Cuisine de Marie-Blanche

Today was unique. I was brave and attempted something that I had never done: I tried to cook. True, I love food. True, I eat a lot of it. But I have never learned to cook anything more complicated than scrambled eggs, bacon, and instant oatmeal. In a pinch I could cook sausage, but absolutely nothing more. As I contemplate going away to college, I wish I had paid more attention during those times I’ve helped my mom in the kitchen. I am not a McDonald’s kind of guy.The name of the cooking school I attended was La Cuisine de Marie-Blanche. The instructor, Princess Marie-Blanche de Broglie, is a delightful lady. She keeps her classes small (the most she likes is about eight people at a time), and she speaks very good English. I went into this class with great trepidation because, lets face it, I’m a cooking boob. But by the end of the three-hour course I felt much more comfortable in the kitchen. And I’m convinced that I look great in my white apron.The meal we prepared consisted of three courses. The appetizer, which I worked on because it was simple, was a sort of goat cheese salad. The goat cheese was cut and placed atop slices of apples. (The apples were cut across like a disk.) We drizzled about a tablespoon of cream on top of the goat cheese and after baking, everything was garnished with bay leaves and thyme. More cream was drizzled on top, and it was sprinkled with paprika.The main course was Beef Burgundy, a beef stew cooked with a lot of vegetables, beef stock, and red wine that has been flamed. (Based on my observations today, my general strategy for this operation is going to be dropping the match and ducking quickly.) The Beef Burgundy was simple to make, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a nice beef stew. Note: I was told that it tasted better the day after it was made (like my mom’s chili).Now for my favorite course, dessert. Dessert today was a raspberry tart. At the end of this article is a recipe with all of the ingredients and instructions on how to make this delicious dish.    After preparing all of the food and having what our instructor called a “dictation” (where she talked her way through how we had prepared the food), we went back into the kitchen, put some finishing touches on the food (garnishes mostly), and sat down to eat. The meal was relaxed, and at the end of the course we felt full and happy.After class, my family headed to the Palais-Royal. On my mother’s first visit to Paris many years ago, she discovered a wonderful perfume store called Shiseido. She bought a bottle of lavender perfume and has been rationing it ever since. The last time she was here, the store was out of stock. Luckily they had some today, and my mother bought a bottle. It is her favorite perfume, and she was very glad to find it.  She will carry the bottle home, upright, in her purse.Now, what you have all been waiting for: the recipe!Raspberry TartServes 6Puff pastry (The Princess said to purchase this because it is a pain to make by hand.)Approx. 2.5 cups of raspberries (The Princess prefers perfect-looking ones.) Butter One 16-oz jar of raspberry jelly (not jam!)Cinnamon–optionalConfectioners sugar-optional(It is much easier to make this dessert with a ring mold, so I suggest you buy one.)Butter a cookie sheet and the inside of a ring mold. Place the ring mold on the cookie sheet. Place the dough in the ring mold and up the sides, then trim the excess. Prick the bottom with a fork, then place foil over the dough to prevent it from rising when baking. Bake the dough for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the foil, glaze the dough with the jelly, then bake for five more minutes.  Remove the dough from the oven and distribute half of the jar of jelly in the bottom. Then, “artfully” arrange the raspberries in concentric circles starting at the outside edge. Bring the remaining jelly to a boil with a little water; boil for a couple of minutes. Brush the top of the tart with this glaze, let it cool and enjoy.Course details:La Cuisine de Marie Blanche18, Avenue de la Motte Picquet, 75007Telephone: Taylor Horton is a high school student who considers himself very fortunate to be writing for Bonjour Paris this summer.
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