Pink Buffet!

Pink Buffet!

Yesterday was an exciting, if exhausting, day : I went and helped my friend Keda Black, a fellow cook and writer, with the creation of a buffet for the opening of an art show, at a gallery named La Périphérie. This gallery is a really great place, roomy and bright, setup in a rehabilitated workshop just outside of Paris. The show features illustrations by Carlotta, an illustrator who works for French and Japanese magazines. The theme for the show was Pink, so I’ll give you three guesses as to what the idea for the buffet was!

The menu Keda had thought up was wonderful : pink tartlets of leek and blue cheese, or hazelnut paste and beetroot (a little beetroot juice in the dough works wonders), there were three different kinds of dips (white bean, carrot or beetroot based) with different dippers (fennel, pink chips, or pink radishes), which we served in little glasses and ramequins, there were cute and delicious mini-loaves of herb and cheese bread ; there were mini-madeleines flavored with rose water syrup and frosted mini carrot cakes, there were strawberry jellies and glasses of berry trifle with whipped cream. A little pink in everything, and all of this washed down with champagne of course.

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Apple and Cumin Lentil Salad

Apple and Cumin Lentil Salad

Salade de Lentilles Pomme et Cumin

This past Saturday, our dear friends Laurence and Jean-Christophe threw a housewarming party (pendaison de crémaillère if you remember) in their cool new apartment, just off Bastille. Laurence had asked if we could bring a little something and I had gathered from reliable sources that Marie-Laure and Ludo were going to bring Ludo’s famous cheesecake. I felt that the sweet ground was thus amply covered and decided to make a salad.

I didn’t feel like going to the store to pick up ingredients, so I played a little game of peek-in-the-fridge-rummage-the-kitchen-cabinets-forage-the-drawers, which resulted in this lentil and apple salad, featuring a little tofu for protein and color contrast, and flavored with shallots, cumin and chopped parsley.

I also had a few sheets of brick dough leftover. Brick dough is a very thin wheat dough, somewhat similar to phyllo dough, which is used in North African cuisine. Brick dough tends to dry out pretty quickly once the package is open, so I had the idea of baking the ones I had left into pretty little toppings to decorate the salad.

I very much liked how this salad turned out, and I received very kind compliments from the guests at the crémaillère. And there is also a particular charm to serendipitous recipes, no?

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Sweet and Swirly Rusk

Sweet and Swirly Rusk

Well you know, I’m sorry, but I feel like I wasn’t given a fair chance. At all. I mean, really, who could resist?

On the package it reads : “delicious rusks with the delicately sweet taste of malted barley”.

And the rusks have a swirl pattern on them.

And there is a little red banner proclaiming that it is new and nouveau, and nyhet! As well!

And the serving suggestion actually suggests you smear a little jam on it. I mean jam, who would’ve thought?

And each rusk is only 32 calories, and chock-full of truly excellent things for that little body of yours.

And there is a resealable inside package, which I’m sure I could actually reseal, had I not ripped it open from the side.

So really, with marketing schemes this elaborate, what’s a girl to do?

A Half Bagel Sandwich

A Half Bagel Sandwich

Slice half of a huge poppyseed bagel in two. Toast the halves lightly. On one side, spread Branston pickles and arrange an extra-thin slice of excellent ham.

On the other side, spread a generous amount of ricotella. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the swarm of poppyseeds that have fallen at the bottom of the paper bag the bagel came in – never let a good thing go to waste.

Close the sandwich, wrap it tightly. Decide not to wipe the counter right away. Aren’t those poppyseeds pretty?

Bring the sandwich to the office, and take it out during a lunchtime meeting. Enjoy your really really tasty concoction, under your coworkers’ green gaze, as they themselves munch on a mayo laden, processed chicken, cardboard bread sandwich.

Galette Repas… ou pas!

Galette Repas... ou pas!

This Galette Essene is a small loaf of sprouted cereals bread, which I found at my organic grocery store. I talked about a galette essénienne before, but this is a different animal : where my former galette was brittle and cracker-like, this one is a moist little thing.

The package, by calling it a “galette repas” proclaims it can be eaten as a whole meal. It came in different flavors, and I chose the white bean, tomato and basil. I brought it to work for lunch, along with some cherry tomatoes.

I was intrigued, I was curious, I was atiptoe, I was happy : it’s not everyday that you get to taste something entirely alien. I took a first bite. Interesting. The texture very cake-like, not too dense, and a sweet, earthy taste. I took a few more bites, thinking ha, isn’t this cool, I’m having cake for lunch, what a fine discovery.

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