Last Sunday I organised a petite soiree with a lovely Scottish couple, two gorgeous kids and my mentor, to whom I feel indebted in many ways. We all have one thing in common: love for food, wine and natural life. I hadn’t decided what to make up until the very day of the soiree. I used to make a big fuss with dinner parties in the days when my culinary obsession was starting, making several big grocery shopping trips and thinking up recipes for days, to impress people . A dinner party was a perfect occasion where I could test new recipes on people. Over 4 years have pasted since then and now I am more relaxed in a way or I don’t care as much as I used to about the success and failure of gastronomic evenings. Now my evening revolves more around wines and chats rather than geeky recipes.
I can’t have enough of canard. I just love it and it’s so good that it’s plenty in all kinds of forms, pate, confit, magret, cutlets, which I’ve been enjoying recently as an alternative to the magret. I think tomorrow I might have the photos of duck cutlets, which I will serve with caramelised carrots and spring onions in orange carrot cumin sauce. Cooking Tips: Magret de Carnard Magret de Canard is so simple to cook but there is one crucial fact that people miss and fail to achieve the perfect doneness. As the fat on one side is so thick that the heat doesn’t penetrate through it to cook the meat, therefore you should always cut a criss-cross before cooking, and also put the meat in the pan before heating the pan so the temperature of the meat will gradually rise, which helps to cook the meat evenly.
I’ve been looking through the bible of French gastronomy, Larousse Gastronomique. This book has everything about food and wine, including history and recipes. One of the things that strikes me the most is the precise catagorisation of different varieties of ingredients and detailed descriptions of how to prepare each type. Incredible! It has a list of French cheese and world cheese, too. I can proudly say that I’ve tried quite many types so I know well but there are still a lot to try. Recently I came across a blog where a woman listed all the French cheese she tried and the number up to date is 221.
I want to talk about food today for a change. One of the activities I love doing in France is going to farmers markets and gawking at the delicious food, fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables, a variety of free range or wild game meats and pates, fresh and dried herb, cheese, and so much more.
This post is going to be just random stories reflecting on the past few days with extra bits left off from my trip to Nice and a horror story of my dining experience in Taksim. I overindulged myself in cheese while in Nice for sure and was meant to bring some back home. However, the mission failed as I woke up too late on the morning of my return flight because my alarm failed to go off. Upon waking up to the warmth and bright sunlight, I was instantly attacked by the fear that it might be midday – the time I was supposed to be boarding the plane. A big sigh of relief; I had 30 mins to get ready and leave the hotel. So I jolted out of bed, packed up my stuff and I ran to the bus stop; thank god, the airport was only 20 mins away and I still had 10 mins according to the bus timetable. So began the mental conflicts: should I pick up survival packages of cheese …