30 May 2013

Reading Material

For some long flights ahead. I highly recommend the latest Lucky Peach, great interviews, funny writing, good recipes, and the graphics for their apocalyptic-theme are awesome. Kinfolk is too hiperstery for me to subscribe to, but splurging on pretty magazines is one of my travel treats.

20 May 2013

Good Greens Salad


This salad came from a craving for a good green salad, something with a mix of crunchy elements (scallions, fennel), buttery things (avocado, pine nuts), lots of herbs and bold flavors (my homegrown mizuna!). Basically, I went to the market and bought anything green that looked good, and the result was delicious. The quantities here are reminiscent of the way I think most of us cook at home, a bit of this, a pinch of that. You could scale this up for a larger crowd.

Good Greens Salad

2 handfuls small sharp lettuces like mizuna or baby arugula
1 large avocado
1 large fennel bulb, bottom trimmed
a few fennel fronds
1 handful cilantro
1 handful parsley
a few sprigs mint
3 scallions
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, for dressing

 1. Trim the large center core from the bottom of the fennel bulb. Slice the fennel bulb very thinly on a mandoline, then place the fennel in a medium bowl. Chop the fennel fronds, cilantro, parsley, and mint and add to the bowl. Slice the scallions, both white and green parts, on the bias and add to the bowl. Dice the avocado, add to the bowl. Add in the lettuce. Drizzle the lemon, olive oil, and salt over the bowl and toss everything to combine. Toast the pine nuts and add to the bowl with the sesame seeds, toss to combine. Serve.

15 May 2013

What We've Been Cooking

We are off to America - the first time in nearly a year, I fear I may have culture shock - for a much needed vacation. Over the past month or so, our cooking hasn't been too exciting. Revisiting old favorites, lots of vegetables dishes, enjoying spring fava beans, making up recipes for banana cookies. Paul made a delicious chicken with grapes and apples from Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain. Here are some snapshots of what we've been up to.

Making this classic orange-almond cake for a party. (Stencil from Martha Stewart, and yes it's Christmas themed in May, I know.)

Growing lettuce

Making hummus

Julia Child's Zucchini Tian - who knew zucchini juice was so green!

Brunch - Spinach and smoked bacon frittata, orange/mint salad, (unpictured) Algerian baghir pancakes with honey butter

Making Pie! An old favorite.

Local spring strawberries marinated in honey and vanilla bean paste!

10 May 2013

Paris Recommendations Vol. XII


Paris. It is the city I probably know best of any foreign city, but I will admit I can at times find it exhausting. I'm not sure why exactly, maybe because we were there with a list of errands to complete (yes, when you live in Algiers, sometime you run errands in Paris over the weekend), but on this trip Paris just wore me out. I took only 3 photos, a record low. Don't get me wrong - walking around, eating delicious food, stopping in cafes, shoe shopping, it was a great change of pace. But mentally, I wasn't really in vacation mode. Luckily for you, reader, we discovered a few new places along the way to share here.

Also, I found my street!


Verot Charcuterie
This place immediately caught me eye, with its pickled pigs ears and jellied pigs feet and most beautiful vegetable terrines in the window. It's a tiny place with a take-out section on one side and charcuterie on the other. I brought back an assortment of these tiny bite-sized saucissons that nearly caused a riot in my office. Close to the Luxembourg Gardens and would make a good pre-picnic stop.

E. Dehillerin
A cook in Paris really can't not go to this place. When my mother was a student in France, she bought a whole set of copper pots and pans from here. A couple years ago I had them retinned and they are as good as new, now almost 50 years later. I stopped in for some flexi-pan molds and grapefruit spoons.

Paul ate here in March - small plates with a set menu, light, fresh contemporary cooking, and not expensive. You have to book far ahead and call the day-of to confirm.

Rose Bakery
Good shopping has really extended up into the Northern Marais, we started at this classic Brit-owned place with brunch and some cookies to go.

Also, a Parisian friend asked us for rec's for a Moroccan place in Paris, if anyone know of one please let us know!