Saturday, August 27, 2011

One Pasta Two Sauces

ground beef, ham, chopped onions, dark mushrooms,
chopped red bell pepper, basil tomato sauce, fresh basil

Order of operations:
saute onions and peppers in EVOO
add mushrooms (chopped garlic if you're not feeling lazy like I was)
add ham (or smoked sausage)
add ground beef (season to taste)
add sauce (or homemade tomato sauce.. again if not lazy)
let simmer (add red wine if you happen to be drinking some)
let simmer some more
add fresh basil last... enjoy!

butter, butter, butter,
chopped onions, dark mushrooms, 
heavy whipping cream, gouda, creme fraiche,
basil mustard, Riesling, fresh basil 

Order of operations:
start with butter, saute onions, 
add in sliced mushrooms (don't know the name of them but they are 
much darker than regular ones and have more of a meaty flavor.. like a truffle)
add liquid cream and let cook
add gouda (parmesan probably works too)
let cheese melt in to liquid
add creme fraiche (aka fancy sour cream)
let melt
let simmer
season to taste
add a bit of basil mustard and a bit of white wine
(Riesling is nice because of it's sweetness)
(nutmeg would probably be nice if you have some)
let simmer into super tasty, creamy, relatively thick sauce

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Basil Plant

This is what happens when you buy a basil plant with an uncertain life expectancy... it goes on everything.. note to self.. buy more kitchen gagets so I can move on to pestos, oils, butters and dressings...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fresh and Flavorful

Today it actually felt like August.. sunny, humid, crowded.. so naturally I went... (sans coat, sans umbrella!!!) to one of the many Markets in Paris. I chose Marche de la Bastille because it's big enough to have great variety but not so big that I get overwhelmed.. plus it's only a few stops from my house.

man doing a live info-mercial
for those handy-dandy kitchen scissors 

As soon as I started shopping, I realized how much money I waste per week at Monoprix. I got 3 cucumbers for 1euro.. what on earth?! At another stand I got 2 bell peppers, 3 avocados, green beans, fresh figs, onions and a sweet potato for 8 euro! I also bought a lot of fruit that I did not plan to buy.. but when someone offers a taste I can't say no.. and when it's delicious I have to buy it! There were tons of bucher stands as well.. much more intimidating because I'm not used to managing an entire animal, whether it be a fish, a turkey or a pig.. and numbers like 18 to 23 euro per kilo don't really mean anything in my mind... thus I defaulted to shrimp.. peel, devein, saute.. done

All in all the market was fabulous and so inexpensive that I had to stop shopping because my bags were to heavy, not because I was out of money! That's a first.


Home again, so I began playing with the ingredients to see what I could concoct....

cherry tomatoes
peeled and diced cucumbers
basil garnish

cherry tomatoes
chili peppers

first sauteed in EVOO
onions, yellow bell pepper, and spices.
then boiled the rice and added plenty o' butter

Creamy Spicy Shrimp Sauce
sauteed shrimp 
oil and garlic
liquid cream, butter, creme fraiche, parmesan
whole basil, whole chili pepper for flavor 
let thicken

I put the shrimp sauce over the rice and it tastes a lot like that Thai food I had in London last weekend.. cool.. I just accidentally made Thai cuisine. Usually everything I make tastes Italian.. or too spicy to recognize.. this is progress!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A coke and a smile

salade Nordique
smoked salmon, haddock, tomatoes, potatoes
mustard-based tartar sauce with thyme

Ice or no ice, I will never get tired of coke served from a nice cold glass bottle with a fresh slice of lemon. So after 2 hours of belly dancing I realized that I was dying of thirst and seeing as that it was Sunday afternoon, fat chance of finding any kind of grocery store open. After about 25 minutes of walking I found myself at La Marine, a cute cafe on the canal. I ordered the Nordic salad and of course a coke! The sweetness of the coke contrasting the saltiness of the haddock and smoked salmon was delicious....