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January 19, 2011

Chichifregi, chiboust and a Queenly Quiche

Ah. I’m so in love with my Larousse Gastrominique. It’s full of stuff no one cooks anymore but oh! I can never look one thing up without flipping through a few pages in interest. My version is from 1988, the year I was born in (what a great gift, thanks Dad). It is filled with terrible photographs of drab food that often involve a lot of aspic, and other garish things like cock’s combs used for garnish, and canned pineapple.

Well hey, I reckon. It’s not their fault that cucumber garnish was in and photoshop hadn’t been invented yet.

I was just wondering what to do with the whole half- smoked turkey that I never used for Christmas- hmmm. Maybe I should just stuff it with truffles and wrap it in puff pastry? Titan, old- school chef August Escoffier (who prefaced the origianl Larousse) would probably dig it. In fact, he would suggest another block of butter and litre of cream.

Today I was looking up the word chiboust. As it turns out, the person Chiboust was a 19th century pastry chef who invented the Saint-Honoré cake, in honour of the patron saint of pastry cooks and bakers.

The chiboust page in my Larousse also contains entries for Chicken where the explanation reads: “A domestic fowl reared (raised) for both its meat and eggs”. I searched the same term on Wikipedia and found a similar explanation. Thus, the Larousse takes itself very seriously as a dictionary, even kindly giving us a synonym for the word rearing. Sweet.

It makes sense- what did all those people who had never seen a chicken before do in 1988? When google was still a twinkle in the eyes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin? The Larousse was a history book, source book, and encyclopedia all in one.

The Chiboust page also contains an entry for chichifregi, “a type of fritter from the region of Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.”
I wiki’d it: and found zilch. Ka-Pow. Furthermore, Google had nothing to offer but a few dodgy french sites. (Sounds of a mechanized rifle going off… bang.)

That’s one for the Larousse.  

Granadilla Chiboust

Adapted from The Collection by Liz McGrath
  • 300ml granadilla juice ( available in 2litre box from Woolworths)
  • 250ml fresh cream
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites ( use the left- overs for mayonnaise, hollandaise, custard)
  • 100g + 180g + 60g sugar
  • 35g cake flour
  • 15ml powdered gelatine
  • squeeze lemon or lime juice
  • 10 nice granadillas. Passion fruit. Whatever. 
  1.  Place the granadilla juice, cream, egg yolks and 100g sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Place the flour in a small bowl and whisk in a stream of the juice mixture to form a smooth paste. Combine with the remaining mixture and stir over medium heat to thicken completely. Allow to boil whilst whisking for at least five minutes to cook out the floury taste. 
  2. Place about 30ml water in a glass jug and sprinkle the gelatine over. Now nuke in the microwave for about 40 seconds - 2 minutes, checking every 10 seconds after 40 to see if the gelatine has completely dissolved. Whisk into custard. 
  3. (I confess that while I was whisking my custard I was simultaneously making short-crust pastry, blanching beans and watching pistachio nuts toast in the oven. I knew it was going to be lumpy but I was ready with my blender as I always am. And if the blender was out of order I would have pushed my custard through a sieve. And yes, head chef, I do believe it takes less time to blend my custard than it does to stand and stir it until boredom makes me hate it. 
  4. While all this blending and microwaving is going on, whisk your egg whites in a mixer until stiff peaks form, while you put the remaining 180g sugar in a saucepan and whisk with 100ml water and squeeze of lemon juice. Whisk until all the granules have dissolved and then bring to boil for five minutes. 
  5. Slowly pour a stream of the sugar sysrup over the egg whites whilst whisking continuously, when it is all added continue to whisk for another 5- 8 minutes, the meringue must be cool. 
  6. Fold meringue mixture into the the custard mixture. (This, by the way, is what is characteristic about a chiboust), place on a baking tray and refrigerate until set- about 2- 3 hours. You may need to prop the more wobbly- shaped fruits upright with paper towel or something. Get creative. 
  7. Halve and remove the pulp from the granadillas and add to the chiboust mixture, reserving the pulp from 4 granadillas for the coulis. Use a teaspoon to remove the membranes from inside the fruits. Spoon the custard mixture into the hollowed- out shells and refrigerate until set, about 2- 3 hours. If there's left-over mixture and you're out of fruit, spoon into pretty glasses. 
  8. To make the coulis- combine the 60g sugar with 60ml water and whisk until granules have dissolved. Bring to boil for 4 minutes then add the granadilla pulp ( from the four set aside). Boil for a minute or two and allow to cool. 
  9. Before serving, heat up the grill until piping- hot. Pop the chibousts under the grill for a minute or two until the tops are golden. Watch carefully! Serve on a white plate drizzled with coulis. 
Aren't we classy? 

Queenly Quiche

I only say its Queenly because its damnably expensive.

For the pastry:
 Adapted from The Ottolenghi Cookbook.

  • 250 cake flour
  • 2ml salt
  • 140g butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • Ice cold water
For the quiche:
Inspired by what I could find in my fridge today

  • 1 log goat’s cheese
  • 30g rocket
  • 50g serrano or parma ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 jar artichokes, cut into halves and quarters
  • 3 extra- large eggs
  • 100ml cream
  • Salt and pepper

    1. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and add the the ice- cold butter. Rub until a fine breadcrumb texture is achieved. Then add enough cold water to form a dough, don’t knead! Rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
    2. Alternatively, pop the flour and salt into a food processor, blitz, add the butter, continue to blitz until crumbly, then likewise add cold water until a dough has just formed. Bring together with your hands. The advantage of the blender is that your hands don’t give off heat to the pastry. But it’s no biggie.
    3. After resting the pastry, preheat the oven to 180C. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a medium- sized quiche tin. Want a larger one? Ok fine. Just add more filling later, another egg will do. Keep left over pastry for next time, mini- quiches or the freezer, will it will keep peaceably for a while. Freeze the lined quiche for about 20 minutes if you have time. Poke the bottom carefully with a fork. Don’t pierce the base.
    4. Place a sheet of foil or wax paper in the quiche and fill with beans or rice or those cute little baking blind things that some people have. Bake blind for 15- 20 minutes until almost- getting- there golden.
    5. Place all the yum! Ingredients in the nealry- cooked shell. Whisk together the eggs, cream and seasoning and pour over.
    6. Bake at 180C until set, at least 30 minutes. ( Mine was a rush job; I confess- I did it at 200C for about 20 minutes and the result was predicatably over- cooked egg but I don’t think anyone noticed- the filling is that yum. )
    7. Allow to cool for a while before serving. Actually, just bake this thing in the morning, and don’t do what I did which was start at 11:00 to serve at 1:00 and then end up burning your arm in such a manner that it looks as if you have been slashing at yourself.

More haste can mean more speed, but also more casualties.


bruce william haynes said...

Carina! your use of language is so fun and refreshing, you add zest to the page like you do with your recipes. You come across as having "insatiable curiosity", to use a phrase of food writer Rosemary Moon. Black Pepper Plum engages with the world in such a bouyant, alive way, keep these blogposts coming!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bruce. I'll never make any of this (being of the non-foodie part of Carina's family!) but love reading even the recipes, especially the comments in between the ingredients and how-to's.