By Lorie Fangio, TSB Contributor
April is a wonderful month to visit Paris, although it is still very chilly and somewhat rainy, weather could never dampen the spirit of the most romantic city in the world. Alas, this April, I will only be dreaming of this fair city as I prepare a classic French bistro meal for my family.
French Country food is really simplistic, with lots of fresh local ingredients paired together in perfect harmony to create mouth-watering dishes. My scrumptious Potato and Asparagus Tart (picturee above) is inspired by all of the gorgeous offerings lined up in the Parisian boulangeries windows and offers a twist, the potatoes form the crust.
Serve this tasty tart with my French Bistro Salad, the freshly prepared dressing offers the perfect bright lemony flavor. For the ultimate decadent finish to your French meal, satiny Crème Brulee, simply sinful! Open a bottle of champagne; put some French music on and enjoy this classic French bistro meal Around the Table with the ones you love!
Join me this Thursday, April 11th at 7 p.m. in the fabulous gourmet kitchen at A Real Bookstore, Fairview for “Parisian Girls Night In.”
You will be transported to the streets and bistros of Paris in this entertaining class. Gather some friends to attend this girl’s night cooking experience. Watch as all of the fabulous recipes are made before your eyes and then feast on the offerings. The fun will begin with an aperitif of Kir Royal. Learn how to make sumptuous Artichoke Cheese Soufflé, classic and creamy Croque Monsieur, Tomato Jam served with French bread is drenched in flavor and the gorgeous Salmon and Vegetable Tart will amaze. No Parisian tasting would be complete without a sweet treat, we’ll make dreamy Dark Chocolate Truffles and precious moist Madeline’s. $32.50, Call Today for reservations 972-398-9888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Potato and Asparagus Tart
1 large baking potato sliced very thinly
1 cup asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup artichokes chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons melted butter
6 large eggs
1/3 cup milk or fat free half and half
2 tablespoon grated onion
1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 quart water to boiling in a saucepan; add potatoes and par cook potatoes for about 7 minutes; drain well. Brush the bottom of an 8 inch pie plate with butter. Arrange potatoes in the bottom and up the sides of the dish forming a crust. Brush the tops of the potatoes with butter. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with remaining ingredients reserving parmesan cheese. Pour egg mixture into pie plate; sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Cook for 25-30 minutes until tart is puffed and brown.
French Bistro Salad
1 Large head of romaine lettuce chopped, washed and chilled
3 slices of good quality bacon, copped and cooked to crisp
1/3 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes halved
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
The juice and zest of 1 medium lemon
1 small shallot chopped very finely
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Arrange greens and toppings on 4-6 salad plates. In a small bowl, mix lemon, shallots and mustard with a whisk. Slowly add oil in a stream while whisking vigorously. Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle over salads.
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale. Place cream in a bowl over a simmering pot of water, bring cream to a simmer and add vanilla. Temper the eggs by adding a small amount of the warm cream to the egg mixture, mix well then add the rest of the cream. Pour the mixture into 6 ramekins, put the ramekins in a 9×13 baking dish, and place into the oven. Create a water bath for even cooking by adding boiling water carefully to the baking dish until it is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let custard cool in water bath, remove and chill for 2 hours. Sprinkle the tops of the custards with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Using a hand held torch, melt the sugar. If you do not have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts and turns golden brown.
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