November 24, 2012
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I wrote a blog post about tarte tatin a long time ago, before I started this blog. It was when I was in LA and considering the whole blogging thing, and I opened a free WordPress account, set the visibility to “private,” and wrote a little post about this French apple tart.
I guess it must not have been the right time. The writing felt stilted, and my photos were from my phone, and there wasn’t enough light in my kitchen, and the apples stuck to the pan. That one post hung there on the internet, lonely and unread, for a year or so until I deleted that account.
I thought it was time to revisit this recipe since this blog now seems to be alive and well. There are good reasons why I thought it would be a good idea to start with this dish on that long-ago blog — it’s fancy-sounding and pretty-looking, but ultimately simple to make, and most of all, it’s one of those desserts that I just crave. Sticky-sweet caramel encasing soft, warm apple pieces that collapse into sauce under your fork, all on top of buttery puff pastry.
Then there’s the flipping of the hot hot pan onto a plate since this is, in essence, and upside-down tart. Some apples will probably stick, but just scrape them off with a spoon and stick ‘em back on the tart. No one will care.
For an extra bit of decadence (and because the foie gras from that party was still around), I shaved a bit of the cold foie gras on top of the slices of tart. If the tart is still a little warm and the foie is very cold, the foie stands up in pretty curls for a few minutes before melting into a rich puddle on the apples. Heaven.
November 22, 2012
Say hello to one of my favorite French dishes.
I know it’s Thanksgiving and another piece of poultry is the last thing you want to think about, but this is special. This beautiful rosy piece of poultry is magret de canard, or duck breast. Traditionally, magret de canard is the breast from a duck raised for its liver, or foie gras, and it’s usually cooked like a steak — seared, finished with a few minutes in the oven, and served medium-rare. Making this recipe also leaves you with several big spoonfuls of sublime, thyme-and-orange scented duck fat to do with what you like.
It’s an impressive date-night dish, something that so terribly French but so very easy. I serve it with roasted veggies and sometimes mashed potatoes, but the bistro down the street serves theirs with fried plantains and a lightly dressed salad, and that is also heavenly.
November 21, 2012
Hello from Nice! I’m spending a few weeks here on the French Riviera to get away from the gloom and doom of Paris. Sad part? Spending Thanksgiving alone. That does feel a bit wrong, even if I did go to that awesome Friendsgiving party last week.
This is a dish I made a couple weeks ago, but I think it would be great to bring to a Thanksgiving potluck or, as in my case, to have as an alternative to a huge turkey (because turkey for one isn’t really plausible, is it?). It’s vegetarian but substantial, with the meaty texture of the mushrooms mixing with the crunch of the nuts. And sage mixed with nuts always tastes vaguely like sausage to me, so I don’t really miss the meat.
If you want extra credit, make this with my recipe for homemade pie crust, but it works just as well with store-bought. Since it’s a rustic galette, there’s no pinching and shaping of dough, just a pretty, lazy folding up of the sides.
November 19, 2012
I’ve been thinking about how small the world is this week. I went out to meals with two lovely girls who reminded me that, no matter how far from home I feel sometimes, it’s often miraculously easy to find people with whom you have a connection, even on the other side of the world.
Julia and I first got acquainted in college. We lived on the same floor in the dorms during our first year at UCLA, but we didn’t really travel in the same circles so didn’t hang out much. Years later, we both found ourselves in Paris, connected through our respective significant others who work together. Bizarre coincidence, that. Julia is great fun to hang out with and has progressed much farther in her French studies than I have. Hearing her chatting away with the people we encounter when we go out inspires me to get a better grip on my motivation.
This week, we met up at NoGlu, a new gluten-free restaurant in the 2nd. As far as I’m aware, I believe it’s the only entirely gluten-free restaurant in Paris. It’s only been open two months or so, but there are so many people who are intolerant of gluten that it’s a miracle it’s taken this long to catch on. The food was hearty and comforting and the service warm. Without the hint of the traditional baguette slices on the table being supplanted by a warm, dense bread that might have been oatmeal-based, I would never have known the kitchen was working with such a limitation.
16 passage des Panoramas, 75002 (Richelieu – Drouot)
01 40 26 41 24
dining out, paris |
Tags: autumn, fall, food, french food, friendsgiving, friendship, gluten free, gluten-free paris restaurant, gluten-free restaurant, gratitute, les mauvais garcons, marais, noglu, paris, paris restaurant, party, passage des panoramas, restaurants, thanksgiving, travel |