International Spotlight: France

America is a melting pot and as such, we tend to borrow a bit of everything from everyone. This little tradition has inspired us to highlight a new country each week to show you that tradition doesn't have to to be tedious or time-consuming. Hopefully, each week you will be so "awed" by the amazing and diverse array of culture that you will try some of these delectable dishes!

This week's feature is one of the culinary capitals of the world: France. I wish I possessed just an ounce of talent of a French chef! However, much of French cooking isn't as labor-intensive as you thought ...

[pause]

(We thought we'd give you a moment because we intend to blow your mind with simple recipes to cheat your way to successful classic French cuisine).


Spinach Quiche

Although this dish is considered a French classic, the actual word is German, originating from the word "kuchen" which means "cake." Aside from that, the French adore quiche. It is simple, can be served at every meal, uses ingredients that are almost always on hand, and is very inexpensive. Plus, once you master the recipe you can choose practically anything to throw inside to accomodate your tastes or what you have in your pantry. The most important thing about quiche is time. You don't want to over or undercook the eggs. Just cook about 45 minutes or until the center is firm and the eggs are set (when poked with a knife it should come out clean). Also, resting is super important; you should hold off cutting into your quiche for about 15 minutes before serving.


Chicken Cordon Bleu

Cordon Bleu, meaning "blue ribbon" in French, is traditionally a hassle to prepare. However, not with our recipe! We have taken this complicated classic and chopped it down in size for a refreshing take on chicken. The only thing to remember is to make sure the chicken is cooked, so searing your chicken before popping it into the oven is essential. You might want to pair it with just a small salad or the traditional green beans because it is a very hearty main course.


Melted Brie and Pesto Appetizer

Brie is a cow's cheese that borrows its name from the French region from which it orginated. It is a soft and savory cheese and if you can stand the smell, is quite heavenly. Traditionally, brie comes in a circle shape and is cut from the middle, as you would a cake. However, it is considered a faux pas if you take the best piece from the wedge - known as "pointing the Brie." That aside, it should be consumed shortly after it has been cut because it will absorb all the lovely smells in your refrigerator. Brie can be served as a spread on a sandwich, melted into a sauce for a soup, used as a topping on pizza, or even just as is.

See you next week when we spotlight Mexico in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Until then, Bon App├ętit!

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