July 26, 2012
It feels like it’s all peaches, all the time on the food blogs right now. With good reason: peaches are going crazy this summer. Every single one I’ve brought home has been ripe and sweet, with not a dud among them.
We all know that the best way to eat a peach is out-of-hand, over the sink with juice dripping down your chin. But the aroma and flavor of the fruit pair well with so many things — especially in the savory, salty arena — it would be a shame not to experiment.
July 12, 2012
The arithmetic of baking:
Butter + flour + water + (time x work) = puff pastry.
Puff pastry + heat = delicious flaky layers.
July 10, 2012
God bless France.
I saw this recipe for popcorn dressed in duck fat (indeed, “the most noble of fats”) gently scented in orange zest and garlic and thyme and suddenly had to make it right now. But whence does one procure duck fat? At home I’d go to Surfas, the enormous cooking equipment and specialty food store, but here? Maybe the butcher’s? The luxury foods shop that carries all the terrines and caviar and truffles?
Turns out, the answer is the grocery store. Next to the filets of duck breast and rabbit meat. Duh.
Only in France.
July 9, 2012
Last week, I put together a complex sentence in French, on the spot, at the wine shop: “Désolé pour mon français, mais je voudrais un vin avec des bulles, mais moins cher que du champagne.” The proprietor quite kindly pointed me to the section of wall devoted to bubblies, assuring me that, “Non, mademoiselle, votre français est très bon!” I was so proud of my achievement that I bought the first wine he suggested.
What I ended up with was two bottles of Crémant de Bourgogne, a refreshing blanc de blanc without the yeastiness, tight bubbles, or price tag of Champagne. I tszujed it with a wee mixer — a light strawberry syrup infused with basil — which made it pink and a little sweet and a little herbal. Perfect for a party.