Eskimo Nebula

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Jess tells tales: Culinary Audacity!

Did somebody say, culinary audacity???!!!
Good morning/afternoon/evening everybody! (I think this is the fairest way to address all of you out there since; most people don't keep the same exact schedules, live in the same time zones or parts of the world).

There are always little bits and pieces of personal anecdotes floating around in my brain and today the one that I've decided to share with you all is about a time when I performed an act of culinary audacity.

A couple years back, I used to spend time in France off and on during holidays/school breaks because during that time I was in a relationship with somebody, who was originally from France. Yes, I had a transatlantic relationship; which sometimes is a bit odd even  to me when I think about it now, but let's get on with the story.

My culinary skills were blooming during this time and the house where I was staying had this really fantastic convection oven. It was awe inspiring to me, especially when I compared it to the boring electric stove and oven that I had back at home. I think that my partner might have even been jealous of the oven, especially when i was busy in the kitchen, having a ball with the awesome kitchen equipment. "Je suis desolée, mon cher, mais tu dois me partager avec la four!' (I'm sorry, darling, but you have share me with the oven! =p

During one particular day, I was making a quiche from scratch and although that doesn't sound outlandish at all, if you've ever eaten or read about my food; you know that I always cook/make everything in my own special way. So, you kn ow already that the crust wasn't made from a rolled out butter/pastry dough and the filling wasn't made with cream or whole fat milk or a billion eggs (I must disclose that I was still just a vegetarian back then; thus the dairy and eggs were not yet excluded).

Here is the breakdown of the recipe/method:


I guess this method would be similar to a pâte brisée (this is in a different font because I couldn't remember the alt + shift # for the 'a' with the l'accent circonflexe)  method, but instead of using butter; I used a vegetable oil. When you use oil instead of butter/shortening; the dough is softer and more malleable. I still was careful to not over knead the dough; so that the pastry would still be flaky. The fact that the dough was soft, made it easy to press into and unfluted glass casserole dish (yes, a glass casserole dish!, what a maverick move!)

These are not photos of the quiche I made. These were definitely prettier  than the one that I made, but  in this photo they are using glass bakeware is a bit similar to the one I use, except that the dish was not fluted.

Again, this is not a photo of the quiche that I made. I chose this one from the search because it shows the traditional fluted edges of the quiche crust and the filling reminds me of what my quiche filling looked like.


I don't remember all of the vegetables that I used, but I remember there being tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, onions and some sort of cheese. The custard was made out of low-fat milk and a few fresh farm eggs, salt and pepper.

I remember that while I was making this quiche; that I was looked upon with frantic eyes worried about time constraints because we had to go to a dinner party at a relative's house. It was totally crazy because the party was only a few hours away and this quiche still had to be cooked. I reassured them that it would be cooked and ready to go before we had to leave. Ahahahahaha, you would normally let a quiche rest until a least room temperature before thinking of trying to serve it!

Qui est cette fille qui n'est pas française qui veut faire une quiche à sa façon et le servir à de vraies personnes françaises?Who was this non French girl attempting to make her own style of quiche and to serve it to real French people! Elle est tellement folle! She's mad, I tell you! Maaaaaaaad!!!! =p

Relax though, the quiche was cooled down to at least room temperature before we headed out for the party. I cut it close though, the cooling time was only 30 minutes before we had to leave. When we got to the dinner party; it was setup outside in their yard on a long picnic table setup family style. We placed the food that we brought in the middle of the table. We did the obligatory kiss line as you do in France (a tip for those of you who aren't used to kissing people to greet them: Make sure that if you're getting 2 or more kisses; that you turn your head properly; so that you don't end up kissing somebody's nose or even directly on the lips by accident =0 ) and then found our places at the table. There was a bit of banter and then we started to serve the food. The relatives saw the quiche and asked who had made it and it was explained that I had made it and they seemed surprised. They started to cut into the quiche and thank goodness it held up and the crust did as well. The quiche looked good and there were no complaints, but I do remember explaining that it was a different style of quiche ;) It was 'nouvelle quiche.' =p One of the Aunts really enjoyed it and I think that was good enough for me.

My culinary audacity was not received with a riot of French people leading a revolt trying to corner me into the bastille, until I came back out wanting to cook in the traditional style. No, instead, they were smiling, happy, had no problem eating a piece of two while carrying on a conversation with me.

Zut alors! J'ai gagnée! ( I won! *insert metaphysical victory lap here *) ;p

What can I say? I was audacious in a culinary way back then and I continue to be as such, at present. There are no limits as to what you can and cannot cook (or do in general, for that matter). You may be better at making some things than others, but just because I'm not Korean, doesn't stop me from making my own versions of Kim Chi and Gochujang. The way I make my Vegan,Gluten Free, Kim Chi would certainly be called audacious in comparison to what the traditional method/ingredients. Even the Pilipino dishes that I make are considered pretty audacious  to those relatives who can't  quite wrap their heads around that I don't use any meat, seafood, patis (fish sauce), bagoong (fermented fish paste) in my cooking. I have fans though who who really enjoyed my version though and that's a nice feeling =)

So what can you take away from this tale? I guess that you shouldn't be afraid to go for it. How I didn't feel intimidated to make a non-traditional quiche for actual French people; is a bit of a puzzle for me, but maybe it can be chalked up to being young and brash. I was passionate about something and had enough confidence in something to share it with everybody. 

Well, that's it for my tale of my culinary audacity. I know that when I was thinking about this earlier in the day that it made me smile and laugh.. I was standing back and looking at my younger self and saying 'Wow, that was a bold move. You crazy girl.'

 Je vous souhaite à tous une bonne santé et de bonheur! (Wishing you all good health and happiness)

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois  <3  Until next time ,


Je t'aime et j'aime l'audace culinaire ainsi ! <3

1 comment:

  1. you cray, ading. lol....

    But then again, so am I. :)