Tuesday, March 29, 2011

chicken tagine with preserved limequats

My preserved limequats were ready, so we made a chicken tagine with honey, tomatoes, and preserved limquats (a mixture of several recipes, plus limequats, from Claudia Roden's cookbook):








also Israeli couscous and a cucumber-tomato-feta salad with sumac and lemon juice.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

candied kumquats

after this pic I picked them out of the syrup and tossed them in sugar so they wouldn't stick together as much. not nearly as good as the ones I had in Paris, but still pretty good.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Paris, Day Six

We had a lunch reservation at Chez L'Ami Jean, a Basque-influenced little place which used to have a €25 lunch (but it was €42 when we arrived. Ouch). However, it was outstanding.

Croustillant de moelle et sardine en filet de St. Jean de Luz (crispy bone marrow and sardine fillet):



Coques et moules, thym frais et sauge (pot of cockles and mussels with fresh sage and thyme):

Supreme de volaille jaune, cuisine en toute douceur, arome de coriandre (roasted chicken):


Onglet de veau 'blanc', roti au poelon, legumes de Blot au jus (veal, including the kidneys and glands and other innards):


A Basque white wine:


Pamplemousse d'ange...perles Japonaise...onctueux vanille (angelic grapefruit, Japanese tapioca pearls, and vanilla):


Riz au lait grand-maman, en disposition...nougtaine...beurre sale (rice pudding with salted caramel butter):


Once again the rice pudding blew our minds, and the roast chicken (and even the pureed potatoes) were The Best Roast Chicken And Potatoes We Have Ever Had, Bar None. Seriously.


Stuffed from the big lunch, we dropped off some vacuum-packed cheese purchases at home and then roamed Belleville. Unfortunately, a lot of stuff had closed early, and the FRAC (the gallery we wanted to view) was inexplicably closed--probably because it was school vacation week? We also decided against keeping our reservation at the restaurant we'd picked after viewing the menu--it looked good, but was so heavy and focused on lamb, and we couldn't eat another huge heavy meal after our astounding lunch. So we went back to the Marais and ate at Café des Musées. It was low-key, not expensive, and pretty good. I had decent escargot and an excellent steak tartare, and Priya had a nothing-to-write-home-about cocotte of vegetables and a cheese plate (we really were totally stuffed):


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Paris, Day Five

The next morning, we walked through the Bastille market. All these markets are basically like the very best Brooklyn farmer's market to the tenth power. I was shuffling through some pinky-sized cucumber-looking things that turned out to be teeny avocados (no pit, either) and the proprietor cut one open and gave it to me to eat on the spot. I bought some for plane snacks (and unfortunately we couldn't finish them all and had to throw some of them out before hitting Customs).



That started off a long day of walking, as we walked through the islands towards Notre Dame, passing the ice cream shop Berthillon (sadly, closed for the week).

We stumbled across Jean Leblanc, a shop we'd heard of, a tiny place that sells artisanal mustards, oils, and vinegars. I bought some whole-grain mustard and champagne vinegar:


Macarons and salted chocolate cookies from Pierre Hermé:


I have to say, the white-truffle macaron was kind of gross.

Then we went to Place de la Madeleine, which is a plaza absolutely full of amazing food stores. We had a coffee and a not-very-good palmier at Fauchon before visiting several chocolate shops and the very nice Hédiard. While very expensive, we couldn't resist buying squares of fruit jellies (kiwi, grapefruit, pear, and blueberry), which were incredibly delicious:


We arrived just a bit too late to buy mustard on tap from Maille. Oh, well, next time.

We returned to our neighborhood for dinner at Breizh, a Breton crepe place (which apparently has several branches in Japan, where it's very popular--the owner's wife is Japanese as well). We had a couple of bottles of Breton cider (served in bowls) and, for an appetizer, a forme d'ambert cheese, honey, and pinenut galette:


Our dinner galettes had ham, eggs, and Gruyere, but mine also had artichoke, while Priya's had onion confit. Both outstanding, but I preferred the onion confit:



Astoundingly good dessert crepes, mine with pear and caramel, and Priya's with vanilla ice cream and caramel. The caramel was very dark, almost "burnt" tasting compared to sticky-sweet American caramel, and so good that we bought a jar of similar stuff to bring home: