Rustic French

More so than not, when I am cooking for just the two of us, simple meals are what’s on the menu. This happens for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is because of limited time. Sometimes, it is because I am just trying to use up leftovers. And sometimes it is simply because that’s what we want at the time.

Rustic cooking is one of my favorite ways to cook, especially when it is just for the two of us. Rustic cooking simply means the cooking methods and/or foods prepared are unrefined and simple, but also warm and inviting. It is typically based on old-fashioned preparation techniques, ingredient availability and a unique set of cultural influences. Most of the rustic foods are also full of bold, strong and hearty flavors. Flavors that warm you up from the inside out. In other words, rustic foods are good comfort foods.

I took us to rustic France with our simple dinner of quiche and Lyonnaise potatoes last night. Served with wine and a simple bread just completed the meal and us feel even more like we were in rural France, even if only for a short time, via our own kitchen at home.

Quiche can be made with anything. The main ingredients are eggs, cream and cheese. The fillings can be anything you like. Ham, Spinach and Mushroom Quiche I always make a crust for my quiche, but it has also become quite popular to make crustless quiches too. Once again, I made a ham, spinach and mushroom quiche. It’s not that this is my favorite kinds of quiche, but it just kind of works out that way, especially when I only have little bits of this and that left.

Potatoes of some sort just some to be a natural partner for quiche. Keeping with a rustic French theme, I chose to make Lyonnaise potatoes this time. The term Lyonnaise is a French term, as many terms in cooking are, and simply means something made with onions. The main components of this recipe are …. you guessed it, potatoes and onions, and of course butter. Cooking potatoes in the Lyonnaise style is just a fancy way of cooking buttery onions and sliced potatoes together.

Lyonnaise Potatoes

Of course I added garlic to my potatoes. I think garlic goes with everything; everything savory that is. 🙂 I also had a few bacon crumbles left that I decided to add at the last minute as well. Waste not want not, after all. I also used a large shallot instead of a white or yellow onion. I often substitute shallots for onions. It just depends on the dish and what I am looking for. Do I want more something subtle or more bold?

You can cook these either completely on the stove op or in the oven as well. I cooked them on the stove top.

5 TBSP butter, divided

olive oil

1-2 large shallots, sliced very thin

salt & pepper to taste

2 TBSp water

1 1/2 lbs small potatoes, rinsed and sliced into thin rounds, about 1/4 inch thick

1 TBSP garlic, optional

1-2 TBSP cooked bacon crumbles, optional

1-2 TBSP chopped or dried parsley

Slice the potatoes into thin rounds and slice the shallots or onions very thin.

Get two skillets very hot, then add 1/2 the oil and 1/2 the butter to each skillet. In one skillet, Cook the shallots or onions with about 1/2 tsp of salt for about 3 minutes at a high heat, or until they start to soften.

Reduce the heat to a medium high, cover and continue to cook for about 12 additional minutes, making sure to stir occasionally. You want the onions to be caramelized and brown in color.

In a separate skillet, add the remaining oil and butter and start cooking the potato rounds. Stir often and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the potatoes start to brown around the edges and get a little crispy. Add about 2 TBSP water to deglaze the pan. Add the garlic and the salt and pepper and continue to cook. If you are using bacon crumbles, you can add them at this time too.

Once the shallots have caramelized, add them to the potatoes. Add the parsley and mix everything together and mix thoroughly. The potatoes are ready when they are tender yet slightly crispy around the edges. Serve next to your favorite main dish, et voila! Bon appetit!

I LOVE potatoes and could easily eat them everyday. Because I can eat them everyday, I like to prepare them in as many different ways as possible, so there is more variety. 🙂 Change things up. Make them different and add variety. Variety, after all, is the spice of life.

Have a great day and make everyday great. Stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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