Fresh Goat Cheese Truffles

Fresh Goat Cheese Truffles

Truffes de Chèvre Frais

On Saturday night, we threw a little dinner party at home. A “little” dinner party for eight dear friends : Joseph (originally from Nashville but living in France, whom I met two years ago at an IT recruiting show — we were struck by a sense of recognition, being equally bored to tears) and his wife Séverine, our almost neighbors Olivier and Anne, whom we had met at Joseph and Séverine’s wedding last May, as well as Ulrich and Carine, whom we had met at Olivier and Anne’s housewarming party, Ulrich being the friend who works with Pierre Hermé. Pictured here from left to right are Maxence, Carine, Ulrich, Séverine, Joseph, Olivier and Anne (Thanks for lightening up the pic, John! :).

We had the most lovely evening, and it actually wasn’t as much work as it may sound : Maxence took care of the main course, and one of our friends (I’ll let you guess who that was and wait patiently for the post about it) had kindly offered to bring the dessert.

This felt very unusual, since I’m usually more than happy to take on the whole caboodle, but I’ll admit it’s really nice that way too, once in a while! So my mission that night was to take care of the pre-dinner nibbles and the first course, and this is what I made to eat with the apéritif : mini balls of fresh goat cheese, rolled in various coatings.

As always in this kind of recipe, the limit is the sky on what coatings to use : rummage through your pantry, check your vegetable drawer or your herb garden, browse through your spice rack, and come up with your own personal selection of nuts, spices, chopped herbs, dried herbs and various seasonings. I used paprika, breadcrumbs and garlic powder, bicolor toasted sesame seeds, and herbes de Provence.

Anything more or less dry and more or less powdered will work. Just keep in mind that it should have enough flavor to shine through the goat cheese and compliment it, but not so much flavor that a full coating of it will choke your guests (unless of course this is your intention). For instance, if you want to use cumin or ginger or red pepper flakes, which is an excellent idea, do mix these with something milder, like dry breadcrumbs or a chopped herb or crumbled plain crackers.

Make sure the marbles are equal in size , choose coatings of different colors, and you will create the prettiest plate of amuse-bouches.

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Where Else to Find Me

Where Else to Find Me

To my great pleasure, I have been asked to contribute to another website, called Bonjour Paris. Bonjour Paris is a gateway for people who love France in general and Paris in particular, where you can find great articles on the culture and language and food of France, on the Parisian way of life, as well as great ressources to plan your trip, what to see and where to stay.

The Bonjour Paris team is great to work with, and I will happily write a bi-monthly column there, called “A Parisian Home Chef“. My latest article is about the goodies you can get in Paris for Valentine’s Day this year…

And The Sprouts Sprouted!

And The Sprouts Sprouted!

I harvested my first sprouts yesterday night, I’m so proud!

The pink radish was particularly vigorous, having grown hundreds of cute little green stems, and developped symmetrical roots, with tiny lashes, on the other side of the sprouter rack. Those guys had even started to suffocate the mixed seed sprouts on the bottom rack — I’ll have to remember that, and grow them on either side of an empty safety rack next time!

I immediately conducted a taste test, and a very satisfactory one at that : both crops are nicely crunchy and peppery (the pink radish particularly, as expected). I threw a fistful of both types into the spelt and tofu salad I had for lunch today, and I love the look of these little creatures, I love the bite and tang they add, I love the fact that they’re at their nutritious peak, chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, and I love the fact that I grew them myself, on my very own kitchen counter!

Cooking Ten Year Old Girls — and Other search phrases

Cooking Ten Year Old Girls and Other search phrases

Some of you may remember how much I like looking at the search engine queries that have led visitors to Chocolate & Zucchini. January has come and gone, leaving another batch of intriguing/funny/puzzling/cute phrases in its wake.

This month’s top five :
cooking ten-year-old girls (or did you mean “for”?)
what the fuck macaroon
free pics of girls covered in chocolate sauce
juicing vegetables to taste like chocolate (do let me know if you find out how to do this!)
what is the french dish called coucou (I am stumped)

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The Sprouted Seeds Project

At the lovely Pousse-Pousse boutique the other day, I bought myself a sprouter, and two tubs of sprouting seeds. A tub of pink radish seeds, and a tub of the “longevity mix“, which includes alfalfa, broccoli, turnip, lentil, mustard, black radish and soy seeds.

They have a lot of other seeds to choose from, but the pink radish is peppery while the longevity mix has a more mellow taste (devoid of aniseed), so the duo seemed like a good place to start.

I left them to soak in water for the night, before placing them on different racks of the sprouter, and have been faithfully watering them, twice a day, with water filtered in our Brita jug. They’re supposed to be ready after 5 days, and so far so good, so Monday should find us eating our first sprouted seeds salad!

7 rue Notre-Dame de Lorette
75009 Paris
01 53 16 10 81

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