Cozy Cuisine

16 Sep

Although the weather in Paris has been exceptional, there is definitely the smell of autumn in the air. Add to that the beautiful golden leaves that are beginning to sprinkle the sidewalks, and you have yourself a delightful recipe for the fall-time warm-and-fuzzies. And what better to feed that warm-and-fuzzy fire than with some nutritious food made from seasonal and wholesome ingredients.

Our Monday meal of this week did just that with a hearty veal stroganoff (yes, we had veal again. It’s very sad that these cute little guys are so delicious), accompanied by rustic fingerling potatoes and a satisfying pear tart for dessert.

Monday Menu:

  1.  Pommes de Terre Grenailles Rissolées
  2. Veau Stroganoff
  3. Tartes aux Poires Façon Flan

Pommes de Terre Grenailles Rissolées is really just a fancy name for baked potatoes, but the key here is to use very small varieties like fingerling or wee Yukon Gold. You basically place your tiny taters in a covered ovenproof container (like a casserole dish), and add fresh-cracked pepper, sea salt and parsley or dill for flavour. Depending on your oven and the size of potatoes, you’ll want to bake these little guys for about half an hour at 375˚F.

The stroganoff wasn’t quite that simple, but pretty close. We began by cutting the veal into very thin pieces and frying it in a pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. After the veal was cooked on both sides, we took the seared strips out of the pan and started frying thinly sliced onions and mushrooms, adding to that a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Once the veggies were cooked, we re-added our veal, accompanied this time with some lemon juice, a pinch more salt and pepper, and a healthy serving of cream. Once ready, we served the dish on a platter with paprika for a garnish.

Like many desserts we’ve been learning to make, the Tartes aux Poires Façon Flan is yet another French favourite you can find in many cafés or bistros. We started by placing peeled, halved pears in boiling sugar water, and once they were soft, cut them into thin slices and set them aside to cool. We fitted puff pastry dough to a butter-greased mould, and poked little holes in the bottom so that it wouldn’t rise. We trimmed the edges, set aluminum foil tightly against the dough (also to keep its shape), and cooked it in an oven for about 10 minutes. Once baked, we removed the foil, gently placed the sliced pears on the bottom, and poured overtop a simple custard we made from boiling milk, flour, sugar and egg yolk. On top we sprinkled confectioners sugar and almond slices, and put it all back in the oven for about 10 more minutes. We glazed the tart with pear jelly and baked it once again, until it was cooked to perfection.

With a big smile and a happy tummy I spend my afternoon strolling down the long Parisian boulevards framed by canopies of yellow and orange and young amorous couples, thinking all the while how aside from the eastern United States, a Parisian autumn is truly one of the most beautiful seasons I’ve yet to experience.

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One Response to “Cozy Cuisine”

  1. alexandra 16/09/2011 at 3:24 AM #

    Looks delicious! Although I’m not sure I’ve ever even had veal. HMM.

    Make beef bourguignon next, please!

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