Thursday, December 10, 2009

Julie and Julia

Bacon, Mushroom and Leek Quiche

December 8th marked release date for DVD Julie and Julia. I'm sure the foodies out there have no need for a description of the movie, but just in case I'll start with a brief synopsis. Basically it's a story of two women told simultaneously. The first is of Julia Child, the famous French Chef, who
was not French at all and how she got her start to a most amazing cooking career. The second is of a writer who decided to honour Julia and challenge herself by cooking all of Julia's recipes from her book and blogging about it. This movie shows two amazing stories of two amazing women who adore food.

Baked Apples with Brie and Rosemary

To celebrate this and to break out of my own shell I held a Julie and Julia party. I used to love hosting dinner parties, but they never really worked out for me. The food was always great, that wasn't the problem, the problem was that no one would ever show up. I would invite a lot of people and cook for 10 or more and then two people would show up at my doorstep. It was very disheartening and after a while I started leaning away from dinner parties. I stopped all together when I was diagnosed with Celiac. I could barely figure out what to feed myself, let alone groups of people. I also lacked the confidence to try new things and feared that what I now thought tasted good, would not appeal to those who can eat gluten. Then I started making up other excuses, like my basement suite is too small and there aren't any windows so who wants to hang out in a dungeon? My boyfriend told me that was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard. He was right. The later reason's were pretty lame. So when I wanted to watch Julie and Julia on DVD and didn't think my boyfriend would want to I decided it was the perfect excuse to have a girls night and to shed that doom and gloom fear I had of making people gluten free food.

Easy Cheese Log
(I substituted Mayo for Sour Cream because that's what I had on hand)

I think I probably could have picked a better night to host the party, one that wasn't surrounded by major events on either side that would take away from my prep time, but I chose the day that Julie and Julia came out on DVD to host the party. I did a little bit of research and read in a few places that one of Julia Child's favorite dishes was Quiche, so I pulled a Julia Child's Quiche recipe and adapted it. I also heard that bruchetta was featured in the movie so I made some of my own (although now that I've seen th
e movie, I'm going to have to make a much better version, because I nearly drooled all over myself when I saw the movie version). I also read that she was famous for her Queen of Sheeba cake. Since I didn't have the time to attempt a brand new version of her Chocolate Almond Cake, I made a similar chocolate cake (that I've featured on here before) in order to make a gluten free mimic. I think one day I'll try and make the official gluten free version of Julia's cake though. I also served a few other appetizers, salad and veggies.

Gluten Free Bruchetta on Silly-Yak Harvest Seed Bread

So many things could have gone horribly wrong. The food could have turned out to be a disaster (which is why I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to serve food you've never made before, but I seem to forget th
at every time) or no one could have shown up or no one could have gotten along. Luckily for me, everything turned out just right. I great mish mash of my friends that have very little in common got together and conversed as if they were long time friends. I love that. The food turned out quite well and the movie was great. Plus, some of them brought Virgin Kiwi Mojitos to drink, which were excellent and I will have to share that recipe with you at some point. They were delicious.

If you are newly diagnosed, it may take some time to
build up confidence in your abilities to cook gluten free well, but it will happen ... and when it does, it will be glorious.


Bacon, Mushroom and Leek Quiche
-adapted from Julia Child and Terri Gruss

Crust:

1/2 cup of Cold Butter, cut up into pieces
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 large Egg
1 tablespoon Water
1/4 cup Almond Meal
3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
3/4 cup of Sweet Sorghum Flour


Filling:

1 pound thickly sliced Bacon, cooked and diced
2 large Leeks, thinly sliced
5 Shitake Mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon Thyme
8 ounces Smoked Gruyere Cheese, shredded or diced
2 large Eggs
1 large Egg Yolk
1 3/4 cups of half-and-half

Start by making the crust. In a food processor combine butter and salt until smooth. Next add egg, water, almond meal and gf all purpose flour and pulse until smooth. Then add sweet sorghum flour until mixture starts to form a ball. Remove dough from the processor and place on a lightly floured (gf) wax paper. Dust the dough ball with more gf flour and cover with another piece of wax paper. Refrigerate this for a minimum of one hour. After it is chilled remove it from the fridge and keep it between the two pieces of wax paper and roll it out to fit a pie pan. Once it is the appropriate size, remove the top sheet of wax paper and gently turn upside down onto the pie plate. Peel back the remaining waxed paper, fix any gaps and remove any access and then pinch the edges to make it look nice. Bake this shell in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated in plastic wrap for a few days or frozen for a few months.

While the crust is baking you can start on the filling. Cook up bacon in frying pan or Gorge Forman Grill (but save the fat). In another frying pan, using a few tablespoons of bacon fat, fry up sliced leeks and shitake mushrooms until lightly browned and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add bacon and diced cheese. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs and heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. Once the crust is ready, place bacon, mushroom and leek mixture on the bottom of the pan (on the crust). Then pour the egg mixture over top. Bake this in the oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

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