We ate with M. Parret again last night. The usual; assorted pates, mussels in cognac, cheese, tarts, wine.
M. Parret still has days when he finds it hard to accept the loss of Mme Parret, but he has good days too. Yesterday was one, when he was back to his mischievous, old French guy, slightly annoying, self! I asked him not to look at the camera, so he did. Annoyed, but glad too :)
Maurice made some lovely crostini to share. Because he tries so hard not to, he always looks at the camera :D Notice M. Parret’s new, green tablecloth!
Jade is thinking, “I can’t wait until school starts!” Not. More like, “I wish I had my ipad!”
Sole rillettes, pate de campagne and pork rillettes.
There was some discussion as to whether Maurice should add cognac to his mussel wine sauce. He did and the moules were very good.
And M. Parret stretched out his hands and said, “Let there be cheese” and behold there was cheese, and it was good :)
I think Jade and I are overdoing this French food thing because this morning we both woke up with violent cravings for Asian food.
I know that there are quite a few Asian restaurants in Paris that serve real Korean, Japanese and Chinese food, but here in our little town the Asian restaurants serve Frenchified versions; Sens, because of the size of it’s population, 25,000, doesn’t really qualify as “deep country” but actually is because of it’s deep country mentality. People here don’t really want to eat foreign foods but, being close to Paris and it’s sophistication, want to say that they have. The clever Asian restaurants in town are happy with this because they really don’t have to bother with expensive, hard to find, authentic ingredients. In fact, I’m sure most people here would hate it if they did serve authentic food. This way, all the Asian chef has to do is take normal French food, stir fry it, add a very little soy sauce and everybody’s happy. “This is not authentic”, said no Senonais, ever.
Since the market Vietnamese lady with normal Asian food is on vacation, I decided to make a variation of one of our favorites, Spicy Chinese aubergine http://cookinginsens.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/spicy-aubergine-with-beef-and-sprout-stir-fry/. I had a pretty red bell pepper that I wanted to add and a blushing green tomato from M. Parret’s garden that I included in a “why not?” manner.
Spicy Chinese Aubergine
2 tbsp sambal oelek
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp sugar
7 Tbsp peanut oil
3 small, narrow aubergine (Japanese if you can find them), quartered vertically and cut into chaos chunks
1 large green tomato, cut into chunks
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2-3/4 lb ground veal
Mix the sambal oelek, soy sauce, vinegar, sake and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Toss the chunks of aubergine and tomato together, then fry half of them in 3 tbsp of the peanut oil until brown. Remove the browned vegetables to a bowl and fry the other half of the aubergine and tomato in another 3 tbsp of peanut oil. Remove this last batch to the bowl, add the remaining tablespoon of oil and fry the garlic, ginger and pepper until the pepper is just tender. Add the veal and saute with the aromatics until just done.
Pour in the sambal oelek mixture, cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes.