Thursday, January 21, 2010

even whitman asks, do I contradict myself?

I've been told, real men don't eat quiche.

But real men also don't turn down

a.) food their wife has been slaving over when so many men covet a cooking wife

b.) a classic Julia Child dish. Especially

if southern Gulf White Shrimp

have been added

to a recipe already infused with chunks of butter and foot-long stretches of bacon.

In that case, the question is: Would a real man turn down this Quiche?

And Husband is a real man. So together we ate the whole quiche in one sitting.

I swore I'd never fall prey in my Julia Child endeavors to my tendency to creatively alter every recipe that comes through my kitchen. I swore I would never ever alter a Julia Child dish until I had made the pure, authentic version first.

Because quite frankly, I'm just learning to cook. I'm still in my first decade of informal culinary exploration. I need to follow recipes not arrogantly abandon their origins to my own creative bliss. I need to respect the structure and the science of a thing before abstracting it...

you know, follow the rules.

Yet just three recipes into (arguably) the cookbook of the century, I've done it. I added shrimp to the Quiche Lorraine. (Am I being a bit hard on myself?)

Absolutely not. Because it was a raging success.

And because I followed Julia's guidelines for Quiche Aux Fruits De Mer, or Shrimp, Crab or Lobster Quiche to add the little crustaceans.

Now, you might ask, Why didn't you just make Quiche Aux Fruits De Mer? Well, the Quiche Lorraine sounded so tempting with its heavy cream, bacon, and nutmeg that I already had my heart set on it. Plus, I decided the shrimp would compliment since so many shrimp dishes call for bacon, and the nutmeg/cream combo reminded me of the most wonderful Seafood Newburg I had in Maine on our honeymoon.

And what is good food for but to bring back wonderful memories and warm, cozy feelings through its artistry and flavors?

Just watch Anton Ego in his life-altering nostalgic experience in Ratatouille.

Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself.

(I am large. I contain multitudes.)

-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass


  1. I'm truly impressed. You managed to combine 2 of my favorite things: Poetry (After reading most of Leaves of Grass I have a new respect for it) and Cooking. And to top it off, you managed to pull together two of the giants of each world. Well done. Well done, I say!

  2. I'm flattered with such comments from you!

  3. Wow, this looks amazing, and I loved looking at the whole process through your pictures. I know how difficult it is to stop and take photos while in the thros of cooking!
    Wonderful job. I would have liked mine without the shrimp, but my husband no doubt would have preffered your version. :)

  4. Me, too! I could go without substantial amounts of meat for weeks, but Husband has to have it. I could just live on fruits, veggies, grains, yogurt, coffee, cakes and cookies!

  5. "foot long stretches of bacon" ....visual!

    That sounds sooo good. And it would not have lasted long around here, either!

  6. My heart be still..... tell me there isn't that much butter in this one quiche....icks... do you think I could cut not..

    Great pictures.

  7. Good LORD, Girlfriend!!! If there was EVER a time I wished I could dive through my computer screen, this was IT!! That looks ABSOLUTELY SCRUMPTIOUS!!!

    And kudos on the shrimp/cream/nutmeg mix...When I make Fettucine Alfredo I always add a dash of nutmeg in the sauce and usually serve with shrimp and scallops...So all I have to say to you is


    : )

  8. Ok -- there really should be a warning on this post. "IF YOU ARE DIETING, DO NOT READ THIS POST! :) That looks maaaaarvaalous! Simply maaaaarvalous!

  9. Yes, there IS that much butter. I almost held back and then remembered my vow to try at all costs to follow the recipe. I went for a three mile run yesterday and hopefully worked some of it off!

  10. O.K., Girl-Child...Husband needs to come work with Father-in-Law so that y'all can move back to Alabama and feed us EvErY night!

    We're having tacos tonight:-(....Maybe we could call it Taco Quiche?.....or Quiche Taquette:)

    Lug, Mug

  11. Yeah ! Courtney ! You go girl....I am so proud of you...This made my heart SING....I started cooking from my beloved Julia so many years ago...and it makes me feel so HAPPY that you love her too and are cooking from JULIA ! YIPEE.....

    It looks amazing..wish I was there...and YES! BE CREATIVE....HAVE FUN !

    And your honeymoon in MAINE ! My favorite you remember the name of the restaurant? I LOVE MAINE !

    Happy Cooking, dear friend


  12. Great photos and looks delicious. I don't care to cook so will just enjoy looking at your photos.


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