International Pitch-In - Need Ideas for French Food
I'm participating in an "International Pitch-In" during lunch at work. I signed up for France but I'm not sure what might make a great French lunch item? (Yes, yes, should've thought of this first but I like a challenge.) I'd love to get some feedback on ideas.
Since it is a lunchtime pitch-in at work something that I could mostly prepare in advance would be ideal.
Another tarty suggestion would be a pissaladiere. The name doesn't come from what you might be forgiven for thinking but from a small fish you can find on the Provencal coast and that you will probably substitute anchovies for. Even people who don't like anchovies will like this if you kind of mush them in with the olives--it ends up looking like a kind of muddy, dirty pizza, and it is delish! And it's fine served at room temperature. You kind find recipes online all over the place.
I have a similar suggestion, but it is veggie friendly, a leek & gruyere tart. Very easy, can be made ahead and served at room temp. Just omit the bacon & bacon fat to make it vegetarian.
Bacon & Leek Tart
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed for 30 mins.
½ lb. thick-cut bacon, diced, cooked until crisp & drained
2 tbsp. reserved bacon fat
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
Line tart pan with puff pastry sheet, top with foil and pie weights, and prebake according to package directions. Let cool on a wire rack and set aside. Preheat oven to 425.
Trim leeks down to light green part. Slice in half lengthwise and then slice very thinly. Add to a colander set over cold water in a bowl and swish to remove sand. Lift leeks out and drain; repeat twice, using fresh water.
Thinly slice onions. Heat bacon fat and butter in a heavy dutch oven over medium heat and sauté leeks and onions, cooking until lightly browned. Use some salt to cook the vegetables down, about 20 – 25 minutes.
Make custard by mixing eggs and cream. Fill baked tart shell with bacon pieces, leek mixture and season with salt & pepper. Pour in custard and top with cheese.
Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.
We recently did 6 French dishes for a French food & wine tasting:
Buckwheat crepes stuffed with egg and ham
Soup au pistou (like a minestrone w/ pesto stirred in at the table)
Choucroute garnie (sauerkraut & sausages from Alsace)
Rillette of pork (herbed potted pork on toast topped with a cornichon pickle)
Cassoulet (Fine Cooking did an article on making the components over the weekend and then baking them together on serving day)
Pear tart (crust from frozen puff pastry, creme patissiere, sliced pears, crumbled gingersnaps)
All very well received and almost all cook-ahead.
I take it that a pitch in is an office potluck. Those things are always quite tricky and without know whether or not you have a kitchen with a real oven at work, it is hard to make a recommendation.
You certainly could go the dessert route. A rustic apple tart is always nice. Or you could do something that is meant to be long cooked like choucroute garni. You could also make Bouef Bourguignon, which may not be the most creative choice but would certainly be delicious.