We hardly ever remember to buy shallots. And why? They really are wonderful. I love the delicate balance of sweet onion and gentle garlic flavour they have.
We wanted to feature their flavour and yes, I suppose we could have made Madeira sauce. But we wanted to use the stunningly beautiful eggs too. Not to mention that we had some Emmenthal and ham in the fridge that really needed to be used.
So, remembering the spectacular quiche Lorraine we had in Limoges one fine September day, we decided that was the direction we would go in.
In 1997, exactly six weeks after I had an emergency apendectomy we cycled 966.5 km from Limoges to Cahors and in and around Brive.
Excerpt from my voluminous travel diary
Thursday 25 September, 6:35am just pulling out of Gare d’Austerlitz en route to Limoges. We rode through the dark streets meeting only a few bicyclists and motorcycles on our street. The air was soft and cool. […] [T said] that every street corner looked like a Martini Rossi ad in a glitzy magazine […]
18:00 We arrived in Limoges on time and walked the bikes through the beautiful station. […]
We then went in search of the Monoprix supermarche to buy our picnic lunch. We saw that there was a very nice cafe bar with ready-made sandwiches and quiches so sat down to have coffee and quiche lorraine that came with salad (!! green vegetable!!) It was delicious.
Talk about understatement. That quiche was the quiche by which all subsequent quiches Lorraine (quiches Lorraines??) are measured. The pastry was flaky and tender and crisp and delicate. The filling was perfectly seasoned and had exactly the right textures with beautiful cubes of lardons and exquisite Emmanthal cheese.
Of course, sitting in the autumn sun at an outdoor cafe in France helped – being served in Limoges on Limoges china.
It was spectacular.
Much like this time. In spite of the fact that we sat inside at our ordinary table using our ordinary dishes.
However, the eggs, ham, cheese and shallots were anything but ordinary. Once again, I feel pretty certain that we were having the best dinner in our neighbourhood. (Have I been properly grateful that I am married to the most amazing cook?)
It’s still quite chilly here. So rather than serving the quiche with salad, we decided to stir-fry some rapini. Of course, we added some of the garden garlic that we caramelized.
WHAT a fabulous feast we had!