Wednesday, November 25, 2009

TJ's freezer * 10 = Picard

So there’s this chain of stores called Picard. Image the Trader Joe’s frozen section. Multiple that by 10. That’s Picard. All frozen food. BUT ITS SO GOOD. And we know how much I love TJs…

Case in point: sliced potatoes pan fried in duck fat, to which I added mixed mushrooms. Not just your regular shiitake, cremini, oyster, but chanterelles and porcini.

I could have made this! But I didn’t! I threw it pre-made and frozen into a pan for 10 minutes!!! Oh dear. It was all so overwhelming… I walked from freezer case to freezer case not knowing what to pick up (also not knowing what half the stuff was). And again I am cursed by not having an oven as they sell a ton of different kinds of frozen dough and oven meals. Maybe its better I don’t have an oven right now…cooking for 1 + having an oven = over cooking. And we all know where that goes….IN MY TUMMY. Muahaha.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mr. Kayser is my new frenemy

I’ve been scarfing down demi-baguettes at a ridiculously rapid pace…but they taste so good! Warm baguettes from Eric Kayser? Oui oui! And its genius to get demi-baguettes as I can (a) stuff it into my bag and (b) not eat a yard of bread. Last weekend I grabbed one after work and stuffed it with smoked salmon. And ate it. ALL OF IT. omnomnomnom.

The past week I was in the capital of the Motherland. I decided to forgo an extra 30 minutes of sleep and take advantage of the breakfast there. Fresh fruit and berries? Check. 10 different kinds of fruit and veggie juices? Check. Sausages, mushrooms, eggs, smoked salmon and potatoes? Check * 5. And breakfast pastries and all this other stuff. And red currants. Although those were used as decoration…but I took them and ate them. My hotel room was ridiculously nice as evidenced by the bathroom:

And since I’ve been eating all these baguettes and smoked salmon and pastries, I decided to go light for dinner today. After being a lazy bum all day, I finally got myself out the door (the weather was 60F!!!) and wandered over to the Marche des Enfants Rouges (one of the few markets open in the late afternoon). It’s a covered market that also sells prepared foods that you can either take home or eat at the picnic tables provided. Apparently there used to be an orphanage nearby where the kids all wore red uniforms, hence the name. I’ve been craving veggies (note to self: buy a salad spinner when I’m back in the U.S.), so I picked up a head of Batavia lettuce, a few tomatoes and a handful of clementines. I was actually surprised that it was all so cheap…and I’ve heard numerous people say that produce in Europe tastes better than in the U.S. Perhaps. But the thing is, at these markets, a lot of the produce is shipped from all over the world, same as in the U.S. It doesn’t necessarily come from local farmers or other places in France, but can come from Mexico or Peru or wherever. So I’m not sure what people are talking about when they say things taste better. Maybe its because things are more seasonal here than in the U.S.

Regardless, my salad tasted goooood (perhaps it was the olive oil from Nyons?). I had it with a pounded chicken breast simply sautéed in olive oil with lemon.

I'm not a fan of cooking for one. Yesterday I made mushroom risotto and I always overestimate when it comes to grains and pastas. So I have some left over but not enough for a full serving. But then again, I ate more than one serving to begin with...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Une p'tite tranche

First thing I ever cook in Paris: cannellini beans (it sounds so much fancier than “white kidney beans”!) sautéed with onions, garlic, slab bacon and some tomatoes thrown in there as a thickener. Except I forgot I don’t like slab bacon. At least the Eric Kayser pain aux cereals made up for it.

Today I did my usual trios patisseries circle in the 6th arrondisement, walking past Pierre Herme, La Duree and Gerard Mulot where I went and got the most beautiful petite tranche of fig and pear tart. Then I put it in my bag. And came home to this:


Friday, November 06, 2009

bonjo...soir? oui oui, le baguette!

Paul is one of my favorite places to grab lunch in Paris. Mainly because its a reliable chain with yummy pastries, baguette sandwiches and salads that come with a red wine vinaigrette (why don't we have something like this in New York?) I'm a sucker for their red wine vinaigrette. I'm sure you're wondering "quoi? but you've been in Paris for less than 24 hours?!" Yes, but Paul and I (and his salad with chicken) became good friends during my summer abroad. I was completely craving the chicken salad but by 2pm there were none left. Apparently Parisians eat lunch early. So I settled for the salad with salmon. Success!

Unfortunately, my body was still on New York time and I couldn't bring myself to eat the bread that comes with it. I know, I know, why would I ever give up free delicious baguettes. I didn't! I had the two pieces of leftover lunch baguette with my lemon olive oil that I stole from the plane. Ok, granted I didn't steal was part of my plane dinner...but only crazy bag ladies would steal cute tiny bottles of olive oil...and me.

It’s quite a pitiful dinner for my first night in Paris….but not as comical as my FOLD OUT SOFA BED. And the closet next to my 12-inch CRT / TV screen. Except it wasn't a closet. It was a kitchen.

Le sigh.