November 28, 2012
And just like that, I’m back in Paris.
I know, I had just arrived in Nice when I posted, and I had been intending to stay for at least another month. So what caused my precipitous departure from the French Riviera?
My apartment was robbed.
It happened while I was out at a café, leeching off their wifi and posting about salmon. I came home and saw that drawers were open and things seemed messier than how I’d left them… and the windows were all open… and the closets had been rifled through… and there were muddy boot prints leading from the tiny window in the bathroom, which I saw now had a broken latch.
On the one hand, I was grateful that I wasn’t home when the break-in happened. Intellectually, I knew that the last thing a robber wants is for residents to be home when he’s about his thievery. On the other hand, I was still scared. Scared that whomever it was would come back for more (since I’d taken almost all of my electronics — anything of decent value — with me), and this time I’d be around for them to hurt. I called the gentleman and the friend from whom I was renting the apartment, packed up my things, and found a hotel room. Only after I got into the room did I see that my mascara had run and I looked like the star of a bad 90′s music video featuring a pop star with a no-good cheating boyfriend.
I felt violated. I had started to make a home for myself there, albeit a temporary one, and good homes are extensions of ourselves. I had even roasted a chicken in the kitchen the day before. Is there anything more homey than roasting a chicken on an Sunday?
So now I’m back, sooner than expected, trying to create some normality around me. Maybe I’ll roast another chicken tomorrow.
November 26, 2012
This is the first meal I prepared after I arrived in Nice. One of the best things and worst things about moving is a new kitchen. Best: it’s so clean! Worst: there’s no food in it! So I ran to Monoprix and came back with the essentials (eggs, pasta, cheese, lemons, bacon, butter, and wine) and some stuff for dinner (salmon, broccoli, parsley). Because apparently, whenever I need to make a single-girl dinner, it ends up being salmon.
Like many of the recipes I share with you, this one tastes and sounds fancy, but is a total cinch to make. Just wrap up all the ingredients in a paper packet and bake; that’s it. I made it for a solo dinner, but I can see making this for guests too — baking off several packets at once and opening them all up at the table, puffs of lemon-scented steam escaping from the open packets. Thankfully I had a bunch of things when I moved here, such as the best spice grinder from this reviews site, some baking essentials and most important of all the Slicers without which I probably wouldn’t be able to make salmon.
You can use whatever herbs you like in the packet, and even mix it up by adding different oils, spices, and vegetables. I served my salmon with buttered pasta and steamed broccoli with parmesan, letting the juices from the packet run into the rest of the plate, imparting the pasta and vegetables with the flavors and lemon and brown butter.
cooking, mains |
Tags: bake, beurre noisette, brown butter, cooking, dinner, easy, fish, food, french, healthy, lemon, main dish, microwave, oven, parchment paper, poisson en papillote, salmon, salmon fillet, salmon in paper, salmon in parchment, saumon en papillote, single lady, single serving |
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 17, 2012
I know you’re all sick of pumpkin recipes by now, and you’re probably saving your last bit of pumpkin tolerance for that pie at the Thanksgiving table next week, but I have something a bit on the left end of the pumpkin spectrum for you today. Something savory and warm that doesn’t get mixed with brown sugar or topped with pecans.
I know pumpkin shrimp curry sounds weird, but it totally works. The sweetness of the pumpkin melds with the curry powder and cumin to make a warm, slightly spicy sauce that doesn’t remind you of pumpkin pie at all. Serve it over steamed whole grains for a comforting, substantial, seasonal dinner.