Chocolate Pear Chocolate Tart

Tarte Chocolat Poire Chocolat

[Chocolate Pear Chocolate Tart]

As you know, I have a passion for chocolate. In restaurants, I am never intimidated by the decadent sounding all-chocolate desserts, and I can usually be relied upon to pick that. I have also tried my hand at that kind of desserts, and loved every minute of it, from the imagining to the making to the savoring to the methodical plate scraping. But chocolate can also be sublimated by the presence of other well-chosen ingredients, and I’ve always thought the pairing of chocolate and pear a truly heavenly one.

For some reason, chocolate pear tarts had been on my mind for a little while (oh, you should see, smell, taste the world of goodies that inhabit my mind!), and our Saturday night dinner was the perfect occasion to assuage the itch. Building on my previous tart-making experiments, I created the following recipe and decided to call it Tarte Chocolat Poire Chocolat, because there is chocolate in both the crust and the filling…

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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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