Monday, January 14, 2013

The End Of A French Culinary Journey

“Serve the dinner backward, do anything – but for goodness sake, do something weird.”
Elsa Maxwell
Interesting advice...and something to think about for your next soiree
Elsa Maxwell was a American gossip columnist, author, songwriter and    professional hostess
Some little known facts with a Paris connection
Maxwell developed a gift for staging games and diversions at parties for the rich, and began making a living devising treasure-hunt parties, come-as-your-opposite parties and other sorts.  Perhaps one of Maxwell’s most notable contribution to the social scene is that she invented the scavenger hunt. The game was one of the many silly gimmicks she would draw on to ignite her celebrity-filled fêtes. One of her most memorable ploys was the infamous “Hate Party” she threw in Paris in the ’50s, where guests arrived dressed as the people they most despised. Elsa came as King Farouk, who had earlier sued her for defamation of character.

Well I guess the only weird thing I did when serving up the Paris diner French style was having the salad after the main course and cheese course at the end. 
Lemon Tart
Ingredients: Almond Crust-recipe from Taste of Home February and March 2008
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sliced almond
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 TB. cold butter-cut in small cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • about 6 tsp. water
  • Place flour, almonds, sugar. butter, extract and salt in food processor
  • Pulse until blended
  • Gradually add water 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing until mixture forms a soft dough
  • With floured hands place dough in center of fluted tart pan that has a removable bottom
  • Working from center out shape/pat dough to cover bottom of pan
  • Bake at 400 13 minutes or until gets golden brown around edges
  • Cool on a wire rack
Ingredients: Lemon Tart Filling recipe from
  • 3 whole eggs 
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice about 3 large lemons
  • 3 TB. lemon zest
  • pinch salt
  • 6 TB. cubed butter
  • Reduce heat to 325
  • Whisk egg yolks, whole eggs, sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt together in a saucepan (tip do this part with pan in sink)
  • Place saucepan on stove add cubed butter and cook over medium heat constantly till thickens but pourable 8-10 minutes
  • Strain filling through a mesh strainer and pour over prebaked crust
  • Bake at 325 until filling set about 10 minutes
  • Optional sprinkle toasted coconut over tart when removed from oven and cool
  • Remove sides and transfer to a serving plate-if serving later refrigerate tart pan covered lightly with wax paper
I am a member newly inducted into the Costco World as of last week.   One of the first items purchased was from the bakery a box of French butter cookies that comes from the countryside of Normandy. Truly these cookies melt in your mouth! They come in little packages of 4 so 64 in one box. It was a bargain and just maybe might last the month.
Hope you enjoyed following my Paris Soiree French culinary journey. 

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