Friday, August 20, 2010

The Paris Chronicles: 1st Meal!

Some of you just might recall that we recently went to Paris!!! Really, this would have to be your absolute first visit to my blog to not be aware of that fact.

We had an amazing trip! A week in Paris, then a train ride and rental cars to the French countryside for another week at our friend's country house. Fabulous! It was my little family, including me, Number One, H-Bomb and Sawed Off, along with Grandpa & Mary, and of course our friend Jean-Claude.

While I don't have very many actual recipes from our trip (aside from the traditional country cookbooks I picked up at a grocery store in the country), I did EAT A LOT. I promised I would share the food with you, so here goes!

Our plane landed in Paris about an hour ahead of schedule at 10:30AM, which means after we found our luggage, Jean-Claude found us and we rode the RER into the city, walked a few blocks to our hotel and checked in, it was past time for lunch! We stopped at Jean-Claude's studio (across the street from our hotel), where he made a call to a friend of his who owns a cafe, because it was getting to be mid-day closing time for most cafes and shops, and they agreed to Stay Open Just For Us! Incredible.

We walked through the neighborhood to the cafe, just a few blocks from our hotel. I regret that I was too tired to take a photo of the front, or even notice the name of the place, but I did take a couple photos of the menus, which were on the walls around the cafe.

And as you can see, we really did have the place all to ourselves! (that's our table in the back, behind the stairs)

Jean-Claude picked a house wine, I believe it was a merlot, and it was wonderful after the long flight. It was just so lovely to be in Paris!

I chose the Salade Folle de Canard, which was a scrumptious salad with thin slices of duck and cubes of fried pork on top. It was fabulous!

Number One and Grandpa both had the Salade Mouegasque, which featured warm herbed goat cheese in a spectacular pastry bundle on top of zucchini.

I don't remember what Mary and the boys ate, but I do remember my luscious dessert: Profiteroles! (very soon you will see a recipe on the blog for these babies, because I ate a LOT of them, and I know how to make them!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Au Revoir...

Just a note to let you all know that I'll be gone for a few weeks...can you guess where? The whole family, me, Number One, H-Bomb, Sawed Off, even Grandpa & Mary are heading to France to visit our dear friend Jean-Claude. We are beyond excited.

We'll be in Paris for about a week (the picture above is NOT from our hotel), then we'll travel by train into the country in the South of France, where we'll stay in Jean-Claude's country house, walk to the village, play with the neighbor's goats and eat some of the neighbor's cheese (I hope).

While I won't be blogging, I will be eating fabulous food and drinking fabulous wine and taking lots of hopefully fabulous pictures! I'll tell you all about it when we return, in mid-August.

In the meantime, enjoying perusing the hundreds of recipes already at The Bad Girl's Kitchen, leave a comment and tell me what you think, and stay tuned for fabulous blog posts upon our return!


***And spammers, the rule remains: No Spam Allowed. Spam will be immediately deleted. I only said I wouldn't be blogging.***

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Peanut Sauce

I love peanuts. Peanut butter. Peanut butter cookies. Roasted peanuts. Spicy peanuts. There is something about the flavor of peanuts that is very appealing to me and I am so very grateful I do not suffer from peanut allergies.

That said, I don't eat many peanuts anymore because I mostly eat almonds. Almond butter, roasted almonds, etc. So, it is always a special treat when I decide to make peanut sauce for something like peanut noodles or Gado Gado, a traditional Indonesian vegetable salad covered in peanut sauce. Yum. That always brings me back to one of my favorite places on earth: Indonesia- the inspiration for this sauce.

So, here's your warning: This isn't really a quick sauce to prepare. You need to follow through with a few steps, but it is well worth the time and effort, I promise.

Step 1: Thinly slice 4 cloves of garlic and fry them with 3-5 dried Thai chilies (I always go with 5) in a couple tablespoons of peanut oil until the garlic is golden and toasted and the chilies are a little puffed.

Step 2: Remove these from the heat and oil to stop them from cooking. Let them cool on some paper towels while prepping the rest of the sauce.

In my kitchen, I have a step 3: Make peanut butter. I put 2 cups of peanuts in the Vita-Mix and make fresh peanut butter in about one minute's time. If you don't own a Vita-Mix yet, make sure you are using real peanut butter. Basically, that means please, please, please only use peanut butter if the the ingredients read: Peanuts. Or, Peanuts and Salt.

Step 4: In a bowl or large Pyrex measuring cup, add approximately 1 cup of peanut butter. Everything in this recipe is approximate, so you can play with the flavors and add more of something or less according to your tastes.

Next, add:
  • 5 TB soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup warm water (it is easier to mix with warm water rather than cold)
Mix this well.

Step 5: Grind your garlic and chilies in your mortar and pestle.

I have a special attachment to my mortar and pestle because I bought it in Indonesia.

Add the garlic and chilies to your sauce and mix well.

I made a big bowl of peanut noodles with this sauce. Too bad I didn't double the recipe and store some in the fridge for a week or so. Next time.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin