We’ve been eating lunch with M. Parret almost every day since returning to Sens. Lunch at his house, even if I cook the main plate, involves hors d’oeuvres, an entree, salad, cheese, and dessert, whether it’s the 3 of us or a crowd. Of course there’s always wine and perhaps a digestif with coffee. Hot weather doesn’t affect this pattern.
Because he’s invited to Sunday lunch tomorrow, and knowing that he didn’t have anyone to eat lunch with today, I offered to make a main course salad and dessert, explaining that I was “en regime” or dieting and didn’t want to drink or eat too much. He said he was en regime too and that we’d just drink water
I made a substantial duck gizzard salad with gizzards browned in goose fat, Brebis cheese, cherry tomatoes, quail eggs, lettuce from his garden, a little roquette, croutons and a raspberry vinaigrette. He accidently poured two glasses of chilled Chablis and put some bread on the table.
This truncated meal clearly made M. Parret uncomfortable, as if the ritual wasn’t complete, steps missing, the magic flawed. He really wanted to serve a plate of cheese after the salad. Badly! Insensitively, I insisted we go straight to the dessert.
It’s not that M. Parret didn’t like the food. Salade Gesier and Mousse au Cerises is as French as you can get, and he ate with gusto! Still, you could tell that although he was replete, he wasn’t satisfied.
In the future, I will wade through the too many courses ritual with him. Lacking the French woman metabolism, I’ll be big But friendship is friendship.
For the gizzard salad: http://cookinginsens.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/salade-de-gesiers-de-canard/
3 gelatin leaves
1/2 -3/4 lb cherries, stoned and chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fromage blanc or Greek yogurt
7 ounces heavy cream
Put the gelatin leaves in cold water to soften. Heat 1/4 of the cherries in a sauce pan with the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir the softened and drained gelatin leaves into the hot cherry mixture until dissolved, then stir in the rest of the cherries. Stir in the fromage blanc and set aside.
Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks, then fold into the cooled cherry mixture. Spoon into serving glasses, refrigerate for 3 hours, then serve.