half of it), we settled on Quiche aux Champignons (or mushroom quiche).  Now, I'm a quiche lover, but I'd never made one from scratch.  And, I did cheat and used a ready made crust.  (Hey, I'm a working writer!)

First up, I had to partially bake the crust, so here it is ready to go into the oven.  So far so good!



Then, while Mr. L chopped the shallots, I whisked the eggs and cream.



Oh dear!  I broke the cardinal rule of mushrooms.  Remember in the movie Julie quotes Julia, "Don't crowd the mushrooms!"  Oh well, they came out fine anyway.



Ready for the oven.  Oh dear--I spilled a bit.



Out of the oven and ready to eat.



Oops -- a not-so-elegant presentation



But what it lacked in beauty, it more than made up in taste.  I've eaten quiche many, many times in restaurants, and this surpassed them all.

What Julia Child recipe have you tried or would like to try?

P.S.  Happy Birthday, Julia.  Bon Appetit!