Today Food n’ Focus has been appropriated by April’s boyfriend Shawn, that’s me. As April’s blog has become more popular, and our apartment has become a food and photo lab, I have seen how much fun she has creating all of these great dishes, and then photographing them for everyone to see. Well, in a slight lapse of judgement a couple of weeks ago, I said “I can do that…”, so April challenged me to prepare a dish to post on the blog.
Not being able to turn down a challenge, I accepted and here I am, guest blogger for the day. The first step after accepting the challenge was to choose the dish that I would create, I went with something easy, or so I thought.
About a year and a half ago, April and I took a trip to the South of France, where every morning started with cappuccino and quiche lorraine at a little cafe’ right on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Since quiche is just eggs and cheese, naturally I felt this was the dish to prepare for my blog challenge.
Before we get too far along in this post, I should mention that I’m long winded when speaking, and even more so when writing. My hope is that you find this post unique and possibly entertaining, and will continue reading. If my writing is too much for you, then I hope you enjoy the pictures – more on those later.
With all the ambition of any amateur who has no idea what he has gotten himself into, I chose a fantastic recipe from Emeril Lagasse and set out to show April how this cooking stuff works. After reviewing the recipe, I quickly realized that quiche is not just eggs and cheese, especially when you decide to make the homemade buttery crust that Emeril makes sound so good (and easy) in his quiche lorraine recipe. Feeling that I may have over committed this time, I wasn’t going to admit that I was in over my head, and planned on getting up early on Sunday morning to make a fresh quiche and pretend to be back on the Riviera.
Sunday Morning, 6:00 am: I got out of bed to take the butter out of the fridge so it could come to room temperature, this is what the recipe calls for when making the crust, right? Wrong… this was my second mistake, the first one was saying “I can do this”. After re-reading the recipe, I realized my mistake and proceeded by taking butter out of the fridge and this time following the directions. If you choose to make this dish, I would recommend following the directions, it makes everything so much easier.
After using some words that would make a sailor proud, and asking April for some help, the crust was made – but this is just the first part. After feeling a little more confident with the professional by my side in the kitchen, I continued following the directions and prepared the custard portion of the quiche. After mixing in the final ingredient, and pouring the mixture into a crust that I was beginning to despise, I placed it into the oven which was preheated to 375 degrees. I’m fairly good with numbers, so I was feeling good about getting that part right.
At this point the quiche was in the oven and I could see the finish line, that was until I turned around and saw a mountain of dishes so big that I was going to need a sherpa to navigate them. While the quiche baked for 35 minutes, I stared through the window of the stove waiting for the concoction to puff up and develop a golden brown hue. When the timer finally went off, I realized that my culinary experiment was going to have to cool for 15 minutes before I would be able to cut a slice, and allow my redolent dish to bring me back to the Riviera.
When the quiche was cooled just enough to enjoy, it was time to take some of those pictures that keep people coming back to Food n’ Focus. To be honest, there was no hope for me to ever take a worthy picture, April came to the rescue and captured the photos that you see here today. What isn’t reflected in these pictures, are the mistakes and frustration that went into somehow baking this quiche that was quite honestly the furthest thing from a Riviera vacation.
As with any mistake you have to take away a lesson, my lesson is that the joy April displays when creating these dishes and taking the photos, is truly something special. From now on I’m going to just enjoy the final products that April so graciously creates.