Grilled Polenta Slices

[Grilled Polenta Slices]

I have a strange relationship with polenta. I either love it or loathe it, depending on how it’s prepared. If it’s just been cooked and it’s mushy, the smell and texture really put me off. But if you let it settle and you slice it, or even better yet, if the slices are grilled, then polenta is my very good friend.

And on Saturday night, grilled polenta slices are what I served with the Ginger Pineapple Chicken Skewers. (You can see them pictured on yesterday’s post.)

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Ginger Pineapple Chicken Skewers

Brochettes de Poulet, Ananas et Gingembre

[Ginger Pineapple Chicken Skewers]

This was the main dish for our dinner party on Saturday. I got the inspiration from a recipe in the excellent cookbook “Mes petits plats 100% naturels” by Catherine Mandigon and Patricia Riveccio, which I recommend wholeheartedly : the recipes are amazingly unusual and tempting, and everything I’ve cooked from it so far has been a success. The original recipe calls for pork, but I used chicken breasts instead, and made a few other modifications. Here’s my version.

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Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls

Petits Rouleaux d'Aubergine Farcis

[Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls]

Last night, Maxence and I threw a little dinner-party for my two dear friends, Marie-Laure and Laurence, and their respective boyfriends, Ludovic and Jean-Christophe. Over the next few days, I will post the menu for this dinner…

You can see us pictured here in our living-room : from left to right, Marie-Laure, Ludo, myself, Laurence and Jean-Christophe. Interesting detail on this picture : you remember Stéphan and Patricia, our neighbor-friends? Through the window behind us, you can see their kitchen window : say hi to Stéphan and Patricia! Maxence is not on the picture, because there had to be a photographer. But I don’t want you to think I’m hiding him from you, so here’s a picture of him, too.

After an apéritif during which we nibbled on sweet potato chips (ethnic-store bought), we sat down to eat the first course, stuffed eggplant mini-rolls.

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Egyptian Sweet Potato Fries

Frites de Patates Douces

[Egyptian Sweet Potato Fries]

When Maxence and I went grocery shopping in the ethnic stores of the rue de Clignancourt last week, we bought sweet potatoes. There were five (five!) varieties to choose from, so we asked the store attendant which variety was the sweetest, and he pointed us to the ones from Egypt, white-fleshed with a dark pink skin.

Tonight, I used them to make sweet potato fries in the oven. Very simple, very good.

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Mini Sandwich Skewer

Brochette De Mini-Sandwiches

[Skewered Mini-Sandwiches]

The boulangépicier store, or “be”, opened a year ago in Paris, and is owned by Alain Ducasse and Eric Kayser, the famous restaurant and bakery emperors. The name, as well as the concept, is a fusion of “boulanger” and “épicier” – baker and grocer.

On the grocery front, they sell a range of gourmet goods (unusual spices, condiments, jams, chocolate, candy, pasta…), a small selection of organic produce and dairy products. On the bakery front, they sell the fantastic Kayser breads, made on the premises, an array of lunch items (soups, salads and sandwiches), as well as a few pâtisseries and desserts (tartlets, cookies, chocolate mousse, fruit salad…).

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