Saturday, August 22, 2015

Moroccan Delights at the Marche des Enfants Rouges

mountain of couscous

I didn't cook today, but on the way to one of my favorite old Parisian libraries (Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris in the Marais), I stopped off at the Marche des Enfants Rouges, which is best known for being the oldest market in Paris, and its Moroccan stall. I have to confess that the food was not the best Moroccan food I have ever tasted, but I enjoyed the wait along the window exposing all the gorgeous dishes and desserts, the mosaic tile tables nearby under a translucent tarp, and the tasty pastry I had for dessert (kadaifi with nuts and honey inside).

The dish I tasted was the couscous Berbere, super fine couscous (my favorite) with a Moroccan spiced chicken dish with green olives. I intended to go for couscous merguez (which was, incidentally what I was eating in the Palais Royal Moroccan restaurant when the possibility of this current Paris opportunity was raised), but when I saw the berbere in the window, I had to try it. Photos from this culinary adventure:

my favorite kind of Moroccan pastry
mountain of tagine du poulet

a view of some delectable desserts

couscous Berbere

kadaifi... hoping to find some of this shredded
pastry in a Paris grocery
the view looking up into the tarp

another stall in the Marche des Enfants Rouges

the line waiting for couscous!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Balsamic Duck Breast over zucchini and potatoes

my fridge
Every time I have ever rented an apartment in Paris, it has felt like destiny.

<------ Look at this note on the fridge in my new place. Could have been written by me... but it wasn't.

The six-burner gas stove. With spotlight.

In honor of my new place and its luxurious six burner gas stove (yes, you read that right - check out the photo ---->)
... I made a one pot meal. In about 25 minutes. :-) But I will expand over the burners and length of projects over time to be sure. I have big plans this year for learning to make an array of terrines in the amazing full-size oven that also comes with this apartment.

But for now, here's what I made, with amazing balsamic vinegar that a friend picked up for me in Italy (if you can find it and afford it... twenty-year balsamic is the way to go! It tastes a bit like balsamic candy):

Balsamic Duck Breast over zucchini and potatoes
with the vegetables alone

Serves 2 people (or 1 with a leftover meal to come!)

2 shallots, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced thick
a handful of fingerling potatoes, sliced thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 duck breast
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
a few leaves of fresh basil, chopped

1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add shallots and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes.

4. Add zucchini and herbs de Provence to the potato mixture and sauté for 3 minutes. 

After flipping the duck breast
5. Create a space over the middle of the flame in the highest heat, and place the duck breast on it. Drizzle half of the balsamic vinegar over the duck and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
6. For medium rare (as it should be!) cook duck for about 7 minutes each side until browned. Keep stirring the vegetables around the duck

7. Lay the vegetables on a plate, and place the duck breast over it (either in slices, or keep the breast as a whole steak).

8. Enjoy, with salad on the side or after... Bon Ap!

Bon Appetit!

the view from my kitchen window! bring on the breeze!