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H.S. student needs help with French cooking

My daughter is a HS student who needs to bring in a french regional dish next week. She wanted to make something from the Nord or Pas de Calais area. Can anyone suggest something that's feasible to cook at home (possibly that could be served at room temperature or cold). Any other region would also be appreciated other than Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy or Corsica. Also, they're not allowed to use any alcohol.

Note: if this was easy I would have figured it out on my own.

Thanks for any help with this.


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    1. re: stevuchan

      These are beautiful, and are probably delicious. That said, however, I doubt that the crepe would hold for very long without becoming soggy.

    2. What about socca? A regional dish from Nice that's really a pancake made with chickpea flour? I have a recipe around somewhere. Or what about a Nicoise salad? Or an Alsatian onion tart? Or a Provencal Pissaladiere (like a focaccia with anchovies and onions and olives).

      Here's a recipe for Alsatian Onion Tarte:

      And a few for Pissaladiere:

      2 Replies
      1. re: Amuse Bouches

        The onion tarte and pissaladiere would certainly work. When you get them in France they are almost always room-temp, and have been sitting around for awhile.

        1. re: Amuse Bouches

          Socca's pretty gross if it's not hot from the pan.

        2. I can't help you with a regional recipe but have you visited the blog, Chocolate & Zucchini? It's a wonderful read and there are plenty of French recipes, various skill levels.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              As long as you don't call it Flemish Tart...perhaps Tarte de Lille? It's close to Belgium.

              1. re: oakjoan

                The Nord is the Flemish part of France.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  True, but hardly anybody speaks the language anymore and the French govt. seems to be against doing anything much about it. I don't think it even recognizes Flemish as a national regional language. Les Fla, les Fla, les Flamands! I know, off topic, not cooking.

                  What are the regional specialties of that Nord region?

            2. When I had to do this in high school, we did a salad nicoise. It worked great, and is best served cold. It's not from the regions she's looking for though, it's from Nice (hence Nicoise), which is in the South.

              When I had to cook something French in junior high I made Clafouti, which is basically a cherry flan. It was not easy (especially for a novice cook), but it is best served cold.

              1. How about Quatre-Quarts aux Poires? It's a pound cake with pears sliced into quarters and then into 4 slices each quarter (just now coming into season)arranged on a buttered springform pan. A pound cake batter is poured over the pears and it's baked. Comes out looking gorgeous. It's pretty easy. I'll post the recipe if you're interested. It's from Patricia Wells Bistro Cooking.

                Although I love clafouti, I wonder if high school students won't just think it's a soggy pancake....

                1. My daughter thinks she wants to try the flemish sugar tart (renamed). She really wants to make something from the northern region of france so I think that's probably our best bet. At this point I feel comfortable that she can sign up for the Nord or Pas de Calais area and we have something she can make.

                  Any other suggestions would still be welcome.

                  Thanks for all your help and she'll report back on her efforts.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: SharonOhio

                    There's no need to rename it. The Nord was part of Flanders before the French annexed it. It's part of the local cuisine.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Mmmmm, tarte au sucre. You're making me hungry.

                  2. How about a Tarte Tatin? It's supposed to be served warm, but I'll bet that won't matter that much.

                    1. gratin dauphinoise...basically scalloped potatoes...mmm...i used to have french au pairs from the alps, and they used to live on this...bonne chance

                      1. I made a variety of things for french class as a youth. The most impressive was a braided loaf of bread. I can't say I've repeated it b/c it was labor intensive, but the teacher was impressed. My friend and I couldn't get it to rise so we turned on the dryer on high for a while, then turned it off and set the covered dough inside.